The Pillars

Explore Bolivar, TN

The Pillars

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     “The Pillars” (ca1826) was home to the politically and socially prominent Bills family.  The house once accommodated such notable guests as Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, James K. Polk, and Jefferson Davis.  The Pillars served as a military headquarters and a hospital during the Civil War, while trying to stay neutral in a war torn battlefront. 
      Bolivar’s oldest brick home was once a small Federal style brick house built around c. 1826-28 by Robert Murray, who sold it to Catherine Lea, wife of Saturday Evening Post publisher John Lea of Philadelphia in 1828.  A cousin of Lea, John Houston Bills, now a successful settler, purchased the house 1837.  Over the next thirty years, Bills oversaw the expansion of the house in its present form and furnished it through buying trips to New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.  
     After John Houston Bills' death in 1871, family members lived in the home until his last unmarried granddaughter died in the 1960s the family donated the house intact to the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities (APTA).  The home still has most of the original family furniture and artwork which includes many first for West Tennessee, such as not only the county's first brick home, but first skylight, county's first indoor bathroom, 2 kitchens, county's first lending library, a chimney with a doorway built through it!  This and much more makes this must see place on your next trip to West Tennessee.  Bolivar has over 200 buildings and homes on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places... here are a few: 

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The Pillars
Open Year-round
Ph: 731-518-7148
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For the most up-to-date hours and information, please contact The Pillars directly.

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