Belle Meade Plantation, Nashville, Tennessee

August 2017

Our most recent RV excursion took us to the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville. Our family has a long tradition of making trips to Nashville. The capital city of Tennessee lies a few hours to our east and offers a quick getaway.

Before I tell you about our most recent little vacation, I have to relay another story. As we've just seen so much devastation to Texas and Florida, one particular trip from the past was brought to mind.

Back in April of 2010, we traveled to Nashville to discuss product placement in a showroom at the Opry Mills Mall. Our campsite was adjacent to the Cumberland River. It rained so heavily that we feared we would be unable to drive out. Landon and I were advised that the area was completely safe. It was not prone to flooding.

We pulled out of our campsite a day later and proceeded to watch Nashville become inundated by overflowing water. Over the next few days, it was horrifying to view pictures of the devastation caused by the Cumberland River breach. Thankfully, Nashville has come back and with a boom!

We are so happy that the area was quickly rebuilt. With Hurricanes Harvey and Irma fresh on our minds, we cry because these other beautiful cities struggle. My hope is that this story of seven years ago can offer a beacon of hope, and that rebuilding will commence. From Tennessee to Texas and Florida, our hearts are with you.

Now, back to our most recent trip. Since Nashville is one of our favorite places to road trip, we thought it was appropriate and fitting that a visit there be our last adventure before Kayla departed for college. (Ironically, we encountered heavy rains, but nothing like 2010.)

We chose to visit Belle Meade on this trip, largely because we were curious about its unique history with horse racing. Having lived in Memphis our entire lives and not knowing the significance of horse racing in our state, we thought it was a fine time to find out.

This plantation sired many a famous foal and welcomed many wealthy statesmen and stateswomen. To this day, Belle Meade has done their part to keep the spirit of celebration alive with a great restoration, wine tastings, party bookings, and Segway tours.

While we were on our tour, there were a couple of notable takeaways from this tour. This was the first home that we had observed a parlor mirror built into the window cornices. This was one, very large complete structure. It was stunning to behold given the complexity of construction and installation. Landon and I were both intrigued.

The trip upstairs revealed a handsome guest bedroom that hosted an extremely elaborate, unique Jenny Lind style rocker. I long to have a house filled with such artistic creations! Such a labor of love.

While the plantation was grand, and the home quite beautiful, Kamille was amazed at the great expense put into the stables and the grounds. The property, at its peak en masse, was a whopping 5400 acres. Typical to Southern entertaining of the period, the Harding and Jackson families (no relation to Andrew Jackson, who lived across town, nor James Harding) believed in outdoor parties and spared no expense on their lavish barbecues!

Kayla's takeaway came from the extremely knowledgeable, historically period-costumed docent. His quick wit brought the past alive. We were thrilled to learn that his field of study was historical clothing textiles, and that the Plantation is going to such measures to preserve their history through proper research. The accurate preservation and rebuilding at Belle Meade Plantation is inspirational as we continue to research classical styles for guidance in our design journey forward!

Don't forget to look for your inspiration.

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