This morning we spotted an interesting brown sign informing us that the President James K. Polk State Historic Site in Pineville, North Carolina was nearby. We made a quick decision to reroute, found parking for our rig, and headed inside to learn more about the 11th President of the United States. There we met Kyle Booker who shared with us a wealth of knowledge about the site, the Polk family, and the presidency of James, the eldest son of Sam and Jane Polk. On Saturdays visitors can tour the historic buildings, that represent the kind of structures that would have been here during the Polk’s time, and visit a well curated museum that traces James life from his birth here in Mecklenberg County to Tennessee to the White House as well as watch a movie that gives a great overview of the contribution of Polk’s presidency to the United States of America that we know today. The historic buildings were not open today for tours but there is a North Carolina Museum of History video, Cooking for the Future President, on this page that was filmed on site and in those buildings. And Kyle shared with us the the site’s YouTube Channel with myriad long and short videos about James Polk and the organization that remember a remarkable public servant.One fun tidbit is that Polk’s Inauguration in 1845 was the first for which “Hail to the Chief” was a prominent feature. For us, this has been a great follow-up to our visit to the Polk House in Columbia, Tennessee in 2010.
South of Nashville, in the community of Columbia, Tennessee is the James K Polk Home and Museum. The only surviving residence of the 11th President of the United States, it was his parents’ home, where he spent his young adult years and much of his adulthood. It was slated to be his home in the years following his one-term presidency but illness claimed his life just three months after he left The White House. We toured the house and museum today and earned so much about James K Polk, Manifest Destiny, and the Mexican War. We also learned about his remarkable wife Sarah Childress Polk who continued to live here as his widow for another forty-two years following is death, always dressed in black.
Note: These photos were taken at the time of our visit in 2010, at a time when due to technical problems we were not blogging. This post was uploaded in 2021 after visiting President Polk’s birthplace.