Saturday, May 22, 2010
Just a short drive from my home in southern Indiana is a great place for a day trip. Mansker's Station Frontier Life Center is located off I-65 (exit 97), in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, just north of Nashville. It is the perfect place to learn a little history by seeing and hearing about life as it was.
The reconstructed fort is approximately one-quarter of the size of the second fort built by Kasper Mansker and represents the way it looked in 1779. Mansker's first fort was destroyed when it was attacked by Indians. Mansker was one of the Longhunters and a contemporary of Obadiah Terrell
After watching a brief film on the history of the fort, interpreters in period costume take you through the fort, explaining the function of each building. It was interesting to me that cabins with hard-packed dirt floors were warmer than cabins with planks floors as cold air came up through the cracks in the wooden floors. In one cabin, the cracks between planks were stuffed with rope to block cold air.
Nearby is the following sign:
Just across the wide lawn is the Bowen Plantation House, which was built circa 1787 by Revolutionary War veteran, Capt. William Bowen and remained in the Bowen family until the 1960s. It is furnished as it looked in the mid-1800s and is also open to the public.
Goodlettsville is a bit off the beaten path for tourists, but it is a wonderful day trip and the fort and plantation house provide glimpses of life we don't often see.