School Group Tour Descriptions

Mansker’s Fort is a replicated 18th century fort built near the original site of Kasper Mansker’s fortified 1779 station. The fort allows a hands-on approach to educating visitors about the 18th century as it was in Middle Tennessee.

The Bowen Plantation House was built c.1787 by Revolutionary War veteran, Captain William Bowen.  It is among the first brick structures built in Middle Tennessee and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Tours progress through three time periods of life and portray the lives of the home’s first three owners.

Mansker’s Station Standard Tour ($5.00 per student)
Visitors to the site will be guided through Mansker's Station and the Bowen Plantation by historical interpreters. The tour will address the aspects of early frontier life, ranging from the first Tennessee settlers at the station, to domestic life at the plantation. Groups may see daily chores done by the staff and volunteers that demonstrate the lives of early setters. Groups may also see a blacksmith working in his shop, ladies cooking on an open hearth, or a woodworker on his shave horse as living demonstrations of early settlers.  Activities and demonstrations available may vary depending on weather, time of year, and volunteer availability.

Frontier Life Focus Tour (Up to 80 students - $5.00 per student, 80 or more students - $6.00 per student)
Travel back in time with a visit to North Carolina, untamed western frontier, with the Mansker’s Station Focus Tour. This tour will make history come to life for school groups of all ages with live demonstrations and hands-on activities. In this tour, we offer activities such as farming and gardening, hauling of water, washing clothes, cooking, woodworking, blacksmithing, or an 18th century schoolhouse lesson. School groups can choose two activities to participate in that will provide a hands-on experience and help to build a bridge of understanding from the past to present. Activities and demonstrations available may vary depending on weather, time of year, and volunteer availability.

Frontier Life Focus - Hands on Activities (choose two)
Gardening

Help the frontier family with planting, weeding, watering or even harvesting the gardens.

Laundress

No washing machine? Haul water, wash clothes by hand and hang them up to dry, all in a day’s work on the frontier.

Passion for Fiber

Join the ladies at the fort as they demonstrate the many steps in processing raw wool into yarn. We can always use extra hands to help in carding, drop spindle, cord making (lucet), and inkle loom weaving.

Frontier Trading Post

The trading post will provide the student with a look at the economy during the times in which the fort was established.

18th Century School House Lesson

The schoolmaster or mistress will teach students about education in the 18th century.  Students of all ages will learn about manners, reading, writing and arithmetic.  Students will practice arithmetic and writing with a quill pen.

Toys

No electronics?  What do you play with?  Experience the joy of simple toys that children played with long ago.  Toys of the past are demonstrated and students are invited to play with them.

Frontier Life Focus - Demonstration Activities (choose one)
Blacksmithing

The blacksmith’s forge was an important part of a working 18th century life.  Many useful tools, household items, and repairs were made there. Watch the blacksmith in action as he works the forge and keeps the anvil ringing.

18th Century Tavern

The ladies are busy in the kitchen cooking dinner for the farm family. Come by and smell what they have prepared.  Soups, breads and pies, Oh my! Discuss the differences between kitchens of 1780s and today.

Plantation Life Tour (Up to 80 students - $5.00 per student, 80 or more students - $6.00 per student)
Step back into time and visit the Bowen Plantation House to explore Tennessee’s colonial life.  Students will visit a doctor’s office and learn about medicine and tools for procedures from the 1800’s.  Students will also get to witness period weaving and spinning techniques used to make cloth.  They will also have a chance to prepare the wool, cotton, or flax by picking and carding the harvested fibers. 

Grades K-3 will have Tomie Depaola’s book “Charlie Needs a Cloak” read to them as part of the program.

Groups of 50 or more will have an additional aspect of Toys from the 1700-1800’s added to their tour.

Moss-Wright Park Shelter Availability
An added bonus for school group tours is the availability of a large picnic shelter in Moss-Wright Park.  This amenity is provided at no charge to groups who book tours and is an ideal place to have lunch after the tour.  This shelter is adjacent to a large playground.  Please let us know if you would like to take advantage of this feature.

How To Make A Reservation
Please call Historic Mansker’s Station at 615.859.3678 to schedule a group tour or complete an online request.