How much do you know about the 11th President of the United States? If you’re like most of us, you probably can’t even think who the 11th president was and definitely don’t know much about the life of President James. K. Polk. This year we have taken the opportunity to visit several different presidential homes around the country and most recently drove over to Columbia, Tennessee to visit the James K. Polk Home & Museum.
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President James K. Polk Home & Museum
A tour of the Polk Home & Museum begins in the Welcome Center with a short movie that walks you through the life of President James Polk. While you are waiting for the video to start or your tour to begin you can walk through a small exhibit area that includes a timeline of James K. Polk.
It is said that President Polk was the only president to keep all his campaign promises. That is quite the claim and a pretty impressive statement.
Real Life Tip: Take the time to watch the introductory video if you can. These videos at the beginning of most museums and tours are a great way to get some background and perspective on the museum you are going to be touring.
When you leave the visitor center, you take a quick walk next door to the Ancestral Home of James. K. Polk.
The guided tour takes you through the house where much of the furnishings and decorations are original. Our tour guide, Benjamin, did a great job bringing the stories of the Polk family to life.
Each of the rooms tells a different story about the life of the President and tells a different chapter in his life as well as his wife Sarah.
James K. Polk was not only the 11th president. He also served as a U.S. Congressman, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and Governor of Tennessee. He and his wife Sarah worked together to change America, doing much to expand its boundaries from Atlantic to Pacific.
James K. Polk expanded the borders of the United States to the Pacific Ocean, added three states to the Union, started the Naval Academy, commissioned the Washington Monument, and issued the first postage stamp.
When you finish the guided part of the tour, make sure you take the time to walk out in the gardens and enjoy the beauty in the backyard.
Guests to the James K. Polk Home and Museum will enjoy a 30-minute docent-guided tour of the main house and a self-guided tour of the Polk Sisters’ House, gardens, kitchen building, and Polk Presidential Hall.
Things to Know:
- There is an admissioin fee to tour the home.
- You will need to climb a flight of stairs to tour the upper floor but the rest of the house and grounds is accessible.
- There are restrooms available when you enter the Visitors Center.
- You may purchase souvenirs in the gift shop before or after your tour.
- Each tour lasts approximately an hour.
- There is an introductory movie when you first start your tour.
Find the Polk Presidential Home
301 W 7th Street
Interested in other presidential tours? Here’s some things to know about Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.