Images of the Past

It is amazing what you can find online these days.

While surfing the web a few months ago, one of our former employees stumbled across some images of the Acklen family in a family tree record that no one at the Mansion had ever seen before. We contacted the tree’s maker, hoping they would send us copies of the images, but were pleasantly surprised when she decided to donate the original images to us.

The first two are both daguerreotypes. Daguerreotypes were the first type of photographic image sold commercially and consisted of an image on a silvered metal plate. Because of the materials, the image is highly reflective (like a mirror) so they can be hard to photograph.

These two images we received are of Oliver Bliss Hayes (Adelicia’s father) sitting beside either Joseph Hayes Acklen or Lysander McGavock Hayes, as well as an unidentified older women.

Three more of the images are carte-de-visites, which are also commonly known as CDVs. CDVs consist of an albumen print (the first commercial printed paper image) attached to a heavier card. They were generally small (2.5” x 4” when attached to their card), making them something easy to collect, trade, and share with friends.

These CDVs include a full length image of Adelicia taken in a Nashville studio, as well as two images of the children taken while the family was on their Grand Tour in 1866-1867. William Acklen appears in one wearing a faded blue bow and in the second he appears again with all of his siblings, Joseph, Claude, and Pauline.

The final donated image is a Cabinet Card, which is produced similar to the CDV only it was a bit larger, and it is of Adelicia.

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Elopement Packages at Belmont Mansion

Intimate and elegant wedding ceremonies are popular at Belmont Mansion! 


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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