Rattle & Snap was built atop a hill, seven miles west of Columbia, Tenn. in Maury County. It has been referred to both as “magnificent,” and “the most monumental house in Tennessee.” The home was originally built for George Polk, the son of William Polk. William was a North Carolina native who was appointed surveyor-general of the Middle District of Tennessee in 1784. The plantation originally stood on 5,648 acres.
Where does its unique name come from? George’s father William actually won the land that Rattle & Snap is built on during a game of, you guessed it, Rattle & Snap. This game of chance is believed to have been played with beans and been popular in the time. After Willam won the land, he allowed his four sons to built homes on it, and each built rather substantial homes on the property. At the point on the property where the four Polk sons property meet, the brother’s built St. John’s Episcopal Church.
While the home’s architectural style is unknown, it is generally attributed to German-American style. The thousand’s of bricks that were used in the homes’ construction were made on site and its foundations were cut from native limestone.
Ten portico columns were shipped from Cincinnati to Nashville for the home. From their arrival in Nashville, they were carried by oxen to the construction site. The home was built in an L-shape with two and a half stories and four porches.
Rattle & Snap Plantation was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and remains open today. Guided tours for groups ranging anywhere from 2 and more people are available by reservation only. Visit www.rattleandsnapplantation.com for more information or to reserve a tour.