Welcome to the Polk Home & Museum

Site Features

Main House

See original possessions of President and Mrs. Polk including furniture, paintings, and White House china.

The only surviving residence of James K. Polk other than the White House, this painted brick structure is one of the best examples of Federal-style architecture in Tennessee. Samuel Polk, a prosperous farmer and surveyor, built the 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 here 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.

Sisters’ House

Start your experience in our Visitors Center, the former home of James K. Polk’s sisters.

In our Visitor Center, lovingly called “The Sisters’ House,” you’ll find everything you need to start exploring the site. A friendly face will greet you at the front desk where you can purchase tickets, find a souvenir in the Museum Shop, watch an introductory film, and explore some of our world-class presidential collection in the Museum Room. Visitor restrooms are located here.

Museum Room

Walk chronologically through James K. Polk’s life, from his sickly childhood on the frontier through his remarkably accomplished single term as President and tragic death. This permanent exhibition in the Visitor Center highlights key objects from our presidential collection.

The Museum Room is currently closed for renovations. We look forward to opening the new Museum Room in Spring 2024.

The Gardens

Stroll among original objects from James K. Polk’s home in Nashville.

Within the walls of the Polk Home grounds, you’ll find a a revival-style boxwood garden featuring ironwork and a fountain from the Polks’ downtown Nashville mansion.

The Kitchen

Get a taste of everyday life in the Polk era.

The Polk Home’s detached kitchen building was reconstructed in the 1930s and 40s on its original foundation. Experience life and labor in the early 1800s where an enslaved cook prepared food and did other household chores for the Polk family. Hearth cooking demonstrations are available on special occasions.

Polk Presidential Hall

Original, rotating exhibitions 

There is always something new to discover in Polk Presidential Hall! In this repurposed 1880s church building, Polk Home staff curate original exhibitions about James K. Polk, the presidency, and life in the 19th century. Our current exhibition, “Shaping a Nation: Tennessee Volunteers & the Mexican-American War” runs through summer 2023. “Shaping a Nation” is funded by the Tennessee Wars Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission.

Upcoming Exhibits
Call for artists!

Call for artists! The Polk Home is seeking six (6) Middle Tennessee artists to participate in an outdoor,…

© 2024 President James K. Polk Home and Museum

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