Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Harris-Collier-Holland Farm

Marker ID:  
Location: on North Carroll Street 0.3 miles north of East Smith Avenue, Mc Kenzie, TN
County: Carroll
Coordinates: N 36° 8.603    W 088° 30.392
  36.14338333    -88.50653333
Waymark: None


Harris-Collier-Holland Farm
One Family's Story

Albert Gallatin Harris purchased this farm in 1829 and built the present house in 1857. After camping on the land during the Civil War, Union troops ransacked the farm, killing or stealing all the livestock. They did not burn the house because the Harris family had cared for a sick Union officer and nursed him back to health. When Union soldiers stole Harris’s nine-year old daughter Ada’s pony, she angrily shouted after them, “I hope he throws you and breaks your damn neck!”

According to a former slave, Harris and his son John hid silver coins under the brick floor in the basement and paper money underneath the horse troughs. The slave and Lucy Pernecia, Harris’s wife, checked each day to make sure it had not been stolen by passing Union soldiers. At age fifteen, John Williamson Harris ran away from home in 1863 and joined the 20th Tennessee Cavalry under Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s command. Harris served as a courier for the remainder of the war.

Family members have found oak trees on the property with long metal spike driven into them by the troops who camped there, as well as ax heads and a bayonet. The farmhouse is the only remaining residence in McKenzie that sheltered both Federals and Confederates. Family receipts confirm that members of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry frequented the farm between 1862 and 1865. Confederate Capt. William Lindsay purchased corn for $2.50 per bushel to feed Forrest’s horses and procured the services of Harris’s blacksmith to “nail on sixty-two horseshoes.”

Although remodeled in 1957, the house still retains the original frame beneath the brick, as well as the basement fireplace, hand-hewn beams, and the foundation. This Tennessee Century Farm has been placed under a permanent conservation easement with the Land Trust for Tennessee.

Tennessee Civil War Trails..