Monday, April 13, 2009

Belle Meade Plantation

We visited Belle Meade Plantation today in Nashville during one of their "Homeschool Days" they offer there. We had a fabulous time...and learned a LOT...they have a remarkable program there...and we will in fact go back again! We learned that the house was first occupied by Hardings...then in later years his daughter and son-in-law, "General Jackson" would occupy the home. We learned that 7 of our US Presidents actually sat in the same parlor we stood in. We learned that the family (and the farm) was known for raising, breeding, boarding, and racing horses. Mr. Jackson himself paid $25,000 for an English racehorse name Iroquois. Today that would be the same as half a million dollars! When Iroqouis died, General Jackson had his hooves cut off and made into ink wells for his library in memory of his favorite horse. And we were able to see them today. Eww.
The back of the Plantation House...

We happened to run into some fellow homeschoolers from our church there!

We learned that since they didn't have electricity, they had to be super creative. They burned the manure from their horses...and piped the methane gas into their house for light! Genious...I think. They also used tricks such as putting candles in front of mirrors or pieces of tin to reflect the lights adding more light to their rooms.

The kids did a little craft of punching a design into tin (a person that did this would have been known as a "whitesmith") with a nail and glueing a candle onto it to reflect the light. We plan to burn those tonight to see how well that works!

The original cabin the Harding's lived in before building the Plantation House

Mag and Tyler as "Mr. and Mrs. Jackson"

The carriage house

Only after my kids had climbed this, and we had gotten to our car, did Tyler read on our paper "no climbing on the bell tower"...oops!

This was the Gardeners House...the little slanted room on the right is the Greenhouse.

And this was the Dairy House

We learned on our Scavenger Hunt of the grounds that the third step to curing pork is to scrape it...the step before that? Scalding the hog...yep,in that big pot!

Just one of the many BEAUTIFUL carriages in the stables...

And of course what McManus field trip would be complete without the comedy relief of Aidan?

I couldn't help but find it quite comical that my kids said "it would be cool to pump our water like this!", for what...5 minutes?
It was a BEAUTIFUL day to dig into History...don't ya think?

"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

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