I remember going to Andrew Jacksons Hermitage with my grandparents as a kid and I couldn’t wait to see it again and take my kids. We had fun and walked a ton!
Andrew Jacksons Hermitage
Note they offer a military discount to active, retired and veterans!
They have about 1,200 acres of the original 1,425 and the drive in is beautiful!
The tree-lined drive away is just what I want when we buy a house <3
One thing that has been a bit different from other tours is this one very audio and you get a handset (which is really just an encased iPhone) and you get a headset.
They had them for my 3 older kids and they loved them, my Daughter, A (my 2 soon to be 3 years old) would get so upset when her audio ended we would have to start it over.
Once you leave the museum and head to the mansion you walk the path carriages would have taken to get there. Once things the tour told us what that Andrew Jackson didn’t like all the dust kicked up from the carriages and he was told by Thomas Jefferson that using cedar trees kept the dust down. He then ordered 200 trees and lined the drive, only 10 of those trees are still there now.
The plantation grew many crops from corn, potatoes and other food to eat. They also had an orchard but the cash crop was cotton.
The how is beautiful, large and sprawling but very easy to navigate!
We decided to take a horse-drawn wagon tour of the grounds and it was so worth it! Lots of great information!
The north yard is not very pretty right off the mansion, but back when Andrew Jackson was alive, it was where many of the activates happened, there would have been no grass, there would have been fire pits, candle making, clothes cleaning and animal butchering.
This is only 64 acres of over 300 that would have been panted with cotton. It’s huge to think they did it all by hand back then!
Back in 1998, the foundation did an archaeological dig where the slave quarter was and they found several outlines of slave quarters. These rooms are 20ft X 20ft
This is what is called a duplex and would have been 2 slave homes each would be where a family would live and have a small loft.
They also found a hidey hole. This is where the salves hid many items they shouldn’t have had. The dig found some valuable jewelry, coins, pencils, books etc.
One thing we learned was that Andrew Jackson was one of the better slave owners. He would go out of his way to buy salves as a family unit and keep families together.
He would also go out and buy family members that had been split up. Of course, the reason for this is they are less likely to run away. He also allowed the slaves to have a small garden to supplement their rations they earned. Of course, this meant he didn’t have to offer them as much food.
We were also told they have many letters from when Jackson was in the White House reminding his son to rule with a gentle hand, that 1 willing worker gets more done then 2 forced ones.
We then headed for a mansion tour. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside but it was beautiful. They have some of the original wallpaper that Jackson’s wife picked out and put out. You can see some of it and other inside pictures on The Hermitage Website.
The front door walks in to the main foyer on left is the parlor and family living room. The left wing always has the dining room and butlers pantry. The right wing holds 2 bedrooms including the ones where Jackson passed.
It also had his office and library. The upstairs had the children’s rooms, storage pantries and guest rooms.
The kitchen was not attached to the house in case there was a fire it wouldn’t burn down the house. (one fire was enough for them!)
They also had a detached smokehouse behind the kitchen.
We then walked the gardens and visited the graveyard when Jackson and his wife are buried.
Also the freed slave he considered family was buried next to the tomb (high honors)
My kids loved walking the gardens.
The baby, of course, fell asleep on the walk back to the main gate!
The kids took cutout pictures before we visited the gift shop.
We got the kids coloring books of the president’s houses and the kids were so excited to color them that baby girl A fell asleep with it! After visiting we headed across town to have lunch at Loveless Cafe and oh my, was the drive worth it!