Maury County is a History Enthuiest Dream
Step into the past and learn fascinating stories when you visit Maury County, Tennessee. Museums, battlefields and antebellum homes will take you on a tour of earlier periods.
Erin Jaggers, tourism director for Maury County, invites you to experience history.
“The history in Maury County is unmatched,” Jaggers said, encouraging guests to learn about the past and to take pleasure in visiting historic landmarks.
Historic Elm Springs, James K. Polk home, Rippavilla Plantation and Spring Hill Battlefield are just a few of the interesting destinations in Maury County.
“Elm Springs was built in 1837 and will definitely take you back in time,” Jaggers said. “This home is one of the few that has retained its historical integrity throughout the years.”
President of the Maury County Historical Society Eric Previti said, “Maury County is the antebellum home capital of the State of Tennessee.”
“We have more antebellum homes that remained in this county than anywhere else,” Previti said. “An antebellum home is any structure built before the war between the states. Elm Springs was built in 1837. It’s located on the Old Stage Road that led from Pulaski to Franklin.”
Elm Springs is “Maury County’s premier tourist attraction,” said Previti.
The two-story, brick house was built in the Greek Revival style and is located at 2357 Park Plus Dr., Columbia. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. The Sons of Confederate Veterans purchased the home in 1992, and it has served as the organization’s international headquarters since then. A new museum was recently built on the property. This new building houses the National Confederate Museum and the offices of the headquarters, “allowing the house to return to being a true historic site, open for tours and rentals.”
“Elm Springs was built in 1837 by Maury County’s master homebuilder, Nathan Vaught,” said Previti. “When guests visit this large antebellum home, they will see nine-foot-tall mirrors in the hallways. When the house was built, the hallway was the largest in Maury County. Visitors will see a beautiful home. When you come here, we will tell you the story of the families that lived in the home. We will tell you about the two brothers that had the house built for their sister, Sarah.”
The home was built by James and Nathaniel Dick, cotton merchants from New Orleans.
“They built the house for their sister Sarah (Todd) and her husband, Christopher. During the war between the states, the younger daughter of (Sarah and Christopher), Susan, and her husband, Abraham Looney, who was attorney and Tennessee State Senator, occupied the house,” Previti said.
The home is located on the same property as the National Confederate Museum, which is another great tourist attraction in Maury County, added Previti.
Visiting historic places in Maury County will bring your family together and create opportunities for interesting conversations.
“We want everyone to come see all the sites in Maury County and spend time with us in Columbia and Mount Pleasant,” Previti said. “We hope people see the other homes, too.”
He encouraged visitors to also go to the Athenaeum Rectory, the James K. Polk home and Rippavilla Plantation.
“We’d like people to come and make an entire weekend,” he said. “Visit with us at Elm Springs and learn about the home and the family. Spend some time downtown and go to the other homes. Maury County is the fastest-growing county in Tennessee right now, and we are excited to have visitors to come see us. We love tourists. We love to tell visitors our stories, and we love to preserve history – that’s what we are about.”
The Athenaeum Rectory in Columbia is “all that remains of two famous girl schools that flourished in the area from the 1830s until the Great Depression. Built in 1837, the Athenaeum served as the rectory for these two schools and was occupied by the same family for over 130 years.” Today, the Athenaeum is a museum, welcoming visitors to tour it.
Learn about James K. Polk and his family when you enter the James K. Polk home.
Built in 1816, the home is the only surviving residence of James K. Polk, other than the White House, and one of the best examples of Federal-style architecture in Tennessee.
Rippavilla Plantation, located in Spring Hill, is a Greek Revival home, built in the the1850s by Nat Cheairs, who served as a major during the Civil War. During the war, the Battle of Spring Hill unfolded across the property on Nov. 29, 1864.