Travellers Rest Plantation
In 1799, the two story structure with four rooms was built by Judge John Overton (1766–1833). Overton was an advisor and close friend of Andrew Jackson, judge at the Superior Court of Tennessee and co-founder of Memphis, Tennessee. Overton originally named the property Golgotha after the large number of prehistoric skulls that were unearthed while digging the cellar of the house. Archaeologists now know that these remains were part of a large Mississippian village site. Overton changed the name of the plantation to Travellers Rest in the early 19th century to reflect the recreational effect his home had on him after the long rides on horseback that he had to undertake as a circuit judge. Overton died at Travellers Rest on April 12, 1833.
An addition was made to the house in 1812 to accommodate members of Overton’s family. A long ell was added soon after 1820 when Overton married a widow with five children.
At the beginning of the Civil War, Overton’s widow occupied the home until her death in 1862. After her death, her son John and his wife Harriet and their children continued to occupy the home. The plantation’s farm, which covered 1,050 acres and was worked by 80 slaves.