News + Events

Hardeman House Grand Re-Opening Set for Aug. 21

Henderson, Tennessee - Aug 13, 2019

Restoration of the Hardeman House, home of long-time Freed-Hardeman President N.B. Hardeman, has been completed. FHU will host a ribbon cutting and viewing of the house Aug. 21 at 2:00pm.

The two-year, $500,000 project was funded by members of the Hardeman and Bradshaw families. Extensive repairs have been made to the both the interior and exterior of the house, including new custom windows and Hardy Board siding, along with reconstruction of the front porch. In addition, new wiring and plumbing have been installed. Bead board ceilings have replaced sheet rock, and hardwood floors have been refinished. Shaker-styled cabinets and ceramic tile floor have been installed in the kitchen. The tile is also in the sunroom. A concrete driveway has been poured, and parking has been expanded. Henderson contractor Tony Rush supervised the restoration of the house. 

N.B. and Joanna Tabler Hardeman built the house at 307 White Avenue in 1915 for their family. Upon occasion, female students also boarded with the Hardemans. Joanna Hardeman had inherited the property from her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. John McCulley. 

Designed by Hubert T. McGee, alumnus of Freed-Hardeman predecessor Georgie Robertson Christian College and architect of The Pink Palace in Memphis, the house features a series of twins: twin bay windows, twin staircases and twin fireplaces. When the house was built, it included two bathrooms, although running water was not yet available. That came a year later. The house was the first in Chester County to have electric lights; however, kerosene lamps were still necessary, since the town’s power went off at 11:00pm each day.

The grounds also included a horse barn, hen house, kitchen, rose gardens, three-car garage and riding track. Hardeman was a breeder of champion Tennessee Walking horses and an active board member of the Tennessee Walking Horse Association. The barn housed his most celebrated horses, Sun’s Dark Lady and Maid of Cotton.

Freed-Hardeman College purchased the house in 1974 with the help of alumnus Guy N. Woods, who served as moderator of the Annual Bible Lectureship Open Forum for many years. He contributed the proceeds from the sale of “Questions and Answers, Vol. I,” which he had compiled and edited from questions asked and answered at the Lectureship.

 

The FHU Associates have their office in the house, and the house is available for meetings, luncheons, receptions and small weddings. A committee comprised of Associates Laurel Sewell, Kay DeLay, Debbie McLaughlin, Tracie Shannon and Ann Tucker have been heavily involved with the project. Those interested in reserving the house for an event may email associates@fhu.edu or call 731-435-1091.