Monday, April 08, 2013

A Visit to The Hermitage --

It was last week when I was privileged to be taken out to Andrew Jackson’s home, The Hermitage.

I grew up “hearing” about Andrew Jackson, and I had known he was a former president of the United States, but I had no idea of his life, his love, or of where he called HOME.

If you have a chance to pass through this area just outside of Nashville, TN ---do it!  History is so important, and I feel such a connection to those who came before and appreciate so much what they sacrificed for the building of this nation.

When you enter the visitors center, there is a film to give you the background of The Hermitage, and of Andrew Jackson’s life from a young boy up through his presidency and beyond.  What a fascinating man!

Some of the history of this country is hard for me to swallow ---such as the removal of Native Americans out of their home lands on the “Trail of Tears” ----History isn’t always pretty.  But that was then, for the good or bad.

Here is a little video from the Biography Channel:

There were no photographs allowed inside of the mansion, but I was MOST impressed by the original wallpaper that is still in several rooms.  ORIGINAL! of course, it’s been touched up over time…but when you think about what that wall paper has witnessed….if you visit THIS PAGE you will see some photos from the inside, including the wallpaper in the front hall as well as a bit of history.

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First view of The Hermitage up the carriage drive

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My family goes nuts when I have to stop and read all the placards!  But this is good stuff!

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Amazing that this place was once in ruins!

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Family resting place.

Andrew and his wife were unable to have children of their own, and they ended up adopting a nephew to raise as their own.

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Andrew and his beloved wife are buried here in the monument that he had built after her passing, and before his own.  Rachel’s life was quite an interesting one, and Andrew was her second husband, with a lot of gossip taking place after her marriage to Andrew, when her divorce to her first husband was not quite “official” yet!  You can CLICK HERE to read more about Rachel.

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The weather was getting very cold and windy with a storm blowing in so we didn’t spend as much time in the gardens as I would have liked……

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Side view of the hermitage, showing the front view to be mostly fascade!

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History gives me goose bumps, and I’m sure glad I had a chance to stand where Andrew Jackson stood.

My only complaint? Not a quilt in the place!  It was all fancy chintz fabrics on the beds --- magnificent – but what about quilts?

Today I’m meeting up with the Lebanon Quilters!  Lunch is planned, and some shopping and wandering – and a lecture this evening! 

Have a great Monday, Everyone!


  1. Bonnie, we visited the Hermitage several years ago on a "road trip" to the area. As crazy as it sounds, we found the family cemetery most interesting. My DH has been working with genealogy for several years so when we travel, we usually end up in at least one cemetery. There is soooooo much history there! If you have never been to Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, it is another historical must see. I would so love to meet you in person some day!

  2. I agree with you, Bonnie! A friend and I visited here a couple of years ago and it was a wonderful afternoon. There's so much to see here, read and walk through. The gardens were wonderful - we were there in the fall and the leaves were still turning. It's well worth your time to visit the Hermitage.

  3. Bonnie, I certainly agree with you about the lack of quilts at the Hermitage! Wonder how it happened that the restoration expert(?) came to select chintz fabrics! Maybe it was perceived that once you achieved some measure of wealth, you didn't use quilts? Thank you for sharing these photos. As close as I live to TN, I've not visited the Hermitage. I'll try to add that to my bucket list!

  4. It is a beautiful place..read "the "Presidents Lady" by Irving Stone. Its an excellent biographical novel about Rachel.

  5. Saw a quilt a few months ago that belonged to a descendant of Jackson! She and her family were considering giving it to the Hermitage so maybe there will be a quilt there in the future...

  6. So informative! Thank you for sharing your tour through the Hermitage. I chuckled a bit because when I first say the word "hermitage" I was thinking quirky little shack without running water, lol! But this is my kind of hermitage! Neat walk through history. Thanks again.

  7. If those walls could talk what stories they would tell.....I think most quilters love history. Back in the day women really didn't have a voice and a lot of them made their voices heard in the quilts and quilting they did....Baltimore Album quilts have a lot of hidden messages in their designs. Thanks for sharing....enjoy Pennsylvania.

  8. When I was in school, history was just a subject I had to pass,,, remember a few dates, memorize some names. Now that I'm older, I find history fascinating!! Can't soak up enough of it!! At some point in my adult life, I realized how important the past is to help us in the future,,,does that make sense?? Glad I'm not the only history geek roaming the bio channel,,,,,tee hee
    have a great time in Pennsylvania!

  9. Fascinating and thank you for sharing. I love history, the good and the bad, it's what makes us who we are. Like you I love to read all the placards as well - all sorts of good information can be had by reading them.

  10. I love historical plantations and old mansions. That would be an amazing place to visit. Thanks for sharing your visit there.

  11. I am a placard reader, too!!! And it drives my family crazy! Thanks for the pictures of the Hermitage--especially the very interesting one that shows the facade! I think I read somewhere that Rachel smoked a pipe! And Andrew sneaked out a window when a room got too full of visitors! (I think I read that in JFK's Profiles of Courage--I need to read that again.) I love those wonderful old stories that make our leaders so human. A broderie perse quilt or two would have been perfect in that setting. Hope you have a great day, Bonnie!

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your visit to the Hermitage. There are many places that I would not be able to visit that you have shared with us. You always manage to find many interesting facts we would have missed out on if not for you sharing your trips.

  13. I enjoy driving my family nuts by stopping to read all the info, too. What's the point of going if you aren't going to stop and learn something! Taking a pic is a good idea, too, since I have a little memory trouble :-)

  14. I was lucky enough to visit there in March of 1986 and there was some kind of a ceremony going on where he is buried. The military was there and flowers were put on the grave markers. The house was absolutely gorgeous. I had never been in the south before and was very impressed with everything I saw.

  15. Bonnie, Thank you for including the family graves in your pictures. The thing that fascinated me the most from my visit there was the tombstone shaped like a tree stump. I was so interested in that stone that I asked a man who made monuments how it was probably made and could it be duplicated today? He told me that those were made in casts and the molds were usually broken. At least in my corner of the world where I asked I was told that finding a person who could do that kind of monument would be very difficult. A lost art, I guess. Thanks Bonnie for a memory.


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