We have a story to tell.
It is the story of an ancient civilization, whose culture, language, and even name is now forgotten.
It is the story of the founding of a city in the wilderness, a period that marked
the end of one culture and the beginning of another.
It is the story of those famous names that once walked these floors.
Names such as Houston, Jackson, and Eaton, who are remembered today as having helped shape a young nation.
It is also the story of others, long since forgotten, who worked the land in terrible
conditions, struggling for the day when they would one day be free.
It is the story of a community ripped apart by war, and the struggle of two great armies for control of Tennessee.
In the end, one army would be vanquished, one would be triumphant, and the beginning of the
end would be in sight for Tennessee’s long nightmare of Civil War.
Historic Travellers Rest Plantation has a story to tell.
It is the story of neighborhoods and families. It is the story of Nashville.
In the end, it is the story of who Historic Travellers Rest Plantation is, where we came from, and where we are going.
Historic Travellers Rest Plantation is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the Overton home and serving as a
gateway for learners of all ages to explore and experience Nashville's historic past. The historic house
and grounds are held in public trust by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America
in Tennessee and is operated by Travellers Rest Historic House Museum, Inc., a not-for-profit
corporation with public membership.
For over fifty years, Historic Travellers Rest Plantation has been an integral part in the Nashville and middle
Tennessee museum community. Saved from demolition in 1954 by the Tennessee Society of the
National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, the historic house, built originally in 1799, was
restored to interpret the early 19th century life of Judge John Overton, one of the state’s first
Supreme Court Justices, the founder of Memphis, and a close personal friend of Andrew Jackson.
Over the past half-century, the historical site ’s interpretive and educational mission has evolved
and expanded to include almost 1000 years of cultural development of the mid-Cumberland Basin, from
the area’s prehistoric origins as a Native American settlement, to Nashville as an outpost on America’s first
frontier, to the Civil War and the city’s emergence as a leading capitol of the New South.
Today, Historic Travellers Rest Plantation, a National Register property, is recognized as a model of preservation excellence.
Since the mid-19th century Americans have learned about the nation’s past by visiting historic house
museums. “Old houses,” like Historic Travellers Rest, are a staple of many family vacations, school field
trips, and special events. When The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in Tennessee
acquired Historic Travellers Rest in 1954, roughly 800 historic house museums existed in the United States.
Today, more than 6,000 dot the landscape.