Learning about history is not just what happens inside the classroom. More learning takes place when we get outside the walls of our schools and explore the world around us. What do you know about General Andrew Jackson? Recently we visited the Hermitage to learn about the General and explore his plantation right outside Nashville.
We love exploring new historical sites and learning about our nation’s great leaders. Thanks to the Hermitage for hosting our family for a tour. All opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was received.
Learning about Andrew Jackson at the Hermitage
We have driven through Nashville many times over the past years, but this is the first time we have ever taken the time to tour the Hermitage. It takes approximately 2-3 hours to tour the mansion, museum and grounds. You begin the tour in the new exhibit Born For A Storm that tracks Andrew Jackson’s history through his beginning years as an orphan, his time as a General and then his leadership as a President.
After visiting the museum, there is a simple wall asking you the question of what did you ;learn? It’s a great place to share the one take away that you found really intriguing. There were things about about the Generals’ accomplishments as President as well some of the contributions he made to the White House.
- Did you know he was the first President to have running water and toilets inside the White House?
But the funniest fact that we learned was that Andrew Jackson had a pet parrot who had to be removed from his funeral because he was “cussing” at the mourners. Now that is a pet memory no other President can share.
Audio Tour for Kids and Adults
Don’t miss the Audio Tour! When you arrive, you can take advantage of a self guided audio tour that is available via individual headsets. You simply type in a number at numerous stops along the tour and learn more about the grounds and history of General Jackson.
There is a separate audio tour for kids that is narrated by Poll the Parrot, complete with the sound effects of the farm animals and music.
Touring the Grounds
We visited on a beautiful day in April when the leaves were just beginning to come out on the trees and the grass was turning green. There is a nice path when you leave the museum that winds through the gardens and leads to the mansion.
You can’t take pictures inside the mansion because so much of the house is still original. The home was turned into a museum in the late 1800’s. To think that our family can walk the halls where our country’s early leaders lived is an amazing tribute to the people who have focused on restoration and preservation of history.
Take your time as you wander the grounds of the Hermitage. Make sure you take your camera so you can capture the beauty of the trees!
Andrew Jackson’s Grave
When you walk through the beautiful gardens at the Hermitage, you will find the cemetery of the General and his wife Rachel. One of Rachel’s favorite places at the Hermitage was the gardens so when she died unexpectedly in 1828, he had a monument erected for her.
Jackson returned to The Hermitage at the conclusion of his second term as president in 1837. Daily, Jackson visited the tomb as long as his health allowed. When unable to visit in person, he could easily see the tomb from his office.
Alfred was a former slave turned tenant farmer on The Hermitage. He also worked as a handyman and tour guide for the Ladies’ Hermitage Association when the house opened as a museum. Alfred lived at The Hermitage longer than any other person, white or black. Upon his death in 1901, his funeral was held in the center hall of the mansion. He is buried in the Hermitage garden, near Jackson’s tomb.
Don’t forget to get your face on the $20 bill as you leave the museum!
4580 Rachel’s Lane
Nashville, TN 37076
Have you ever visited the Hermitage? What is your favorite part about visiting presidential homes, libraries and museums? I’d love to hear!
Sharon Williams is a mom of 3 who loves to read, travel, take pictures, work in the flowers and spend time with family. When she’s not blogging, she’s probably out enjoying life so she’ll have something fun to blog about tomorrow!