Gems from the Gent
What Our Guests Are Saying About
Group Tours at Falcon Rest

From the Nashville Corvette Club's Tire Smoke Newsletter,
by Janice Geng

Nashville Corvette Car Club Day TripThe first cruise of the year is in the books. Those of us who journeyed to McMinnville on Saturday the 23d, suffered from too many laughs. Who would have thought a murder mystery could be so funny and provide so much historical information. We had great weather for a cruise, the first time since last Fall, and the venue was fantastic.

George and Charlien Mc Glothin provided a fasinating and inspirational theme for a Saturday afternoon luncheon, Without a doubt, this is one of the top if not the best “road trips” the club has taken. It is worthy of a return visit to enjoy one of the other productions.

 
From the Nashville First Baptist Church Evangel Newsletter --
by Sam Sanders, minister of recreation/senior adults

"It was amazing a couple of months ago when 50 people paid to go on a Mystery Trip where they didn't know where they'd be going! At every turn on our journey we speculated as to where our destination might be. Turns out, it was a restored Victorian mansion named Falcon Rest in McMinnville, TN. It was the original home of the Clay Faulkner family, and recently celebrated its 110-year anniversary. Called Tennessee's Biltmore by PBS, the 10,000-square-foot, solid-brick mansion had all the modern conveniences when it was built in 1897, including electric lights, indoor plumbing, central heat and air, and even a telephone. Today, the mansion is furnished with museum quality antiques.

"We each had parts in a melodrama. Cards identifying our characters were given to us upon our arrival. We were seated at our tables, and as the host couple began to tell the story of "Murder at the Mansion," each of us stood and ad-libbed lines when our character appeared in the story. We were all characters of the family, the town, or of the era. For example, Bill Young played Jack Daniel and was good, really good! The drama was fun to the max, the food was excellent and we had a great time."

 

Red Hat group day trip in Tennessee
"We felt so pampered and had such a great time"
-- Kats in Red Hats, Hendersonville, TN

"We each had props and were to assume the characters of actual people from 1897 attending a banquet given by Clay and Mary Faulkner to celebrate the opening of their new mansion. We had such fun preparing for our roles and we really did become the stars of the show!!

"Our very own Queen Cleopurrrtra was picked for the local madam (Nan Meadows -- go figure!) Lady Felina was Anthia Hughes and packed a gun which she used at the end of the play to shoot the murderer ... and Baronnes Von Meow was Darthula, Mary Faulkner's mother. Such hilarious dialogue!!

"We enjoyed lunch in the beautiful Victorian Carriage House dining room. After the meal was completed and the murder was solved, we took a tour of the beautiful mansion and visited the Victorian Gift Shop, which had lots of things that could have been in the mansion in the 1890s.

"It was time to head back to Nashville. We had great fun laughing about the play and each of our roles."

 

"We are particularly happy we chose Falcon Rest. Great food, great friends, great times and better memories."
-- Chicks with Sticks, Crossville, TN

(We've left out last names used in this article to protect the guilty.)
"Arthur Conan Doyle, aka Anna, assisted Sigmund Freud in the interrogation of suspects of the Murder at the Mansion.

Anna played the part to the hilt and was laughing so hard she was crying. ... Fran and Barbara were temperance women leading the charge against the evils of drink -- can you believe that? Karen as Annie Oakley was dressed to the hilt, leather-fringed jacket and firearm to boot. Katy, as Wyatt Earp, stepped up to protect the temperance gals. We don't even want to mention the choir ladies. Needless to say, Amazing Grace never sounded so good.

"Falcon Rest is located just outside McMinnville and is well worth the time on the road. The mansion has been totally refurbished by the owners, the food is absolutely delicious, the gift shop is unique and the participation 'Murder Mystery' is absolutely great fun. Anyone who makes this trip is bound to have a great time."

 

Murder at the Mansion Called "Magical" by Local Adult Student
(who attended a fund-raiser with her college class)

"Although it has been over two months since I attended 'Murder at the Mansion' at Falcon Rest, I can remember the experience like it was yesterday. I remember that, in the beginning, I was quite apprehensive to attend the event. I needed extra credit because I had done poorly on my previous test, but I was apprehensive to shell out money for an event I knew so little about. Being a college freshman, I was afraid that I would have to sit awkwardly alone at a table. I honestly thought the night would be uncomfortable and boring. Thankfully, Mrs. Williams convinced me to attend, and I was, pleasantly and surprisingly, surrounded by a group of people who simply wanted to have an enjoyable evening. Although I have visited Falcon Rest in the past, my experience that chilly, rainy February night surpassed all others.

"The night's event began to unfold as each person was assigned a historical identity. I was designated the part of Susan B. Anthony, the great advocate of women's rights. I was honored to portray such a legend. As the party moved into the grand dining room, I found myself surrounded by other historic legends, many of whom once lived in McMinnville, Tenn. As the night continued, I realized that I was no longer sitting through a delicious meal for school extra credit, but was sitting in the presence of historical royalty. Of course, most everyone was dressed in 21st century attire, but clothes didn't matter much because the fellowship masked our appearances; we were simply capturing the human spirit, a character without a face. Everyone portrayed his or her character to a 'T.' I noticed that the people seated throughout the room were no longer my schoolmates, but historical peers. It was magical; everyone carried himself or herself a little bit taller, a little bit greater. The weight of the past lay on our shoulders, and we knew it. The event was unscripted, but no one seemed to care much; we spoke from the heart, making the night even more realistic, even more charming.

"It was almost a 'Cinderella' type of moment when the final gunshots rang out and the host and hostess bid everyone adieu. The audience once again realized that the night had been an enchantment and the spell had been broken. It was back out into the cold drizzle, a walk to our cars, and home. But, driving home that night, I took a trip down Main Street, it was not necessarily the fastest route home; in fact, it was a bit out of the way, but I felt compelled to take it. As I slowly cruised down the tiny road, I looked at the old buildings and, although it was dark, I saw them in a light I had never seen before. They were alive with the spirits of the men and women who had built and roamed them not so very long ago. I suddenly felt proud to be a part of something so special. As I crawled into bed that night, I drifted into dream knowing that I was born and raised in a small town, a small town with a big spirit. And that was good enough for me."

 

Last Modified March 2017

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931-668-4444 | 2645 Faulkner Springs Rd. | McMinnville, TN 37110 | falconrest@falconrest.com