Welcome to Travellers Rest
Travellers Rest, once home to the influential Overton family, has been welcoming visitors to Nashville since the late 18th century. Its builder, Judge John Overton, served as Superior Court judge for the state of Tennessee. At Travellers Rest, Overton was host to Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston and many other dignitaries of the day.
The historic house, begun in 1799, is furnished to reflect life in Middle Tennessee during the judge’s occupancy until his death in 1833. The museum’s tours and programs provide an interpretation of a much wider period of history at the site, beginning with the earliest occupation by Mississippian Indians on through a renowned Arabian horse-breeding operation in the 20th century.
In 1954, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Tennessee rescued the house and grounds from threatened demolition and began restoration. Travellers Rest is owned by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Tennessee while being operated by a non-profit organization with a professional staff. The Board of Directors of this organization includes both Colonial Dames and members of the Nashville community.
Travellers Rest is Nashville’s oldest historic house museum open to the public. Restoration is based on the interpretive plan developed by architectural historian William Seale. Other structures on the property include a visitors’ center/gift shop and a reproduction of an 1830’s corn-crib barn (the Education Center). A small formal garden incorporates boxwoods and native plants while a garden containing medicinal herbs and vegetables is used for the education programs.
The current exhibit, The Battle of Nashville: History Unfolds at Travellers Rest, opened in late November 2013 and will run through 2017 as a part of the commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. The exhibit focuses on the experiences of the Overtons, the family that built Travellers Rest in 1799 and who were still living there at the time of the Battle of Nashville in December of 1864. The Overtons were Confederate supporters, and their home was the headquarters of General John Bell Hood, Commander of the Army of Tennessee, for the two weeks before the battle. The exhibit also depicts farm life in occupied Middle Tennessee, the events of the battle, and life during Reconstruction. The exhibit received the Award of Excellence from the Tennessee Association of Museums in the spring of 2014.
TRAVELLERS REST IS LISTED ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES AND IS ACCREDITED BY NSCDA MUSEUM PROPERTIES
VISIT TRAVELLERS REST
636 Farrell Parkway
Nashville, TN 37220
Hours of Operation
Monday – Saturday
10:00am – 4:30pm
*Tours begin at 10:00am
*Last tour begins at 4:00pm
Historic Travellers Rest is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
Office is closed Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. (Tours are still available)