Maury County Historic Tourism
James K. Polk Home
Take a step back in time...
United States of America, 1844.
Few people have accomplished more in their political career than James K. Polk. As a U.S. Congressman, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Governor of Tennessee, and by age 49, President of the United States, he had his wife Sarah by his side acting as his closest advisor. Together they changed America, doing much to expand its boundaries from Atlantic to Pacific.
Learn about a fascinating and pivotal time in U.S. history through the life and legacy of our 11th President at his home in Columbia.
Columbia's Hidden Jewel
The Historic Athenaeum in Columbia, Tennessee is all that remains of two famous girl schools that flourished in the area from the 1830s until the Great Depression. Built in 1837, the Athenaeum served as the rectory for these two schools and was occupied by the same family for over 130 years. Today, the Athenaeum is a historic site and museum open for tours
Rattle and Snap
"most monumental house in Tennessee"
Rattle and Snap was built for George Polk, a son of William Polk, a North Carolinian who was appointed surveyor-general of the Middle District of Tennessee in 1784. Through land speculation, William became one of the largest landholders in Tennessee.
The tract on which the house stands amounted originally to 5648 acres. William named the property "Rattle and Snap" after having won the land from the governor of North Carolina in a game of "rattle and snap." This game of chance is said to have been played with beans. Four of Polk's sons built substantial homes on the original tract, three of which are still standing plus the family house of worship St. John's Church.
...a land of legend, a land of song, a land of hallowed and heroic memories
Elm Springs was built by two brothers as a gift for their only sister in 1837. Named for the many elm trees and springs located on the property, this gift stands today despite almost being destroyed during the War Between the States and from neglect in the early twentieth century.
The home has been loving restored and is currently the international headquarters for the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the new National Confederate Museum.
COME FOR THE RICH SOUTHERN HISTORY.
LEAVE WITH A NEW MEMORY.
The rich story of Rippavilla begins on December 6, 1818, when Nathaniel Frances Cheairs IV, of French Huguenot descent, was born on the property located in Spring Hill, Tennessee. As a young man Nathaniel met, courted and married his true love Miss Susan Peters McKissack, daughter of William McKissack II, also of Spring Hill.
For the first ten years of their marriage, Nathaniel and Susan lived in two-story log cabin located on the back of the property. In 1852, construction began on what is now Rippavilla Mansion.
In the century to follow, this home has seen war, emancipation, reconstruction, a great depression, bootlegging, prostitution, murder and intrigue...and it's still standing and collecting her stories.
Civil War Trails Historical Markers
Outdoor Museums depicting
Maury County History 1861-1965
Maury County endured a series of skirmishes and Union occupations during the American Civil War, 1861-1865.
Ten Civil War Trails historical markers pepper Maury County alerting visitors to homes, churches and historic structures where significant people and events took place. Spend a day visiting each outdoor museum and learn the triumphs and tragedies which befell our hometown and ancestors.