It's so good to be back in the Belmont Mansion again and to be writing the second book in the Belmont Mansion series (title forthcoming). The first book, A Lasting Impression, released last fall and the second book in the series is slated to release about a year from now.
This past Friday I had the pleasure of having lunch with Mark Brown, the Executive Director of the Belmont Mansion who's in his 26th year as curator. Mark not only knows everything about the Belmont Mansion and Adelicia Acklen, he's also a fabulous guy. I couldn't write these Belmont Mansion novels that include such detailed history about the house and all the Acklen happenings without his assistance. He's been invaluable.
With Mark Brown at Belmont Mansion, Nashville, TN
With Linda about to go "down under"
Well… Friday he and I went spelunking, of sorts, with another good friend (and docent) from the mansion, Linda Patrick. We walked the distance from the mansion down to the water tower (that still stands today, pictured below), to where the conservatory stood in Adelicia's day (circa 1850), then went underground into what was the "furnace room" underneath the main section of the greenhouse.
The next series of photos are from the furnace room down below...
Notice the arches throughout the construction down here. These served as a support to the brick floors just above in the conservatory itself. There were cast iron stoves down here, and it was the responsibility of the undergardener's assistants to...