Other pages you may find of interest


The Nashville Parthenon


 
 
United States of America

Nashville

The Hernitage, Home of Andrew Jackson


 
Hermitage
 
 

Summary

The Hermitage, home of General Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the Unit States is one of the Nation’s oldest and largest historic site museums. It incorporates the home and grounds and a number of outbuildings and displays many of Jackson personal effects showing them as they would have been seen in Jackson’s days.  It also includes his tomb and that of his wife Rachel. 
     


The site that is The Hermitage was purchased by Andrew Jackson (1767 – 1845) in 1805. A 425-acre farm which was to become the home of the Jackson Family.  The First Hermitage buildings was constructed between 1798 and 1800 prior to Jackson purchasing the property from Nathaniel Hays who claimed the property as a land grant in the early 1780’s. This building served as Jackson’s original farmhouse. It was converted into slave quarters when Jackson built the mansion at The Hermitage. This original farmhouse building has been renovated and can still be seen.

The first house on the present site was built between 1819 and 1821 on two stories and contained eight rooms, four on each floor and it had two wide centre halls. The ground floor contained two parlours, a dining room and Andrew and Rachel Jackson’s bedroom. On the upper floor were four bedrooms. The kitchen was located in the basement.

During his time as President (from 1829 to 1837), Jackson carried out a major renovation redesigning the house and adding adjoining one-story wings, a two-story front portico with ten Doric columns, and a small rear portico. This created a 13-room mansion in the Classical style.

The new wings were situated at the east and west sides of the house. The east wing housed a library and a farm office, while the west wing contained a large dining room and pantry. A new kitchen and a smokehouse were also added behind the mansion. 

In late 1834 a fire severally damaged the house and necessitated its rebuilding. The front façade was designed to look like a Greek temple with six, two-story columns with modified Corinthian capitals across the front porch. Similar columns with Doric capitals were used supported a two-story porch at the rear of the building. The front façade columns were made to have the appearance of stone by adding a sand coating. 

The furnishings were replaced with Philadelphia Classical style pieces, and when the house was completed in 1837, the Hermitage mansion was one of the most fashionable houses in Tennessee. With its sweeping driveway with red cedars lining either side it was designed to create an impression.

In 1889 the Hermitage opened as a museum and is considered one of the best-preserved early U.S. presidential homes and allows visitor to see the building as it was in Jackson’s time.

Between 1989 and 1997 the building underwent major restoration and today it contains the original furniture, wallpaper and family possessions returning it to what it would have been like for Andrew Jackson and his family in the years following his retirement and up to his death in 1845.

Photography is not permitted in the house itself, nor can visitors enter the rooms, which have been carefully preserved to present the most accurate representation of its appearance during Jackson’s life and feature original furnishings and belongings.

Entry to the mansion is from the front porch into the entrance hallway, which is decorated with beautifully printed scenic wallpaper. Leading from this is a grand staircase with the busts of two of Jackson’s cabinet members.

On the ground floor is the dining room which is located off the hall with access via a covered passage to the kitchen. There are also two parlours containing mementoes of Jackson’s life. Personal effects are also to be found in his bedroom, as in his final years he suffered from bad health and virtually lived in his bedroom.   Across from this room is the bedroom of his adopted son, Andrew Jackson Junior who inherited the Hermitage on his adopted father’s death, here he lived with his wife Sarah. From the entrance hall the stairs led to the upper floor and a further 4 bedrooms.

Adjacent to Andrew Jackson’s bedroom is the Library where during his retirement, he spent much of his time. Adjacent to the bedroom of Andrew Jackson Juniors is the office which was an essential part of the Hermitage as it was in fact a plantation of 1050 acres growing mostly cotton.   While Andrew Jackson was away his son ran the business from this office. 

In the surrounding area are a number of outbuildings and the cottages used for housing the slaves and includes Alfred's cabin, one of the slaves. In the garden is the tomb of Andrew Jackson and Rachel, his wife and the grave yard for family members and others from the Hermitage, including his personal and house slaves.

When Rachel died suddenly in 1828, she was buried in a temporary grave while preparations could be made for something more permanent.  That was to be in a tomb designed to resemble a Greek temple as depicted on the wallpaper that Rachel had chosen for the Hermitage entrance hall.  The tomb was completed in 1832. When Jackson died on June 8, 1845, he was laid to rest two days later in the tomb. 

Following Jackson’s death, the fortunes of the Hermitage suffered a decline and in 1856 it was purchased by the State.  An attempt was made to move Jackson’s body and Tomb to Nashville, the Tennessee State Capitol, but this never materialized so his tomb remains at the Hermitage where it can still be seen.

The site is one of the nation’s oldest and largest historic site museum explaining the life of Jackson and exhibiting a number of his personal effects associated with his time in the army, for which he is most famous for his victory over the British at New Orleans, as well as his time as the 7th President of the United States. The site also has a souvenir shop and a café.

Details related to visiting the Hermitage can be found by visiting the Official Site.


Hermitage_Front_EntranceHermitage_Read_Facade
Front entrance Rear Facade



 
Hermitage_First_HouseHermitage_Interior_Fist_House
First House First House Interior


Hermitage_Alfreds_CabinHermitage_Interior_Alfred_Cabin_Bed
Alfred's Cabin Alfred's Cabin Interior

 
Hermitage_Interior_Alfred_FireplaceHermitage_Jackson_Sword
      Alfred's Cabin Interior             Jackson's Sword and Pocket Watch


Hermitage_Jackson_Tomb
Jackson's Tomb



Visit Official Website   

 
 

All  Photographs Copyright: Ron Gatepain

  Site Map