Since we had to make a quick stop in Nashville to allow Taylor to finish up some work on the new String Theory album, I jumped at the chance to visit the home of Andrew Jackson, The Hermitage! Being Oklahomans and growing up with the story of the displacement of the Native Americans so close to our hearts, taking time to learn about Andrew Jackson brought about meaningful conversations regarding history and how things are never as simple as they seem, and how “history” is a story of mankind that like any story will be told differently from different perspectives. We had a chance to really talk about what it means to be a good historian, and in all things to question what you know and never stop listening and learning.
The Hermitage land is beautiful and well-cared for and we enjoyed skipping around the grounds! Something we have done before, but didn’t do on this visit, is the wagon tour that takes you all over the farm and tells more about the lives of all the people that lived at the Hermitage. It’s a fun way to see the whole place, especially on a hot day. The house tour isn’t too long and is appropriate for all ages. Some on the highlights are the original wallpaper in the entry way, and the beautiful portrait of Rachel Jackson that hangs in Andrew Jackson’s bedroom.
A museum tour pet peeve of mine is when the docent seems too scripted and uninterested in the information they are offering. They have such a chance to inspire as they speak life into these places it feels like a waste when they fail to exude a little enthusiasm! Well, this was not the case on our tour of the Hermitage. We were lucky enough to have man named Jim Sharp who is an educator at the Hermitage filling in for one of the regular docents who called in sick. Listening to him speak about Jackson and his library with real interest, and with thoughtful answers to people’s questions made it all come to life! The kids all agreed after the tour that his part was the best because authentic interest is contagious!
Speaking of education, the Hermitage website has really good resources for pre-visit planning and school lessons HERE. I think there is a great benefit, not just for teachers, but for anyone taking children to a museum to take advantage of these types of resources to enhance the ability to connect with the information presented and retain it after your visit.
Thank you Viggo for being who you are and always keeping us from getting lost!
I feel I must explain what is happening here, which is all of her siblings are positioning her in order to get the perfect “I’m petting a Pokemon” shot 🙂
The money shot.