1861 Girls School


Since 1991, young ladies aged 14-19 have come to Columbia, Tennessee, to become a southern belle for a week.  The girls are immersed in 19th century culture and live the dream of stepping back in time to the antebellum south of 1861.  See “The Week” tab for a sample daily schedule of activities and classes.  The week culminates with a formal commencement and grand ball.  Participants learn social graces they will take with them throughout life and have the opportunity to make lifelong friends.

The distinguished and experienced faculty of the 1861 Girls School strives to make the experience as authentic as possible, and we have many years of experience in passing on the time-honored traditions of the Old South.

This year we are again pleased to announce that the Girls School will be held at historic Antrim Plantation, set on 300 pristine acres.  Our dream of many years has come to fruition in that we will all be living in true boarding school fashion at Antrim Plantation, making this school the only one of its kind and one girls will never forget. 

The War Between the States was no stranger to Antrim Plantation as an official skirmish was recorded in her front lots on Dec 23, 1864. Both armies camped here going to and coming from the Battles of Franklin and Nashville. Confederate General Frank Cheatham was a guest there in November of 1864 while Hood was at neighboring Beechlawn.  Also, James K. Polk received some of his earliest education with these families at the Brick Meeting House built near the old pioneer graveyard behind Antrim.  We are thrilled to be able to share all of this history with our  students. 

Proceeds from this year’s school will be donated for the restoration and preservation of the mansion.

Mission Statement:

    The mission of the 1861 Girls School Association is the understanding and advancement of 19th century southern American educational practices and culture, as well as the preservation of historic sites.

See our coverage by Tennessee Home and Farm Magazine




A lovely adventure into a time of history and elegance.

Photo courtesy of

Susannah Flautt Photography

Class of 1861-Y