Falcon Rest Mansion and Gardens, McMinnville, TN.  Where history is fun.
  Guided tours offered seven days a week, 9 to 5 Central time year round
  Three interactive shows combine history-based entertainment with meals and mansion tours.

Area Step-on Tour
School Groups
Scout Groups

  Victorian Gift Shop filled with unique 1800s treasures -- called "an attraction in itself"
  Charming Victorian Tea Room serving daily 9 to 5
  Falcon Manor B&B: Romantic bed & breakfast guest suites on grounds of Falcon Rest Mansion
  Storybook location for your Victorian Tennessee wedding: outdoor and indoor venues
  Delicious food in beautiful surroundings

Class Reunions
Christmas Parties
Business Events

Bridal Teas
Anniversary Parties
Red Hat Groups



"Edu-tainment" School  Field Trips
At Falcon Rest, students learn that history is
more than dry names and dates --
it’s about real people like them.
And they discover first-hand that history can be fun!

Elementary School at Falcon Rest Mansion

Built by “Gorilla Pants” manufacturer Clay Faulkner in 1896, this Victorian mansion has been called “Tennessee’s Biltmore” by PBS.

Students find out how families like the Faulkners lived at the turn of the last century, how “modern technology” changed the world 100 years ago, and how the Civil War affected local people — including young Clay, who was a “secret soldier” during that conflict. Choose from four history-based shows that make your students part of the past.


Vaudeville-Style History Show and Tour

When school groups arrive, the Victorian Gentleman, dressed in 1890s costume, takes the stage with stories about the Faulkners, their five children and the history of their home.

His fun-loving Vaudeville-style monologue keeps them laughing as they learn. A walk-through tour of the mansion is a feast for the imagination as well as the eyes. Though Falcon Rest is admittedly rich and elegant, it’s easy to visualize a real family living in its rooms. (During school tours, rooms in the mansion are roped off to somewhat restrict access, so the teachers won’t have a heart attack!)

School visits can include old fashioned games on the grounds and a “Coney dog” lunch (hot dog, fries, brownies and drink -- amusement parks were all the rage in the 1890s). Other menu options are also available.

Falcon Rest’s Victorian Gift Shop is a history lesson in itself. It’s filled with a myriad of items, from old-fashioned toys to books and musical instruments, like the Faulkner family could have owned when they lived in the mansion.

Presentation tailored to age group from kindergarten through high school. (Best choice for small home-school groups and younger children. No minimum, but smaller groups may be given a guided mansion tour instead of the Vaudeville-style show.)

"Murder at the Mansion"

Your students are the real stars of our original interactive murder mystery show.

They assume the characters of actual people from 1897 attending a dinner party given by Clay and Mary Faulkner to celebrate the opening of their new mansion. There are no lines to remember or pressure to participate, so they’re free to ad lib with the Falcon Rest players as much or as little as they like … and they can be counted on to come up with some pretty hilarious dialogue.

When a dastardly murder mars the celebration, audience members help special guest star Buffalo Bill Cody discover which one of them is the culprit! The kids will never forget the historical character they play.

Visit includes spaghetti meal, mansion tour, and shopping in the Victorian Gift Shop. Recommended for 5th grade and older. (20 person minimum)


"Ghost at the Mansion"

"Ghost at the Mansion" appeals to youngsters' natural fascination with haunts, though our alleged spirits are friendly instead of scary.

The "previously living" characters they assume span recorded history, from ancient Rome with Caesar and Cleopatra to modern pop culture with Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. The experience is sure to rouse their curiosity about history across the ages.

Visit includes spaghetti meal, mansion tour, and shopping in the Victorian Gift Shop.

Recommended for 5th grade and older. (40 person minimum)


Honeymoon Ball of General John Hunt Morgan

Based on first-person accounts of Civil War events in McMinnville during the spring of 1863, this interactive show is hosted by Gen. John Hunt Morgan, who later took his raiders farther behind Union lines than any other Confederate commander, and local poetess Lucy Virginia French.

Students assume the roles of Morgan’s 21-year-old bride Mattie, local citizens and Morgan’s soldiers. It’s set at a banquet and ball given to honor the Morgans and ends as 6,600 Union troops attempt to capture the General. The Civil War comes to life. Visit includes spaghetti meal, mansion tour, and shopping in the Victorian Gift Shop.

Recommended for students who are studying or have previously studied the Civil War, 5th grade and older. (20 person minimum)

The Victorian GentlemanGems from the Gent

Laughing While They Learn

The worst grade I made in high school was in history. When I went to college, the first "A" I made was, believe it or not, in history.

What was the difference? It was the teachers. My high school teachers taught history like it was dead. For that first college teacher, history was alive, and he made the people of history come alive to his students!

At Falcon Rest, the Victorian mansion where history is fun, it goes without saying that the young people in visiting school groups do a lot of laughing.

What the kids don't realize (and we don't tell them), is that the whole time they are laughing, they are LEARNING as well. And more than that ... they're discovering that the people of the past are real people, just like them. As one young lady commented to a friend at the back of the bus during our area step-on tour, "Now I love history."

I realized I'd succeeded in making history come to life when a first grader raised her hand and asked, "Is it true that, when you were a little boy, they really had horses and carriages instead of cars?"

As an elementary school Vice-Principal from Memphis told me recently, "What you do is 'edu-tainment.'"


Download our School Tour Profile Sheet for Details

The Vaudeville-style show may be scheduled with or without a meal.

The three interactive shows include a spaghetti meal.

Menus are simple to keep the food kid-friendly and costs low for student tours.

One teacher per class and bus driver complimentary.

Program schedule designed to fit time available.

  • Tour only: $4.50 each; adults $6
  • Coney Dog meal: $4.00 each
  • Chicken Strip meal: $4.50 each
  • Cookies and lemonade: $2.00 each
  • Interactive Show, Meal and Tour: $12 each
  • Add an area step-on tour for even more fun: $1 each
NOTE TO TEACHERS: To get the most out of your trip, have your students explore our web site (especially our "history" page), read a novel set in the 1890s, or study the history of the Civil War in Tennessee or the Gilded Age. Lists of characters students may portray during interactive shows are available on request for advance research if desired. Which characters will actually "attend" depends on the number of participants.

2645 Faulkner Springs Rd. | McMinnville, TN 37110 | 931-668-4444 | falconrest@falconrest.com

Last Modified April 2013. Falcon Rest Mansion and Gardens.