Friday, September 21, 2012

Oaklands Mansion Museum and Gift Shop: A Day of History In Murfreesboro

Oaklands Mansion Main Plantation House

Gift Shop Sign
 Looking for something fun to do in the area, or a place to visitors? Why not try the Oaklands Park and Mansion; it is a historic plantation home, museum, gift shop, and park with walking trails, in the heart of Murfreesboro. I even found plenty of craft and artisan related items in the gift shop, made in Tennessee, such as hand spun wool, blacksmith goods, soap, rock candy, and honey. There are tours available of the home and other fascination historical evens, like a Halloween graveyard walk by candlelight, featuring a historical lesson about civil war battles and a walk through the soldiers' graves, nearby.

Last Days of Summer in Oaklands Park

The Battle at Oaklands Mansion
Being a northern transplant here, I was unaware of the many civil war historical sites located within the city. While visiting the mansion, I even found out that 20 people were killed on the downtown square during the raid on Murfreesboro and that the street I live on was named for the North Field of this plantation. The home was owned by Dr. Maney, and he cultivated cotton and owned 250 slaves. The current curators of the museum do not know where the slave quarters were located, but the land holdings of the Maney's extended for many miles.

Nathan Bedford Forrest, Confederate General
Whenever I visit historic places, I am always impressed by how the activities we enjoy as crafts and hobbies were a part of everyday life and survival. Rich or poor, all families knew how to sew and mend and render the tallow of animals into soap. Gardening was a necessity, not a relaxing hobby. I did not tour the mansion; however, the gift shop offers many period inspired crafts for sale.

While visiting the mansion, make sure to notice the various historical homes in the area and drive around the town square. I purchased a book at the museum gift shop which explained, in terrifying detail, the capture of hostages by the union soldiers, who were locked in the courthouse, while it was set ablaze. Some civilians were lynched on the square, as well, by the Union. During the raid, the Yankees had control of the plantation home, but Nathan Bedford Forrest and his cavalry showed up. They divided into 3 segments, to attack and secure the plantation home, to rescue the hostages in the square, and to secure the railroad. There were approximately 150 deaths in and around the city during skirmishes on the night of the historic raid.

For directions to the museum and to like them on facebook, follow these links:

Historic Neighborhood Home

Historic Neighborhood Home

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