Martin Cheairs House or Ferguson Hall House

Built before 1854 by Dr. John Haddox.  The house was sold to Martin Cheairs.  Nathaniel Cheairs used it for ideas in building Rippavilla, just down the road.  Both Greek Revival homes have white-columned entrances that face north and west.  The ceilings are 12 to 14 feet high.  A suspended circular stairway, made of cherry wood is a prominent feature of the main entrance.  Martin Cheairs died in 1891.  In 1905 the Spring Hill Male college bought the house and 57 acres.  Later the Branham and Hughes Academy made additions to the house to accommodate  boarding students.  At this time the house became known as "Ferguson Hall," a name that still is in use.  In 1936 the Tennessee Orphan's Home bought the academy and moved the orphanage from Columbia to Spring Hill.  Today the Tennessee Children's Home has its main office on the grounds.  The beautiful old antebellum home is being opened to the public for the first time in its history.  The mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places.

During the Civil War, General Van Dorn was shot and killed in this house by an irate husband, Dr. George B. Peters after the General evidently had an affair with Mrs. Jessie McKissack Peters.  A vivid description of the room exists as does a fully documented account of Dr. Peter's version of the murder.  The room is being refurbished as close as possible to the way it was when General Van Horn was murdered.

Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 am -5 pm; Sun. noon-5 pm; last tours at 4 pm. Length of tour: 1 hour (mansion tour only);
Rates: rates available for groups of 10 or more; special rates also available for children (6-12).