Tuesday, August 13, 2013

President James K. Polk House in Columbia, Tennessee

When my friend Ceekay was visiting me, earlier this year, we stopped in for a visit at the only surviving residence (besides the White House) of President James K. Polk.  In case you've forgotten your history, he was our 11th President.
The house was built in 1816 by Polk's father, Samuel, a successful farmer, slaveholder, and surveyor.
Today, the home contains over 1000 objects owned by the President and his wife, Sarah.
Sarah Polk was a strict Presbyterian and drastically curbed drinking in the White House.
Polk was, at that time, the youngest President we had ever had.  This portrait was painted when he first took office.
Four years later, his portrait was painted again showing how the stress of office had taken it's toll.
Polk was close friends with Andrew Jackson, another former President.
Polk also served as Speaker of the House and Governor of Tennessee.
The couple made their home at a mansion in Nashville, but it was torn down in 1901.
Sarah looked forward to their "retirement years" together, but James died just three months after leaving Washington.
Sarah was a 45 year old widow with no children, although she later adopted a niece.
An unusually educated woman for the day, Sarah retired to Nashville and all that society had to offer there.
Sarah never married again and wore widow's weeds the rest of her life, passing away just short of her 88th birthday.
Before donning her widow's clothing, Sarah was famous for her sense of style and we happened to be visiting when the museum had a special display of her gowns. 
First ladies sure knew how to dress in those days!
Well, that concludes today's history lesson.  We're packing up the 5th wheel today and plan to head back to Arizona tomorrow.  Brown's Ferry Nuclear Power Plant realized they were completely out of money (thank you President Obama) and had to lay off all the contractors, so Hubby is now unemployed. 
Oh well.  We look at it as a chance to get back home and see the grandsons!


  1. So sorry to hear about your husband's layoff. More of Obamanomics, and we have over 3 more years to observe this man destroying our country. It was nice to see your pictures and get an education regarding the Polks. Beautiful home, and it's amazing that that many of their belongings have been collected. He sure died young! (I notice B. Hussein is going gray rather quickly too.) As for the dresses? I'm glad we don't have to wear those! :D

  2. Love, love, LOVE Sarah's dresses! Thank you for all the wonderful history you've shared with us from the southeast. I shall miss your grand tours of palatial homes. Oh well, hopefully we can get together when you get back...

  3. Candy, I so enjoyed seeing the Polk's Home with all of the finery. Beautiful. Am studying the window treatments. Thinking that perhaps I will create different curtains in the Parlour later on. I would like to try. Shall see.

    Thank you for showing these fine mansions. I may not leave in one, but enjoy thinking that I can take some of the ideas and apply them to my own home.

    I will be praying for your husband's employment.

  4. PS
    Your Grandsons are darling!!! So very sweet.