The plantation was caught in the middle of the Civil War and officers from both the Confederate and Union armies stayed in the mansion. The most notable visitor to the home was Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who stayed at Oaklands in December 1862.
The last residential owner of Oaklands, Rebecca Jetton, moved out of the house in the 1950s when she was no longer able to maintain it. The abandoned mansion was vandalized and left in disrepair. The city of Murfreesboro acquired it in 1958 with the intention of tearing it down. However, the mansion was restored to its original grandeur by a group of women who rallied together to form the Oaklands Association. The home was opened to the public as a museum in the early 1960s and now receives thousands of visitors annually.