Travelers Rest

The Travelers Rest is a Federal style house that was started in 1799. There were three building stages during the life of the plantation.

In 1799, at the age of 34, Judge John Overton drew up plans to build the two story building with four rooms. During digging of the cellar, there were a large number of prehistoric skulls unearthed. The plantation was built on a large Mississippian village site.

Because of this Overton originally named the property Golgotha meaning hill of skulls. During the last 200 years, the remains of a square waddle and daub house, together with the burial sites were discovered. Later in the early 1800's John changed the name to Travelers Rest because, as a circuit judge he had to travel a lot, and the home was calming to him.

The Picture above is a side view, which shows the mansion is a lot larger than the front view. In 1833, at its' peak size, the plantation grew to 2,300 acres. The primary crop of the plantation was cotton, but John Overton had an interest in fruit orchards and grapes. He cultivated peaches, apples, pears, and grapes. These fruits were distilled into brandy and wine.

Above is the Law Office used by Judge John Overton. It was built away from the house to get away from any distractions of the house.

Above is the smoke house which was a common building to have this time period. The plantation had to be self sufficient, so it raised almost everything it needed.

Above is the weaving house where cotton and other products could be transformed into cloth and cloth products.

Above is a barn like one during that time period. It is used now for rental purposes such as weddings and dances.

John Overton died on April 12, 1833 at Travelers Rest.

Two weeks before and through the Battle of Nashville, the mansion was the headquarters for the Confederate Army of John Belle Hood. The battle started on December 15, 1864. On the second day of the battle the mansion became one of the headquarters of the Union side when it fell behind the Union lines.

In 1954, the plantation building was restored to become a museum. The construction of the visitors center unearthed more Mississippian period human remains. The Travellers Rest is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today, it is surrounded by suburban Nashville with only 9 acres left. The plantation house is located at 636 Farrell Parkway in the southern part of Nashville. You can call 1-866-832-8197 for more information or email

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