Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Interior Of President James K. Polk House

Columbia, Tennessee

Thank you to everyone at the James K. Polk house for allowing me to take these pictures, for giving me a grand tour, and answering all of my questions, no matter how stupid they were.

All but only a few pieces inside the manor belonged to the Polk family!
 This house was built in 1816 by President Polk's father during what the staff called the "Era of Good Feelings." Ok, so I had never heard of that before, so I looked it up. You read about it Here. It is definitely an interesting term, of which I think I wish that I had read about it before.

The Polk House in Columbia, Tennessee, is "the only surviving house lived in by the President, except for the White House."

John Holtzapple told me that there are no records of who built the home. There was no builders in the area at that time, there was one afterward who kept great notes, but unfortunately nothing for here. He said that they understand that the house was built by the President's father, "but he was a surveyor, so it is unknown if he actually did the construction." Which, does make sence.

What we think of as a "typical two-story brick house, was unusual for the area and so this was a mansion comparatively." Beforehand, the Polks lived in a one-room log cabin between Spring Hill Tennessee, and Columbia with ten children! I drove by the area, and it is a beautiful grassy field belonging to some farmer, presumably. But, no cabin is there at all.

A reproduction of the original floor cloth made by a local person in the 1990's. It really has stood up the hundreds, (thousands?) or visitors that has come through.

The front parlor, where most of the furniture came from the house in Nashville.

We were told that these chandeliers cost $59.00 when they were initially purchased.

Table top made out of Egyptian Marble, was a gift to the President during his term. There are the full thirty (Yep, 30 whole states!) stars here to represent each state in the Union.

Gorgeous Mrs. Polk.

President Polk when he took office.

President Polk after his four year term as President.

The President's table, and his parents' chairs. The china here, is hand painted, and has a different Tennessee  wildflower on each piece. They are absolutely phenomenal.

Here are more of Mrs. Polk's set.

These are two pieces of White House china from their term.

This is not a ghost, but another visitor along with me. :D
But, just look at taht plate!

and part of the same service.

A mother is above the mantle, but I can't remember if it was hers or his.

Mrs. Polk.
Note the different nose than in the other paintings.
Our docent told us that  "some artists liked a certain nose type, and painted the same type on everyone. There were two there in the house – one of Mr. and another of Mrs., and they indeed had the same nose. On the other portraits of the same people, they had different noses. In fact, of all of the portraits there were different “sets” on each one depending on the painter." You can see where I wrote this on my friend's Blog

The President prior to his Presidency

Mrs. Polk, our guide told us, was a very accomplished player of the piano-forte. 
This is an elaborate water pitcher.

This was taken from the front porch of the President's house in Nashville.

Close up.

The President's family tree.

This is a HUGE painting of Cortes that was given to President Polk after the Mexican-American War.

Beautiful view.

Susan Childress Ruckers
Sarah Polk's older sister

Susan's husband's name the Doctor.
He sort of looks like a Randolph...
Look Here.

Elizabeth Childress

youza! What a day bed.

Not a ghost, just one of us visitors. :D

A close up of the painted blinds, which are original to the house.

A rendering of a prospective Washington Monument.

The acorn was a Polk symbol of strength.

Lap desk sitting on a table.

Mrs. Polk's Jewelry box.

Mrs. Polk after the four years of being at the White House. She was 45 years old, after the Presidency and after her husband's death.   Poor thing! I'm 46, and I feel for her!!

The only piece of President Polk's clothing that the museum has.

Not part of the family, but a sample of work from the time.
This is a firescreen. 

Mrs. Polk at Seventy-eight and she lived almost ten more years after. 

Mrs. Polk's music box.
For a comparative, see the Regina from the Tanner House Here.

Not an original, but a reproduction pattern carpet. Still, it is really pretty.

The original floors. Aren't they pretty?

Photographs of the family.Yep, that's me in the mirror. I didn't even notice when I took the picture. Maybe I'm a long lost relative? No, but it would be cool.  :D

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