|Name||Oaklands Historic House Museum
900 North Maney AvenueMurfreesboro, TN 37130
|Brief Description||An elegant mansion caught in the crossfire of the Civil War
|Description||Oaklands, the plantation home of the Maney family, is the only historic
house museum in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The story of Oaklands and the
Maney family reflects a time of prosperity in the antebellum south, as well
as the hardships suffered during the Civil War.
Oaklands began as a two-room brick house built between 1815 and 1820 by Dr.
James Maney (1790-1872) and his wife, Sally Hardy Murfree Maney (1793-1857),
who migrated to this area from North Carolina. Dr. and Sally Maney added
onto the house twice, once in the 1820s and again in the 1830s. After Sally
’s death in 1857, Dr. Maney passed management of Oaklands to his eldest son
Lewis (1823-1882), and his wife Rachel Adeline Cannon (1826-1911), daughter
of former Tennessee governor (1835-1839) Newton Cannon. Lewis and Adeline
added the front façade in the Italianate style by 1860, making Oaklands one
of the most elegant homes in Middle Tennessee.
During the Civil War, Oaklands was the scene of a battle and a presidential
visit. On July 13, 1862, Confederate cavalrymen under Nathan Bedford
Forrest surprised and defeated Federal forces camped on the front grounds of
Oaklands as part of a raid on Union-occupied Murfreesboro. The Maney family
watched the fighting from the tall windows of the mansion. Union Colonel
William Duffield of the 9th Michigan Infantry Regiment was seriously wounded
in the engagement, and taken into the house for treatment. He remained at
Oaklands for one month to recover.
In December 1862, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, stayed at
Oaklands as an honored guest of the Maneys. Davis came to Murfreesboro to
visit Gen. Braxton Bragg’s army camped in town and to get a better idea of
the military situation in the Western Theatre. He and several of his
generals dined in the parlor of Oaklands.
After the Maneys left Oaklands in 1884, it passed through a succession of
owners. After the last owner left in 1954, the mansion sat vacant and
neglected for several years and was sold to the city of Murfreesboro in
1958. When the city’s plans to demolish Oaklands as part of an urban
renewal project became known, a group of concerned local women mobilized to
save the mansion and formed the Oaklands Association in 1959. The city
agreed to give the house and 1/3-acre to the Association for the purpose of
establishing a museum. The house was opened to the public in 1962.
Oaklands survived the Civil War and the wrecking ball, and is one of
Murfreesboro’s most treasured landmarks. It was placed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 1974 and welcomes thousands of visitors each
|Time Allowance||Allow 1 1/2 hours
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