Antrim is located 3 miles south of Columbia, TN. The home has the special distinction of being Maury County’s first brick home south of the Duck River. It was originally two stories stacked atop each other with an entrance hall, and was built by Joseph Brown Porter in 1810. He and his first cousin, Col. Joseph Brown, had ventured into this area in 1806. Both were on hand when the first court met at Col Brown’s Dec. 21 of the following year and elected Joseph Porter as clerk.
James K. Polk received some of his earliest education with these families at the Brick Meeting House built near the old pioneer graveyard behind Antrim. Sometime in the late 1840’s Antrim enjoyed a white-pillared face-lifting from its new owner, John Mourning Francis. The size of the original house was more than doubled as the home entered the more elaborate Planter Age of the Old South. Antrim and its remaining 300 plus acres were the hub of activity in this area for many years.
The Civil War was no stranger to Antrim as an official skirmish was recorded in her front lots on Dec 23, 1864. Both armies camped here going to and coming from the Battles of Franklin and Nashville. Confederate General Frank Cheatham was a guest there in November of 1864 while Hood was at neighboring Beechlawn.
At the time when Peggy and Swope Fleming married, tenant farmers had inhabited the home for many years, and it was in disrepair. After their restoration, the couple raised five children on the farm. They chose the name, Antrim, for the county in Ireland from whence came the McGavocks, ancestors of both Peggy and Swope Fleming. For many years, Traveler’s Rest Arabian Horse Farm was the main operation of the farm as well as Traveler’s Rest Riding Camp. On the back of the farm is the location of Camp Nickajack, a local day camp for children that was operated for twenty one years.
Mrs. Fleming has said that Antrim wraps its arms around visitors, and that no one leaves here without feeling welcome and having had a wonderful time. As we open this location in 2011 for weddings and events, we hope that our visitors and guests will feel the same way as they make Antrim their destination.