The mission of the Ladies’ Hermitage Association is to preserve the home place of Andrew Jackson, to create learning opportunities, and to inspire citizenship through experiencing the life and unique impact of Jackson
Introduction to The Hermitage
The Hermitage is one of the oldest historic site museums in the United States, having been open since 1889. Physically, it is also one of the largest site museums with 1,120 acres of property in suburban Nashville, Tennessee. The Hermitage has a long history of strong visitation making it among the most visited historic site museums in the country. Tourist visitation has been the primary focus of The Hermitage during most of its 120 year history. Visitors from all over the world visit The Hermitage annually. The Hermitage mansion tour is currently available in five foreign languages.
A Brief History
Nashville’s premiere historic site, The Hermitage, was once home to our 7th US President Andrew Jackson. The mansion was originally built as a brick Federal-style structure in the years 1819-21, and then greatly expanded in 1831. Following an upstairs fire in 1834, it was rebuilt in the Greek Revival style, with six massive Corinthian columns lining the front. After leaving from the presidency in 1837, “Old Hickory” returned to The Hermitage and lived there until his death in 1845. Today this National Historic Landmark is maintained to look much as it did in 1837. Costumed guides lead visitors through the mansion with over 85% of its original Jackson family pieces. On the 1120 acres of grounds surrounding the mansion are the humble log homes where slaves lived and where the Jackson family first settled.
The “First Hermitage” consists of two, vernacular log buildings—a ca.1800 farmhouse and ca.1805 kitchen—with an extraordinarily rich and multi-layered history. These modest but remarkable buildings are American icons of the Jacksonian Era and reflect the profound influence of Andrew Jackson during this pivotal period of American history. On July 5, 1804, Andrew Jackson purchased this very well crafted farmhouse and soon directed construction of the adjacent kitchen, which served as a cookhouse and slave cabin. Andrew Jackson, his family, and his slaves lived here until 1821, when the nearby mansion was completed. In the early 1820s, Jackson converted the original two-story farmhouse into a single-story slave cabin by removing the first floor. For the next four decades, the two log cabins were home to dozens of African-American slaves. Upon Jackson’s death in 1845, he was laid to rest next to Rachel Jackson in the 1.2-acre formal garden designed in 1819 located next to the Mansion.
The Hermitage has been operated by the Ladies’ Hermitage Association, a non-profit 501c3 organization since 1889, and opened the buildings as the state’s first historic site museum—since then, more than 14 million people from the world have visited the property.