Welcome to the Belmont Mansion: Past and Present. The historic Belmont Mansion is located in Nashville, TN and was home to one of the wealthiest Southern women of her time, Adelicia Acklen. Adelicia was born in 1817 into a prominent family in Nashville, about 50 years before the civil war. At age 22, Adelicia married a wealthy plantain owner and slave trader, Isaac Franklin. When he passed away a short seven years later, Adelicia was left a million dollar inheritance. A few years later, she married Colonel Joseph A. S. Acklen, but not before signing a prenup to maintain control of her wealth. Her and Acklen began construction of their summer home, Belmont, named after the hill it sat on. Construction was completed in 1856. The couple and their children spent their summers at Belmont before eventually turning it in to their permanent residence. Colonel Acklen died in the Civil War and Adelicia married once more to Nashville physician Dr. William Cheatham. Their wedding ceremony was held at Belmont where the couple spent most of their time. In 1887, Adelicia sold Belmont to a land development company and moved to Washington, D.C. She passed away later that year.
In 1890, two women bought the Belmont Mansion and opened a school for girls, Belmont College for Young Women. The mansion was gutted and used as dormitories and classrooms. This school later merged with Ward Seminary to become Ward-Belmont College. The school changed ownership again and in 1952 became the coeducational college now known as Belmont University. Belmont University owns the Belmont Mansion and along with the Belmont Mansion Association, has nearly restored the mansion to its original state.