Belle Meade Plantation’s Victorian Society

Looking for a great mix of fun and history?  Dive into a different time with Belle Meade Plantation’s Victorian Society in 2014!  We’ll meet once a month for various events celebrating the rich history of the Victorian Era.  These events will include movie nights in the mansion parlors, various excursions off property, free admission to the Antebellum Christmas Ball held in honor of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, and more!  Yearly membership is a mere $25 per individual and includes free admission to most* events.  The 2014 schedule is listed below.  For further information please contact Amy-Lee Gillard at

 For Victorian Society sign-up, click here.

Victorian Society 2014 Schedule of Events

January 25th
Movie in the Parlors: The Importance of Being Earnest
Come join us for a viewing of one of Oscar Wilde’s most famous plays.  This Victorian satire uses humor to examine the social institutions that governed everything from communications to sexuality during that time.  Light snacks provided.

February 22nd
Book Discussion: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
Considered by many to be one of the first true feminist novels, Anne Brontë’s final work tells the story of a young woman escaped from the confines of an abusive marriage.  Despite the obstacles, she finds her true love in the form of a kind farmer living nearby.  This scandalous subject contradicts Victorian values and even marriage laws but helped to open the door for important changes to be ushered forth.  The moral framework of this novel is tempered by Anne’s optimistic belief in the idea of universal salvation.  Light snacks provided.

March 29th
Sidesaddle Discussion and Display
The art of riding aside is a rare sight in modern times but Victorian Society members will have the opportunity to learn more about this beautiful style of riding from one of only three Tennessee instructors certified with The International Sidesaddle Organization.  Jeni Housley will be on site at Belle Meade Plantation to lead us in an informative discussion followed by a sidesaddle demonstration.  Before the presentation we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch.

April 26th
Glen Leven Excursion
Join us on an outing to Glen Leven Estate.  This more than 150 year old Oak Hill home that served as a field hospital during the Battle of Nashville has been preserved along with the 65 acres of open land surrounding it.

May 17th
Train Robbery Excursion
The Mackle and Wilson Gangs are on the loose again!  Rumors are they may attempt to hold up the Excursion Train en route to Watertown and even raid Watertown itself!  Come experience the excitement in traditional passenger train of cars from the last Golden Age of the passenger train in America!  All stainless steel heated, air-conditioned cars provide you with the experience that the American traveling public had in the late 1940s and 1950s.  The trip and the action in and near Watertown are sure to be memorable!  There might even be a shootout in Watertown amongst the US Marshall, and the Mackle-Wilson Gangs!  $42 first class ($32 Group discount if 16+ people)

 June 28th
Movie in the Parlors: Mrs. Brown
After the death of her husband, Albert, Queen Victorian is so deeply depressed that she disappears from public life.  Her servant, Mr. Brown, adores her and brings her back to life through caress and admiration.  However, this relationship creates a scandalous situation likely to lead the monarchy to crisis.  Light snacks provided.

July 26th
Horseback Riding Excursion
Come join us for a guided trail ride at Juro Stables. $ TBA 

August 16th
Game Night in the Parlors
Enjoy a night in the Belle Meade Mansion playing Whist; a popular card game from the 19th century.  Light snacks provided.


September 6th
Chukkers for Charity Polo Match
Get ready for a thrilling day of high action polo at the 18th annual Chukkers for Charity Polo Match AND Classic Car Show!  The Victorian Society of Belle Meade will have our own tent with food and drinks provided. $ TBA

October 18th
Belle Meade Murder Mystery Dinner
What (or who) killed Eunice Jackson Marks?  Join us for a spooky Murder Mystery Dinner that explores actual events in the history of Belle Meade Plantation! 

November 15th
Book Discussion: The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Reveled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime by Judith Flanders
This social history catalogs the Victorians’ parallel obsession with sensational crimes—real, fictional, and hybrids of both.  Learn about crimes and criminals that fascinated the Victorians, including Jack the Ripper and the body snatchers William Burke and William Hare.  This book will appeal to historical true-crime fans and Victorian-era enthusiasts alike.  Light snacks provided.

December 13th
Civil War Ball
Belle Meade Plantation will be hosting a Christmas themed Civil War Ball in honor of the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Nashville. Come join us for the historical festivities!

 *A select few special events will require an additional fee. These events are noted by the “$” above.



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