Falcon Rest began with entrepreneur Clay Faulkner begging his wife to move next to their woolen mill, located in downtown McMinnville, Tenn. He promised her that if she would move, he would build her the “grandest mansion in Tennessee.”
Luckily for Faulkner, she obliged and in 1896, their solid brick, 10,000 square foot Victorian mansion was constructed. The mansion has been called “Tennesse’s Biltmore” by PBS and was built with all of the ‘modern conveniences’ of the day including electric lights, indoor plumbing, and even central heating.
The mansion was converted into a hospital and nursing home in the 1940s and just a decade later in the mid-1950s, it was renamed Faulkner Springs Hospital, with a Dr. J.P. Dietrich constructing additions onto the building. The hospital closed in 1968, after which Dietrich stripped out much of the woodwork in an unsuccessful attempt to tear down the solid brick structure. His failed attempt to deplete the building resulted in the space sitting empty for over a decade.
It was not until 1989 that George McGlothin bought the old house at auction, a mere ghost of its former glory. He and his wife Charlien entered into a four-year restoration process, completing an estimated 95 percent of the work between just the two of them. They received recognition for their work and in 1997 were awarded with the National Trust’s Great American Home Award for restoration.
Today, the award-winning property is filled with museum-quality antiques and toured daily by those who enjoy its historic story and aesthetic appeal. It is open seven days a week, year-round, for historic home tours, group entertainment shows, delicious meals, 1890s shopping, weddings and other events. For more information about the home and its events, visit here.