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James K Polk Home And Museum

301 West 7th Street

The only remaining residence of James K. Polk except the White House, the ca. 1816 home was built by Polk’s father Samuel, and is one of the best examples of Federal style architecture remaining in Tennessee. Today it houses over 1000 objects that belonged to President and Mrs. Polk including furniture, paintings, china, and silver.

The James K. Polk Ancestral Home in Columbia, Tennessee is the only surviving residence of the eleventh U.S. President (excluding the White House). Samuel Polk, a prosperous farmer and surveyor, built the Federal-style brick house in 1816 while his oldest son James was attending the University of North Carolina. When the future President graduated in 1818, he returned to Tennessee and stayed with his parents until his marriage to Sarah Childress in 1824. While living in his family's Columbia home, James practiced law and began his political career by successfully running for the State Legislature. Today, the Home displays original items from James K. Polk's years in Tennessee and Washington, D.C. including furniture, paintings, and White House china.

In addition to touring the main Home, guests may visit the adjacent ca. 1820 Sisters' House where two of the President's married sisters lived at different times. The Sisters' House offers a 12-minute orientation video, a museum room, temporary exhibits, and a shop. The museum features some of the most unique and significant artifacts from the site's collections including daguerreotypes of President and Mrs. Polk, White House gifts and mementos, campaign memorabilia from the Election of 1844, and Sarah Polk's Inaugural fan with miniature portraits of the first eleven Presidents.

The Polk Home's detached kitchen building was reconstructed in 1946 on the original foundation. Visitors to the kitchen see period cooking implements and household accessories. Demonstrations of early 19th century crafts and chores are presented here occasionally.

Although James K. Polk's final residence - a mansion in downtown Nashville - was torn down in 1901, a cast iron fountain from the property has been preserved and is displayed in the Polk Home's courtyard. The site's landscaped grounds feature a formal boxwood garden, a white azalea garden, and a wildflower garden.


Keleen Carlson

Sunday, April 29, 2018
Awesome place! Even better tour guide! If you can get Zach as your tour guide you do well. I have never seen someone so passionate about what he does as this guy. The house is kind of small by today's comparisons but at the time these people were some of the elite of our culture. Beautiful gardens in the back as well great place for photography or just relaxing and enjoying the history of the area.

Melissa Morales

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Absolutely loved this place went on a field trip with my daughter's school. Even as I adult I learned a lot. I will go back and take my other children.

Joshua Nelson

Monday, April 2, 2018
Very interesting tour and knowledgeable staff made it a great trip for our entire family. I have recommended this trip to several friends.

Joel Friddell

Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018
As a resident of Columbia, I highly recommend a visit to this Presidential home. I have been a few times because there is so much to learn about James K. Polk and there are new displays at the museum regularly. Definitely a reason to visit Columbia, but also a must when friends or family are in town.

Donna Jenkins

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017
Went here back in the summer. This was really interesting! The dossier was very knowledgeable. It's cool that places like this are still around. I am a history buff and love learning about families and places in American history. Check it out!

James K Polk Home And Museum is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media