The Oaklands House in Murfreesboro is nearly 200 years old and ranks as the second-most visited tourist attraction in Rutherford County.
Much more than an old house full of antique furniture, the historic mansion is in itself a history lesson on the very beginnings of Murfreesboro.
Museum director James Manning is the man when it comes to the Oaklands House, which was built in 1815 by Dr. James Maney and his wife, Sally.
Visitors these days leave with Rutherford County tidbits such as the home's connections to town namesake Col. Hardy Murfree.
"When our tours begin, we ask tourists why they're here and what they're interested in - whether it's the furniture, Civil War history or architecture. We try to match the tour to their needs and interests," Manning said.
As pretty as everything is inside the home, the beauty can never overshadow darker times. Some 20,000 soldiers were killed or wounded in one day, New Years Eve 1862, in the Battle of Stones River.
"About right here where we're sitting now, the skirmish was on the front lawn by the front fence," Manning said. "And the children who lived here gathered at the window and watched the troops as they fought on the front lawn."
The Oaklands House is open to visitors every day of the week except Mondays. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children and free to kids ages 5 and younger.
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