The Springhouse -- The Hermitage, Hermitage TN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 36° 13.024 W 086° 36.756
16S E 534819 N 4008094
Quick Description: A sign of history at the walk down to the springhouse at The Hermitage
Location: Tennessee, United States
Date Posted: 4/15/2019 8:48:58 AM
Waymark Code: WM10CRT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 2

Long Description:
This sign of history is located at the stairs down to the springhouse built by Andrew Jackson over the free-flowing spring that served as the water supply for The Hermitage, the plantation home of Andrew Jackson.

The sign reads as follows:

"THE SPRINGHOUSE
Water for The Hermitage

Of all the enticements Tennessee offered settlers, one promised both survival and a future: water. Falling from above, bubbling up from below, flowing in broad river "highways": Water.

2 natural free-flowing Springs made the Hermitage a fine site for a farm, even without a coveted Riverside location. This "Gravelly Spring" provided abundant water for the Jackson's simple log farmhouse and, later, the brick mansion. Jackson had the limestone springhouse built to shelter this precious freshwater supply in 1821, at the same time the first version of the mansion was finished.

An earlier log building described as a "dairy" may have been located here as well. Until a well was dug near the mansions back porch, enslaved workers had the chore of carrying gallons of water to the mansion every day.

What we take for granted with the turn of a faucet, and Jackson's time was prized, labored for, and-- always- appreciated.

[inset]
young enslaved women use this butter churn, a variation on the barrel churn, and the dairy at the Hermitage. In 1850, they produced a thousand pounds of butter. This required skimming the cream off thousands of gallons of milk and then churning that cream into butter. Springhouse water kept the milk cool while the cream rose to the top for skimming. The finished butter was also stored here until the Jackson sold it in Nashville.

[photo]
Originally, the spring bubbled up in front of the springhouse under the overhanging roof that provided a covered work area and kept falling leaves and debris from the water. It flowed under the building, were water pooling inside the stone walls cooled the air and made an ideal place for storing food.

[photo]
About 1909, the Ladie's Hermitage Association (LHA) built a short wall around the spring to keep surface water from running into it and contaminating the water supply. They also replace the original wooden shingles with 10. After the Jacksons left The Hermitage, the State of Tennessee built a home for Confederate veterans on part of the property. Pumps sent the water from the spring about a half mile to supply the needs of the Home. The spring water was also pumped to provide water for Hermitage visitors until the late 1980s, and continues to water Hermitage lawns and gardens today.

[photo]
The LHA enclosed the spring in the late 1920s to continue the effort to keep the water supply pure. Later the enclosure was removed and the pumps were put into an underground vault. The spring was completely covered over as it is today. Excess water still flows into the springhouse and then into the creek."
Group that erected the marker: The Hermitage

Address of where the marker is located. Approximate if necessary:
The Hermitage
Hermitage, TN


URL of a web site with more information about the history mentioned on the sign: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Take a picture of the marker, preferably including yourself or your GPSr in the photo. A very detailed description of your visit may be substituted for a photo. In any case please provide a description of your visit. A description of only "Visited" or "Saw it while on vacation" by anyone other than the person creating the waymark may be deleted by the waymark owner or the category officers.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Benchmark Blasterz visited The Springhouse -- The Hermitage, Hermitage TN 3/11/2019 Benchmark Blasterz visited it