Meriwether Lewis National Monument and Park
Date Visited: January 18, 2020
Address: Meriwether Lewis Park Rd, Hohenwald, TN 38462
GPS: 35.50631 -87.45821
Website: National Park Service
On October 11, 1809, Meriwether Lewis was found dead from two gunshots at Grinder’s Inn. To this day it is still not known if it was suicide or murder. The Meriwether Lewis National Monument and Park marks the grave of the famous explorer. The shaft of the monument is broken, which according to what I’ve read, was a common custom in the 1800s. It apparently was broken to represent how a life was cut short by an untimely death.
Under a legislative act by the state of Tennessee in 1848 a monument was erected over the remains of Lewis. President Calvin Coolidge used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to establish the site as a national monument on February 6, 1925. In 1933 the responsibility of the national monument was transferred to the National Park Service. The Natchez Trace Parkway took over the monuments care on August 10, 1961.
Not far from the grave site stands a cabin that was built in 1935 which represents the site of Grinder’s Stand where Lewis spent his last night. (I’ve also read it’s been called Grinder’s Tavern, Grinder’s Inn and Grinder’s house so don’t quote me on that specific name!) One side of the cabin houses the park’s museum exhibits on his life and the other half gives you an opportunity to speak to a ranger.
The Cabin was closed while we were there because of the off-season. We peeked through the windows and didn’t see anything, so I’m not sure if that was the museum or we missed that. If you know blow me up in the comments. We plan on going back to camp there so would love more details. There are picnic tables, restrooms, hiking trails and a free campground right in the area for you to enjoy on your visit.