Riverside the McGavock Gaines House

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For Sale

Agent Details:
Donnel Milam

Donnel Milam
The Milam Group

Riverside was built by James Randal McGavock, Sr. (original owner Carnton Plantation) in 1835 as a wedding gift to his eldest son, James Randal McGavock and his wife Louisa. At that time, the land was part of the Carnton Plantation, with the Harpeth River dividing the two estates. During the building process, James Randall and Louisa lived in the log cabin (circa 1832) that still stands behind the property today and is used as a guesthouse for visiting family and friends. While the main house was still under construction, Andrew Jackson--a longtime friend of Randall McGavock, Sr.--paid a visit from The Hermitage and brought with him a gift of cedar saplings that he set out himself around the lawns. Several of those giant cedars still stand today. During the Battle of Franklin, the family sought shelter in the basement while the war raged on just across the Harpeth River. Some even witnessed the bloody battle from the brow of the hill overlooking the river. General Forrest and his Calvary then crossed the Harpeth River onto Riverside, and stayed as a guest at the main house. It was this event that gave the area its name today: Forrest Crossing. The Riverside of those early years is far different from the Riverside today. The first in a series of significant changes was the result of an extensive fire in 1905. James Gaines, the owner at the time, rebuilt the interior by using the original 1835 exterior brick walls. He also added the four white pillars and the sweeping second story veranda to transform the unpretentious working plantation into an elegant neo-classical home. Another interesting home fact: The house has always been painted white. The house has been home to several notable Franklin families, each contributing to the continual evolution of the home and grounds. In 2006, the Stilwells purchased and began their set of renovations, maintaining the original footprint of the home and in keeping with the integrity of the period. They began with the upstairs bathrooms, using period materials as much as possible dating c. 1900. They also renovated her dressing area and walk-in closet (using hardwoods from the old kitchen) before launching into an extensive renovation of the kitchen and butler’s pantry (originally the side porch) and the hearth room (originally the servant’s pantry). Justin Ebert of Ebert Construction discovered many windows, doors and brick walls that had been covered up over the years. He researched and carefully preserved and repurposed many original materials found during the renovation, such as bricks, windows and exposed ceiling joists. This important historical estate includes the main house, a log cabin, a banquet hall with guest accommodations, a smokehouse, a carriage house, a well house and a pool and is located on 6 ½ acres in the heart of Franklin. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1988.

MLS #:

Property Type:


Lot Size (acres):
6.7 acres

Size (square feet):


Move in ready

Additional Out Buildings:
Carriage House, Dock / Pier, Guest Cottage


1711 Forrest Crossing Circle Franklin
37064 Tennessee

Year Built:


Submission Date: