Nothing evokes more emotion than a visit to peaceful Tennessee plantations. In addition to the attractive and elegant mansions, you can visit places where Confederate women cooked meals for union leaders, generals planned civil war strategies, and where mortally wounded soldiers breathed their last. In each of these plantations you will learn different stories and increase your knowledge of the historical properties of that time. With favorites like the Belle Meade Plantation and Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, we’ll take a closer look at the 10 Tennessee Plantations you need to explore.
10. Cherry Mansion (located in Savannah, Tennessee)
Located in Savannah, Tennessee, The Cherry Mansion was originally built by David Robinson and later given as a wedding gift to her newly married daughter, WH Cherry, in 1830. During the Civil War era, the Union General, Ulysses S. Grant, used the plantation as his headquarters at the Battle of Shiloh. By visiting the Cherry Mansion, you will learn about the Civil War heritage and relive the historical moments and experiences in the Civil War historic sites.
The Belmont Mansion is a 19th century plantation owned by Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham. She was born in 1817 into a wealthy family, married and has several children. Later, her husband died and she inherited the Belmont mansion. As of 1846, she had a net worth of approximately $1 million. In 1853 she married again and built the Belmont mansion along with 16 rooms. There are private guided tours to the Belmont Mansion, and the mansion is open daily except major holidays.
8. Davies Manor Plantation (located in Bartlett, Tennessee)
The Davies Manor Plantation is located in Bartlett, Tennessee. While it is still unknown who originally built this mansion, Joel W. Royster redesigned the log cabin when he bought it between 1831 and 1837. Later in the 1860s, Royster added a dining room, breezeway, and two-story bedroom. A self-guided tour is usually available at the plantation; so you can see the slave huts and the commissioners.
7. Carter House (in Franklin, Tennessee)
The Carter House is a start-of-the-art brick mansion whose overall stature significantly represents the historic battles of the Civil War. This is mainly because Carter House was the headquarters of the Union army in 1864 and was requisitioned by General Jacob Cox for the Battle of Franklin. This battle is remembered to this day because it cost the lives of thousands of Confederate soldiers. During this war, the Carter family and their neighbors took shelter in the basement of the mansion.
6. Sam Davis Home and Plantation (in Smyrna, Tennessee)
This Southern Plantation mansion in Smyrna was originally built in the 1850s and settled on a 160-acre farm that grows cotton to this day. It was home to Confederate boy soldier, Sam Davis, who worked behind enemy lines disrupting communications between Union troops and retrieving vital Union information. Davis was later captured and sentenced to death after refusing to betray the Confederate spy who gave him information about the movements of Union troops. The Sam Davis Home and Plantation is an attractive White Period mansion with decent glimpses of authentic craftsmanship from the doors, floors and woodwork. In addition, this 19th-century plantation serves as a monument to the African-American era of slavery.
5. Historic Travelers Rest Historic House (located in Nashville, Tennessee)
The Travelers Rest Plantation is located in Nashville, Tennessee, and was originally built in 1799 by Judge John Overton. Overton decided to name this 2,500-acre land “Travelers Rest” because he had great affection for his home after taking long, tedious horseback rides while serving as a judge. Visitors to the plantation can now explore the mansion and house on their own or with a guided tour. The Travelers Rest Plantation is the ideal place to visit to learn more than 50 individual stories of the enslaved African Americans who worked on the plantation.
4. Ramsey House Plantation (located in Knoxville, Tennessee)
The Ramsey House Plantation is a 101.5-acre mansion in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was originally built by Thomas Hope for Francis Alexander Ramsey, a member of one of the earliest families in Knoxville in 1797. This mansion exhibits excellent craftsmanship in woodwork on almost everything found in the home. There is also a preserved pianoforte.
3. Bowen-Campbell House (in Nashville, Tennessee)
The Bowen-Campbell House was originally built in 1788 by the American Revolutionary War veteran, Captain William Bowen. The original grounds of the mansion were heavily used during the Civil War era, which has now been transformed into Moss-Wright Park. In addition, the Bowen-Campbell House is known as the oldest brick mansion in the middle Tennessee region with a fortress to protect the frontier settlers from Native American attacks. The plantation is usually open for daily tours.
2. Belle Meade Plantation (in Nashville, Tennessee)
The Belle Meade Plantation is a beautiful mansion located just outside of downtown Nashville. It was the home of John Harding in 1820, but was later redesigned by Williams Giles Harding with limestone pillars, a cherrywood, cantilevered staircase and a ruby glass transom over the front door. The plantation is also home to Nashville’s first winery – The Belle Meade Winery, which was established in 2009 and offers a wide variety of great experiences such as wine and food tasting. While it’s free to walk the striking plantation grounds, you’ll need to pay a fee if you want to learn more about the African-American slave experience.
1. Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage (in Nashville, Tennessee)
One of Nashville’s most famous plantations is The Hermitage, which was also home to seventh President Andrew Jackson. Before Jackson owned the mansion, it belonged to Nathaniel Hays in 1780, who later sold it to the future president – Andrew Jackson. Jackson and his family transformed this mansion into a 1,000-acre plantation and built a Federal-style home between 1819 and 1821. Thanks to the wealth that Jackson earned during his reign, he built a museum, farm office, copper gutters, library, and a two-story entrance porch with Doric columns on the site. Tours of the property are self-guided, but tours of the mansion will incur an additional charge. The Hermitage also features a gift shop for visitors. The mansion is usually open daily, except on major holidays.
With so many amazing Tennessee plantations to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one to visit. Fortunately, this guide will help you make a unified decision about which plantation to visit.