Rattle and Snap

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Rattle and Snap
Rattle and Snap, Columbia (Maury County, Tennessee).jpg
Rattle and Snap in 1971
Rattle and Snap is located in Tennessee
Rattle and Snap
Rattle and Snap is located in the US
Rattle and Snap
Location 1522 North Main St., Mount Pleasant, Tennessee
Coordinates 35°33′42″N 87°9′22″W / 35.56167°N 87.15611°W / 35.56167; -87.15611Coordinates: 35°33′42″N 87°9′22″W / 35.56167°N 87.15611°W / 35.56167; -87.15611
Area 519 acres (210 ha)
Built 1845 (1845)
Architectural style Greek Revival
NRHP Reference # 71000825
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 11, 1971[1]
Designated NHL November 11, 1971[2]

Rattle and Snap (also called the Polk-Granberry House[3] and once known as Oakwood Hall) is a plantation estate at 1522 North Main Street in Mount Pleasant, Tennessee. The centerpiece of the estate is a mid-1840s mansion that is one of grandest expressions of the Greek Revival in Tennessee. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971 for its architecture, and for its association with the Polk family, once one of eastern Tennessee's largest landowners. The house is privately owned, but may be viewed by appointment.


Rattle and Snap is located on the south side of Andrew Jackson Highway (Tennessee State Route 243), roughly midway between the city centers of Mount Pleasant and Columbia; it is located at the eastern edge of the Mount Pleasant municipal boundary. The estate is presently more than 500 acres (200 ha) in size.[4]

The main mansion house is a large two-story brick building covered by a shallow hip roof. It is L-shaped, with a long front facade covered by a stepped two-story colonnade, and with the brick finished in stucco. The center portion of the colonnade is fully pedimented four-column Greek temple portico, which projects forward from flanking pairs of columns, and another pair of columns set behind the end columns of the temple front. The interior of the house retains rich woodwork and plaster decorations in the Greek Revival style.[4]


It was built in 1845 by George Washington Polk (1817-1892),[5] one of the sons of Colonel William Polk and a relative of President James K. Polk. His father was a North Carolina native and Revolutionary War officer who was appointed surveyor-general of the Middle District of Tennessee in 1784. The plantation originally stood on 5,648 acres (2,286 ha). Rattle and Snap was built with slave labor and is the largest, most extravagant mansion in Maury County.[6] George Polk and his family lived in this mansion for fifteen years, selling it in 1867 to Joseph Granberry. The Granberrys owned the property until about 1920, calling it "Oakwood Hall".[4]

During the American Civil War, many plantations and mansions in the South were either looted or burned by Union soldiers. Rattle and Snap survived. After the war, the Polk family went bankrupt and could not afford the land or the mansion; Rattle and Snap was sold to Joseph John Granbery in 1867. The Granberys lived in the mansion for over fifty years.[7][8]

It is said to have been given its name from the fact that the land on which it was built was won from the Governor of North Carolina in a game of chance called 'Rattle and Snap'.[9]

It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971.[2][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "Rattle and Snap". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  3. ^ https://loc.gov/pictures/item/tn0105/ Rattle & Snap, U.S. Route 43 (Andrew Jackson Highway), Columbia, Maury County, TN]
  4. ^ a b c d W. Brown Morton III (August 19, 1971). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Rattle and Snap" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying seven photos, exterior and interior, from 1971 (32 KB)
  5. ^ George Washington Polk on Find a Grave
  6. ^ "Rattle and Snap Papers." Albert Gore Research Center.
  7. ^ William R Polk, Polk's Folly: An American Family History, First Anchors Book Edition (New York: Anchor Books, 2001), xxiv; digital image, William R Polk, Family Search (familysearch.org )
  8. ^ "Rattle and Snap | Entries | Tennessee Encyclopedia". tennesseeencyclopedia.net. Retrieved 2015-10-02. 
  9. ^ Rattle and Snap Plantation website

External links[edit]