Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Belle Meade Visit

We have been on a mini vacation to Nashville, once again, while hubby attended his conference.  This time the children and I ventured to historical Belle Meade Plantation.

The children relaxing on the front porch waiting for the tour to start.

Belle Meade Plantation was once a massive and sprawling horse farm.  The Harding family inhabited 250 acres of land just west of Nashville.  They obtained over 2500 acres of land from 1807 to 1906 and ran a prospering enterprise until the early 1900s.  Belle Meade is known for the thoroughbred horses they raised and raced.  Many famous race horses can trace their linage back to Belle Meade.  Now only 30 acres remain, but the grounds are lovely to stroll and allow the imagination to drift back in time.

Front of house

Back of house

The house tour was intriguing.  Our guide was very knowledgeable and dressed in period clothing.  The downstairs areas are open and allow visitors to get up close and personal with the surroundings.  However, you may not touch anything or sit on any of the furniture.  The rooms felt lived in and not just on display.

The upstairs bedrooms were roped off, but you could still see all the fine details of this lovely mansion.  The children were impressed with the bathroom shower.

After the house tour, we walked the grounds and explored other buildings on the property.  Little Man enjoyed running around the estate in the cool, windy, fall air.  We explored the slave cabins, gardener's cabin, playhouse, mausoleum, dairy, smokehouse, carriage house, and dog trot cabin. 

Looking into the greenhouse area of the gardener's cabin.

Playing in one of the open fields.  The dog trot cabin is in the background.

Funny picture time.

Fall display with the house and playhouse in the background.

One of many carriages and wagons in the carriage house.

Our only disappointment was there are no longer horses to be seen at the plantation.  We thought it would be a nice touch to see a few horses in the paddocks.

Belle Meade is definitely worth a trip if you are ever in Nashville!