Last week as part of my birthday present to myself I spent a chunk of the day, down the road, at Belle Meade Plantation. It is one of the earlier historic homes in the area and earned it's fame from raising and racing horses. (We were told that ALL the racers at the Kentucky Derby this year are descendants of Bonnie Scotland out of Belle Meade). The original family sold the property because of raids by local Indians. The new owners started out in a small log cabin which is still on the property. Eventually a small mansion was built and added on to later. Personally I find the exterior of the house quite unattractive BUT the inside is amazing. For me what remains of the extensive grounds and the utilitarian out buildings are the real interest.
The plantation has trees that are OLD, old, old. I took this photo from inside the lower canopy of one of them. Yes there is a tree growing into the roof and yes that is a whooole lot of moss growing on the wood shingles :)
The original log cabin. Right hand side is the oldest part. Left hand side is the add on to allow for a growing family. It later became the home for the head hostler. I have photographs of the inside that I will share at another time.
One of the casual walking "avenues".
Outside the smokehouse with part of the stables in the background. The stables had to be completely renovated and now house the family carriages. It is also used for other temporary exhibitions.
Just because I like the effect :)
One of my favorite spots. The "lean to" on the right is the greenhouse. Tiny !!!!! If you look really close you can see a photographer taking a nap under the tree :) The young couple in the background did the house tour at the same time as me. Their baby was a delight to be around.
Part of the entry to the formal garden.
One of the slave houses. It's actually two homes connected with a half dog trot. There is an interesting and very sobering exhibit inside .
The current visitors entry to the mansion. This is where tours start. The house was originally a "two up -two down" (part of which you can see here) and had significant additions made later. The in-costume docents are hilarious. The house is "going green" soon which they reckon will cut heating and air costs by half.
The bell outside the smoke house. If you look at the wall behind, the open brick pattern shows up in a lot of the buildings on the grounds. Probably meant for ventilation.
Just 'cause I was intrigued by the double doors. This is actually, for me, the prettiest building on the grounds but the rest of my photos did not turn out too well :(
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