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.

Standard Tour (Up to 80 students - $5.00 per student, 80 or more students - $6.00 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 trading, woodworking, blacksmithing, and an 18th century schoolhouse lesson.  Other activities may include gardening, laundry, or games.  Activities and demonstrations available may vary depending on weather, time of year, and volunteer availability.

Frontier Life Focus includes at a minimum four of the demonstration stations listed below:

Hands on Activities

Woodworking Tools Working with wood was an important skill to have in the 1780s. Learn the names of basic tools and how to use them.

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 This 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 late 18th century. Students of all ages will learn about manners, reading, writing and arithmetic. Students will practice arithmetic and writing with a quill pen. 

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. 

What No Computers? What Do You Play With? No electronics? What is a kid to do? Experience the joys of simple toys that children played with long ago. Toys of the past are demonstrated and students are invited to play with them.

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.