Rock Castle historic home in Sumner County Tennessee photo of a rock wall

Rock Castle

Today we are visiting Rock Castle, in middle Tennessee.  Rock Castle is one of the oldest homes in middle Tennessee with the building being started soon after the arrival of Captain Daniel Smith and his family.
Captain Smith was a graduate of William and Mary College and was later in the committee to frame the U.S. Bill of Rights, a territorial secretary and one of the earliest state senators. He served in the Revolutionary War as a Captain and was appointed by Patrick Henry as a justice of the peace. He served in the Washington County (NC later TN) milita.
A tent set up by the lake with women dressed in Revolutionary War era clothing working on a sewing project together. Baskets are hanging from the tether ropes and rocking chairs and wooden stools sitting about. Rock Castle History Days by


  President George Washington trusted Smith and at one point appointed him Secretary of the Territory south of Ohio / southern territory. He was made Commissioner of Roads, Sheriff, Commissioner of Tax, Indian negotiator, was a map maker, and would make maps of Kentucky and Tennessee. He named the state “Tennasee” or “Tanasi” after a Cherokee settlement. Smith drafted the Tennessee Constitution for Tennessee and was one of the people to draft and submit a federal constitution to the Continental Congress in 1796.

Horse tethered to a tree and a white tent behind it at Rock Castle History event in Sumner County Tennessee by


Captain Smith married Sarah Michie in 1773. Sarah was from Virginia born in 1755. Her father having built a successful tavern there near Charlottesville.  Sarah’s family were friends to the founding fathers of our nation. 
Sarah and her new husband moved out into the Virginia frontier and that is where they began their family together. 
A hand painted sign that reads Govan Coffee House and Root Beer at the Rock Castle Living History Event


They had a boy George and a daughter Mary Ann and lived in a small cabin there in the woods. Ten years later with two children, they moved to what would be Sumner County, Tennessee, the home of the Smith family forged out of the forest on land he received as a land grant for his service in the Revolutionary War by the government.  The family felled trees on the original 3,140 original acres to build their first home on the property which was a small log cabin.  This first home being destroyed by Indians who burned it to the ground.  
Man dressed in colonial attire standing by wood carved toy long guns with a little girl in a modern sundress looking up at him and saluting him at Rock Castle living history event in Sumner County Tennessee by


Over the next ten years the Smith family worked on the construction of Rock Castle, a home built out of the native limestone.  The first stone house was a three-story house, with a kitchen, a bedroom, and an attic. It was built in three sections and the home has stood on this ground for over 200 years. It was built along the Cumberland River and Drakes Creek.  When Old Hickory lake was created much of the land was covered by the new lake.

Mr. Smith was best friends with President Andrew Jackson and Mrs. Smith was friends with his wife Rachel, their daughter fell in love with Rachel’s brother and they ran away together and eloped. Her father was so enraged when he found out that he disinherited her causing much pain in the family, only giving his forgiveness when she delivered her first child. 



The Rock Castle land was further reduced by selling off to local builders for housing so the land that remains is only 18 acres including the family cemetery and a small pound. The house now belongs to the state of Tennessee.
Rock Castle is available for:
  • Tours
  • Visit Their Nature Trails
  • Visit the Historic Cemetery
  • Living History Events
  • Field Trips
  • Concerts
  • Wedding Events
  • Camps
  • Easter Egg Hunts
  • Christmas Events
  • Educational  Events
  • Nashville Symphony Events by the Lake 
  • and so much more

Check out the website for specific events, location and times

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