Ramsey Plantation House

Constructed about 1797 for Francis A. Ramsey, the late-Georgian house has a central passage plan on both floors.  Ramsey’s eldest son, William B.A. Ramsey, inherited the house in 1820 on his father’s death.  In 1840, he sold it to his brother James G.A. Ramsey, who in turn gave it to his son Francis A. Ramsey as a wedding present in 1857.  In 1952 Knoxville Chapter of the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities purchased the house from a subsequent owner and began to restore it.  The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.

Last Saturday there was an open day and we went along to look at it. There was a Craft Fare in the grounds and the weather was lovely so we had a great time looking round the house and visiting all the stalls. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos inside the house so there are none of those to look at, but if you ever get the chance do visit it yourself.  It’s well worth the trip.

So here I am outside the house. There is a central door with a path leading up to it, but we were told that the original residents didn’t use the path much, preferring to go round the back because the area at the front of the house  is swampy. Opposite the house on the other side of the road was a large, swampy pond. At least one of the original owner’s children died from Malaria which was caused by a mosquito bite. Mosquitos breed in watery places. After the death of his dear child, the owner had the pond drained.  How sad to lose a little girl like that.

The house has a central door on the first floor, right above the main front door. This was used when furniture needed upstairs. The furniture would be hoisted up and through that door. To the right of the main house is a log cabin. You can see it in the picture. At first I thought this was going to be the kitchen, but later found out that it was the original house where the owner and his family lived whilst the main house was being built.  To build and own a house as large as this one made the owner a rich man because most people would have lived in a log cabin in those days.

The next picture shows the kitchen which was added on to the main house. Usually the kitchen was in a separate building owing to the risk of fire. If the kitchen caught fire, then it probably would not spread to the main house. That was their way of thinking back then.

This is a wooden house quilt on the wall. Isn’t it pretty?

One of the first stalls we came across was a friendly couple who were making and selling popcorn.

…and soon after a stall selling home-made ice cream. We had to try it!

Then I found this lovely old veteran from the Civil War and asked if I could have my picture taken with him. He obliged and this is the result.

Next picture shows the back of the home-made ice cream stall with all the paraphernalia needed to make the delicious ice cream.

The people at the next stall were cooking something delicious in a Dutch oven. From Wikipedia = Dutch oven is a thick-walled (usually cast ironcooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. Dutch ovens have been used as cooking vessels for hundreds of years. They are called casserole dishes in English speaking countries other than the USA (“casserole” means “pot” in French), and cocottes in French,

7 thoughts on “Ramsey Plantation House

  1. What a grand old house, especially for this period. You are correct about the Summer kitchens, being a seperate building from the main house, due to fire concerns, which were quite often !
    Love the pictures of you, especially with the “Red Coat” officer 🙂
    Homemade ice cream….what could be better .
    Lovely post, hope I get to visit there someday.
    ~Jo

  2. That is so sad about the death of that little girl. Amazing how such a tiny insect can be so deadly 😦

    I love the pictures and home-made ice-cream and popcorn – I’d never leave the place!

    I just saw you’re email to me today – I’ll respond shortly 🙂

    • Yes I was sad when I heard the story about the malaria. I didn’t know that was prevalent here. Speaking as one who is allergic to bites from mosquitos, I worried until I heard that the owner had drained the pond. There are so many dangers here that I don’t have back in England.

    • yes, this one had walls which were made of stone and they were 18 inches thick. Consequently the wooden shutters were constructed in such a way that they fitted into the deep recesses just perfectly. The rooms inside were lovely, but as I said we weren’t allowed to take pictures.

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