The Andrew Jackson Hermitage is a destination for tourist and locals alike. While the Hermitage Museum has informative exhibits and amazing pieces of history to see, the Andrew Jackson Hermitage Mansion, grounds, and garden are not only historically interesting but also just gorgeous and relaxing! Additionally, there are fun events scheduled through out the year that offer interactive family fun activities. I recently went on a press trip with American Heritage Chocolate to the Hermitage and I will share that experience with you here.
The Andrew Jackson Hermitage Mansion
The Hermitage was the home of Andrew Jackson, the USA’s 7th president. He purchased the property in 1804 and the Andrew Jackson Hermitage Mansion was originally built as a brick, Federal-style house between 1819 and 1821. During Jackson’s presidency, the mansion underwent a major renovation directed by architect David Morrison which added two wings and gave it a more Classical appearance. Then in 1834, because of a fire, the entrance façade was transformed to a then fashionable Greek revival style by adding six, two-story columns with modified Corinthian capitals across the front porch. And this is how you will see the Hermitage when you visit today. It is a beautiful exterior with gorgeous grounds.
Nearly every facet of Jackson’s life revolved around his mansion at The Hermitage. It served as not only his home but also an office, gathering hall and place for entertaining. The Hermitage mansion is considered by many historians to be the best preserved early U.S. presidential home and I must say I was quite impressed with the original wall paper still in tact right down to his actual bedroom slippers! (The wallpaper was imported from France and tells the story of Telemachus.)
After you get a guided tour of each room in the Andrew Jackson Hermitage Mansion, you can stroll the grounds (over 1000 acres) and walk through the garden where you can see Andrew Jackson’s tomb. Very pretty and plant lovers like myself will enjoy reading the labels on the around the garden.
The Andrew Jackson Hermitage Museum
The Andrew Jackson Hermitage Museum is packed with fascinating exhibits. They also have the option for a multimedia experience where you get a device and headset to get further information at different points along the journey- they even have a program for adults and one aimed more for children to keep the history age appropriate and fun.
You can see all kinds of original historical artifacts such as Andrew Jackson’s sword, clothing, and coach. The state-of-the-art exhibits bring the rich story of Andrew Jackson’s life to light from his humble beginnings as an orphan, to his resiliency as a General, to his visionary leadership as a President- the only president to help America ever fully pay off the national debt!
The Andrew Jackson Hermitage Events
The Andrew Jackson Hermitage is open for visitors year round (with some exceptions) and they also host fun events for the community on a regular basis. From fun events like Mother’s Day Tea, to sunset wagon tours, to homeschool days, to ghost story tours in the fall, they have something special for everyone!
They also host various events to help bring history to life for kids and adults. They do a Junior Docent Program where children dress up in period outfits and learn short historical scripts to share with visitors. They also do a ghost tour where as walk through the mansion they share historical ghost stories.
Find out more here at the thehermitage.com
The American Heritage Chocolate Experience
Another one of the interactive events the Hermitage hosts on some occasions is the The American Heritage Chocolate Experience. I was fortunate to get to attend one myself. Chocolate was primarily enjoyed as a drink in colonial America, and American Heritage Chocolate takes you through the history of chocolate. I learned how it came to be a popular drink in Colonial America after the Boston Tea Party and how it is harvested and processed. I loved all the hands on equipment and samples.
I got to hold a cocoa pod to feel its approximate weight and touch cocoa beans that were still in their sheath. I got to see how the beans were processed and how a metate was used to crush the cocoa beans and collect the chocolate “juice”. Then we learned about the seasonings that went into most Colonial American chocolate recipes. And most fun of all, we got to taste the American Heritage Chocolate. It is so different from most chocolates, less sweet and more favorful with savory spices. I really love it! I can’t wait to bring my kids back and let them learn about chocolate history and see how chocolate is made!
American Heritage Chocolate is an authentic historic line of products developed from chocolate recipes from the 1750’s. So American Heritage Chocolate in the drink format is similar to what Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Andrew Jackson would have enjoyed. American Heritage Chocolate is an artisanal dark chocolate containing 63% cacao, all natural ingredients, exotic spices and no preservatives. Though it is a historic chocolate recipe, it has endless applications in today’s kitchens. I have been trying out some recipes like chocolate gravy, chocolate mousse, and chocolate breakfast rolls. I will share a recipe with you soon!
The American Heritage Chocolate Experience are events that happen around the country at historical sites. (See website for listings.) For a limited time, you can also find American Heritage Chocolate at your local Cracker Barrel as part of their American Heritage displays.
A photo posted by Family Focus (@familyfocusblog) on
Find out more at americanheritagechocolate.com or search #chocolatehistory or #americanheritagechocolatehistory to see fun photos from others.
Have you ever been to the Andrew Jackson Hermitage? What was your favorite part? Have you ever been to an American Heritage Chocolate Experience? What did you like most about that?