The Work Yard -- The Hermitage, Hermitage TN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 36° 12.922 W 086° 36.778
16S E 534787 N 4007905
Quick Description: A sign of history at the back of the Hermitage mansion just before the visitor enters what was known as the Work Yard
Location: Tennessee, United States
Date Posted: 4/15/2019 9:08:35 AM
Waymark Code: WM10CT2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 1

Long Description:
This sign of history is located on the north side of the mansion as you exit the mansion fence then area and head into the wider plantation grounds, into the area known as the Work Yard.

The sign reads as follows:

The World Behind the Mansion

The stately trees and parklike grounds of today's Hermitage bear scant resemblance to the working plantation of Andrew Jackson's time. As the farm developed, trees were cleared to make room for fields and pastures. By the time the first photographs of the Hermitage were taken just after the Civil War, few trees remained on the landscape.

In Andrew Jackson's day, the yard behind the mansion hummed with activity, and contained in mismatched assortment of log, frame, and brick buildings. These structures included slave housing, poultry houses, and workrooms, as well as wood stacks and animal pens. The backyard area closest to the mansion was fenced. It is likely that access to this area was limited to the enslaved who actually worked in the kitchen or mansions the Jackson's did not trust the slaves and so located the smokehouse and icehouse, were valuable food was stored, within the backyard fence for greater security.

A great deal of work, such as butchering, chicken plucking, candle and soap making, and laundry took place outdoors. Poultry and hogs roamed freely. The area was muddy when wet and dusty when dry. It was noisy, messy, and above all else, a working landscape.

Although taken sometime around 1885, 40 years after Andrew Jackson's death, this photograph shows the open landscape behind the Hermitage Mansion. A variety of fencing and laundry lines contribute to the disorganized appearance of this area.

Some the buildings now missing from the rear landscape, especially the backyard, can be seen in this detailed view of the same photograph.

Hermitage archaeologist located 2 buildings that once stood between Alfred's cabin and the garden fence. These frame buildings left no foundations except for the basis of the 2 chimneys and peer stones at the corners. One of these buildings is visible in the detail photo above (see arrow) and it's chimney base is the one shown here in the background.

although this picture, from around 1867, was taken to show the 2 Jackson family carriages, it also documents a now missing building, Jackson's brick barn and carriage house.

No pictures exist of the cotton gin Jackson built in 1807, and it is likely that his gin and press went through 2 or 3 different versions. This print shows a typical press for bailing cotton and gin house where cotton seeds were removed and processed cotton stored.

With its gleaming white façade and ornament of landscape, the front of the mansion blocked visitors view of the backyard and fields where the entire economy of the plantation rested on the backs of those Jackson held in bondage. Letters, photographs, and archaeology suggests that, in addition to the building still standing, these work areas, buildings, storage facilities, instructors may also have been on the farm:

Slave Cabins
Spinning and Weaving Shop
Poultry Houses
Animal Pens
Wood Piles
Horse Paddocks
Blacksmith Shop
Cotton Gin
Overseers House
Horse Training Areas
Carriage House
Brick Kiln
Corn Cribs
Carpenter Shop
Cotton Press
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 Work Yard -- The Hermitage, Hermitage TN 3/11/2019 Benchmark Blasterz visited it