A Visit to The Hermitage and Union Station – Tennessee

During my visit to Tennessee, Maggie and I visited The Hermitage, the stately home of President Andrew Jackson.


I was overwhelmed with awesome, and my only regret is not visiting in costume.  The mansion was built between 1819 and 1821, and boasts almost complete original furnishings, wallpapers, and layouts….which is most definitely why the rooms are only visible through thick plexiglass doors.  Read all about it here: http://www.thehermitage.com/  or better yet, VISIT!  It was a truly amazing place, with beautiful grounds…and now for pictures 🙂 :

Is this dining room not incredible!?
One of Jackson’s carriages, on display in the museum.
The back porch was just asking to be promenaded upon by appropriately attired ladies, but instead is got us, girls in skinny jeans, boots, with scarves and pamphlets. /le sigh
Is this holly?  It was a whole tree.  I thought holly was a bush…?
The “family” room, connected to the parlour.  See the reflection? that’s the plexiglass door. 
Maggie and I are boot sisters.
This room was off the dining room – a staging area for the footmen to receive and ready dishes to be served.  (Downton Abbey is a great informant on these customs)
Cotton.  Real cotton that I picked in the little cotton patch on the grounds.  I’ve never even seen raw cotton before.  It was fascinating.
The table in the dining room.  Oh, how kind of you to invite me to dinner, Mr. President.  Why yes, I would love to.
Maggie and myself.

…and in the same day we also visited downtown Nashville and the beautiful Union Station, built between 1898 and 1900.  It is now a luxury (and I do mean luxury) hotel, but you can still check out the incredible lobby, full of art nouveau goodness.  More on Union Station, Nashville: http://www.unionstationhotelnashville.com/about-us/history

And pics…

The vaulted glass ceiling in the lobby.
Ginormoid clocks at both ends.
Maggie in a comfy lobby chair
A lamp in the lobby.  Yep, just a lamp 🙂
Outside the front doors.
Behind us, in that car park, used to be the train platforms, a whole mess of them, and the space was covered with a 4-storey high canopy, which unfortunately burned down in the 1990s.

That’s all, folks.  Next … Historic Locust Grove, Kentucky…


  • Jennifer Bristow

    November 21, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    I visited the Hermitage on our trip to the 1982 World's Fair. I don't remember plexi doors, just being told to be careful not to touch things… I'm glad you enjoyed! I thought it was wonderful (even at age 11).

  • Lauren R

    November 21, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    It was such an amazing place. Jen, I wonder how new those plexi doors are. They also made us hold our purses and bags in front when walking through the hallways, and of course no photography inside. They must have had issues with damage in the past.

    Estetyka, I didn't know that! Interesting…wonder how old those holly trees were…

  • Zach

    November 22, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    It sounds fun, but Monticello cannot be beaten. You should go there if you're ever in Virginia. Don't forget Mt. Vernon either. The staff is a little rude, but the house is amazing–and the key to the Bastille is hanging on the wall. Just beware Monroe's home. It was SO boring. Most of their furnitings and such were just bought off eBay and pit there because they thought it looked okay. I remember them saying they put sheep themed wallpaper in one room "because they had sheep." -Zach

  • Lauren R

    November 22, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    Zach, I can't wait to see Monticello when we visit the East Coast next year. I've been to Mt. Vernon and found it fascinating, but it was before I got into costuming and history, so I'm hoping to see it again next year. I will keep in mind what you say about Monroe's home, too.

  • Zach

    November 22, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    I just love Monticello. It is so beautiful, and the best part is that you can walk through the house (that is, unless they've changed everything in the past two years, which I highly doubt). If you're in the area, you should go see Monroe's home, simply for it being what it is, but I wouldn't suggest going out of your way or keeping your hopes up. On the bright side, they did have a nice gift shop where I nabbed a Christmas ornament. 🙂

  • Jennifer Bristow

    November 23, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Also, I remember visiting another home when *still* had un-exploded ordinance in the wall from the Civil War… I don't know how they lived with a cannon ball embedded in the wall…


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