Trunk and School Room

Restoration of the Trunk room and School room were completed at the same time as Adelicia's Master Bedroom.

Trunk Room

The smallest room attached to the Master Bedroom is the Trunk Room, a necessity for a family of frequent travelers. The Acklen's owned at least 30 trunks and used them while visiting cities all over the world, from New York to Rome. The recreation of such a rarely documented space adds much to the modern interpretation of the mansion.


Trunk rooms, an outgrowth of 18th century lumber-rooms, were in many ways the predecessor of the modern-day closet. Originally, lumber-rooms contained multiple shelves for storage. By the 19th century, as travel became easier and more acceptable, multiple shelving space gave way to multiple trunk space. From that point on, storage space was often designed into houses just like Belmont's trunk room. And much like our closet, though designed for a specific use, such rooms often became catch-alls.


The trunk room's role as an indispensable, versatile storage space is represented by boxes, clothing and trunks of various sizes and materials - from leather to canvas. A lift-top cedar chest represents more permanent storage for everyday items, including a laundry basket, hoop skirts and cloaks.

Private school rooms were common during the 18th and 19th centuries.


Attached to the other side of the Master Bedroom is a room we have chosen to interpret as a School Room. While we do not know the original location of this room, we have made every effort to recreate here this important space that Adelicia designated to the education of her four surviving children, as well as various nieces and nephews.


Private school rooms were commonly found in houses lived in during the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the wealthy were usually the only ones who were able to hire live-in tutors. In homes without the means, parents and relatives filled this role for the young members of the family.


The various objects collected in this room depict some of the subjects that composed a classical education of the time – from geography to geology, geometry to Greek thought – including prints, maps, seashells, minerals, architectural models and busts of classical figures.


Perhaps the object that most defines this room as a school room is the school table, which serves as the room’s focal point. On it, one can find the laptops and tablets of the day – personal slates.

School Room

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Belmont Blvd & Acklen Avenue 

Nashville, TN 37212


1900 Belmont Blvd

Nashville, TN 37212


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The architecture of Belmont Mansion makes it one of the most significant homes of 19th century Tennessee.

Sold by the Acklen family in 1887, the house went to a developer who began one of Nashville’s early suburbs.

It was then purchased by two women who in 1890 started a college which evolved into Belmont University. Today the Belmont Mansion Association, which was formed in 1972, owns the collection, runs the museum, and shares this unique story of 19th century Nashville with visitors from far and near.

Photos by Ed Houk