Since 1929, the James K. Polk Ancestral Home in Columbia has been the main historic site for the 11th president of the United States.
The only remaining residence of Polk (excluding the White House), the circa 1816 home was built by Polk’s father Samuel, and is one of the best examples of Federal style architecture remaining in Tennessee.
Today the home at 301 West 7th St. houses more than 1,000 original items from James K. Polk's years in Tennessee and Washington, D.C., including furniture, paintings, and White House china. In 2009, The James K. Polk Memorial Association added an 1882 church building near the Polk home to the site. A $1 million project restored the church restored to its original appearance, garnering interest from the Tennessee State Museum, the White House Historical Association and the Smithsonian Institution. Called Polk Presidential Hall, the renovated space is a premier space that hosts temporary exhibitions and educational programming. Adjacent to the Polk House is the Sisters’ House, which features exhibits of Mrs. Polk’s ball gowns, jewels and other historic items from the Polk presidency.
The circa 1820 structure features some of the most unique and significant artifacts from the site's collections, including daguerreotypes of President and Mrs. Polk, White House gifts and mementos, campaign memorabilia from the Election of 1844, and Sarah Polk's Inaugural fan with miniature portraits of the first eleven Presidents. Although James K. Polk's final residence - a mansion in downtown Nashville - was torn down in 1901, a cast iron fountain from the property has been preserved and is displayed in the Polk Home's courtyard. The site's landscaped grounds feature a formal boxwood garden, a white azalea garden, and a wildflower garden.