The Road to Nashville: Civil War & Country Music

As we headed to our next destination- Nashville- we wanted to learn something of the many Civil War events that happened along our route. One of which was the Battle of Parker's Crossroads, December 31, 1862.

Skirmishing began about 9:00 am, with Confederate Forrest taking an initial position along a wooded ridge northwest of Union Dunham at the intersection. Long story, very short... Both sides claimed victory, but the Confederate claims appear to have more credence, as they were able to escape what should have been a perfect trap and Forrest lived to fight another day.

Our next stop was a different sort of history lesson- Fontanel, the 33,000 square foot former home of country super-star Barbara Mandrell (and largest log cabin ever). This is the only “home of the star” tour in Nashville that you can actually go inside! The Mansion boasts over 20 rooms, 13 bathrooms, 5 fireplaces, 2 kitchens, an indoor pool and even an indoor shooting range.The Mansion at Fontanel has been filled to the brim with photos, memorabilia and personal items from the period when the Mandrell family lived there.
The thing that was the coolest about this tour was the fact that you could touch the artifacts. Steve is actually playing Jerry Lee Lewis' piano.
Here he is holding B.B. King's Guitar. Wild stuff.
I loved seeing Minnie Pearl's hat at the formal dining room. So cool.
Additionally, the personal collections of the current owners, Dale Morris and Marc Oswald, managers of Alabama, Kenny Chesney, Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson and many others, have included their own one-of-a-kind items, personal photos, and keepsakes. We were allowed to pretty much do with the artifacts as we wished. I am totally wearing Kenny Chesney's 'tur' jacket... sweet.
Steve and I had our own kind of fun in Barbara's bathroom.
I grew up knowing Ms. Mandrell, mainly from her television show, and to see how she lived, in grandeur but still with a special humbleness, was pretty awesome. Our guide, Steven, was talented and informative. This was a great kick-off to our Nashville experience.
Our amazing home for the two nights we're in Nashville is The Inn at Fontanel which offers six unique suites from which to choose. These rooms are all connected by 2,700 square feet of deck with plush patio furniture and a view of the courtyard of gardens and Porter’s Pond, complete with a fountain and waterfall. The Great Room is the common gathering area for all guests, which contains a dining room, kitchen and living room, with a complimentary made-to-order breakfast.

We are staying in the North Bunkie, which is detached from the main estate structure with an outdoor patio, two double beds in a beautifully appointed suite complete with kitchenette and stunning courtyard views.

We are content in our Tennessee oasis. Life can't get much better than this! Tomorrow we head into town for our true Nashville experience. But for tonight, we'll lounge in our plush robes and nibble on our Goo Goo Clusters and delight in all that The Fontanel has to offer.

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Karen Booth said...

Va bene, I'm getting so behind on commenting, I'm just going to have to try this method. That was wild that you could touch all that stuff. I loved Steve in the bathtub. Good thing he didn't slip on the way out! That would have been an interesting story to explain. Hope you enjoyed the robes...

Nick and Deb's Excellent Adventure said...

Wow! The Mandrell home looks amazing, the next time we go to see our friends it is a must. Love learning what I can about the Civil War too! Looks like it was interesting.

Love the two of you in the bathroom, that is totally something we would do. How fun??!?!? Your North Bunkie looks simply beautiful!! Enjoy and only 4 days away! Hooray!!!!!!

Suzanne said...

I've just spent an hour catching up on your travels. You make it look so inviting for all of us at home. I love your historical comments and seeing the fun you are having on the road. Thanks for the view through the looking glass!

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