Falcon Rest Mansion – McMinnville, Tennessee - Atlas Obscura

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Falcon Rest Mansion

McMinnville, Tennessee

This lavish abode was once the home of the inventor of "Gorilla Pants." 

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Clay Faulkner, who founded Mountain City Woolen Mills in 1873, built his fortune on “Gorilla Pants,” a garment so durable he claimed even a great ape couldn’t tear them. In 1896, after the popularity of his trousers rose, Faulkner declared that he would build “the grandest mansion in Tennessee” for Mary, his wife, as a gift

For the time period, Falcon Rest was considered especially lavish, complete with central steam heating, a telephone, state-of-the-art electrical fixtures, and indoor plumbing. After Clay’s death, Mary moved to Nashville, Tennessee and sold the house.

Falcon Rest changed hands numerous times, serving as a home, hospital, nursing home, and now a tourist destination. Since 1989, the mansion has belonged to the McGlothin family, who have invested considerable capital into its restoration and preservation. In 1992, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. 

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Falcon Rest now offers tours, events, and overnight stays.

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November 1, 2023

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