James K. Polk Ancestral Home

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James K. Polk House
James K. Polk Ancestral Home is located in Tennessee
James K. Polk Ancestral Home
James K. Polk Ancestral Home is located in the US
James K. Polk Ancestral Home
Location W. 7th and S. High Sts., Columbia, Tennessee
Coordinates 35°36′53.71″N 87°2′14.36″W / 35.6149194°N 87.0373222°W / 35.6149194; -87.0373222Coordinates: 35°36′53.71″N 87°2′14.36″W / 35.6149194°N 87.0373222°W / 35.6149194; -87.0373222
Area 1.9 acres (0.77 ha)
Built 1816 (1816)
Architect Samuel Polk
Architectural style Federal
NRHP reference # 66000728
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966[1]
Designated NHL July 4, 1961[2]

The James K. Polk Ancestral Home is a historic house museum at 301 West 7th Street in Columbia, Tennessee. Built in 1816, it is the only surviving private residence of United States President James K. Polk. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2][1][3] It is open daily except select holidays for guided tours.

Description and history[edit]

The James K. Polk House is located just west of the commercial central downtown area of Columbia, at the southwest corner of West 7th and South High Streets. It is an L-shaped brick building, two stories in height, with a gabled roof. The front facade, facing West 7th Street, is three bays wide, with the main entrance in the rightmost bay, recessed in a segmented-arch opening. The door is flanked by sidelight windows and topped by a semi-oval transom window with tracery, and the interior walls of the recess are paneled. The other bays house windows, which are topped by lintels of brick and a stone keystone. The interior retains finishes period to its construction, but has otherwise been adapted for museum displays. The property includes a reproduction of the kitchen outbuilding that would have been present during Polk's residency; none of the outbuildings from his time survive.[3]

The house was built in 1816 by Samuel Polk, and was the home of his son, U.S. President James K. Polk, for several years as a young adult. It is the only surviving private residence associated with President Polk to survive. James lived in the house until 1819, when he left to read law in Nashville, and for a time after his return to Columbia, where he opened his law practice. The house remained in the Polk family for many years, and passed through several owners before its acquisition by the state of Tennessee in 1929.[3] The museum is operated by the James K. Polk Association. The fountain on the site was moved here in 1893 after Polk Place, the president's later home, was demolished.

On March 27, 2017, the Tennessee Senate voted 20-6 to relocate the remains of President Polk and his wife Sarah Childress Polk from the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville to the house.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "James K. Polk House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  3. ^ a b c Polly M. Rettig & Frank B. Sarles Jr. (January 23, 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: James K. Polk Home" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying four photos, exterior, from 1975 (32 KB)
  4. ^ Burke, Sheila (March 24, 2017). "Plan to dig up President Polk's body – again – stirs trouble". Yahoo. Associated Press. Retrieved March 26, 2017. 
  5. ^ Resolution to move former President James K. Polk's body approved - CBS News

External links[edit]