The History of the Sam Davis Memorial Association (SDMA)
The Sam Davis Memorial Association (SDMA) was formed in 1930 when the State of Tennessee gave the charter to the newly formed organization to preserve the memory of Sam Davis. Sam’s niece, Andromedia Sinnott, or Ms. Medie as she was known, was a driving force behind the efforts to preserve the house as a historic site. Ms. Medie became the first regent of the historic site and gave tours of the property well into the 1950s.
Today, the SDMA preserves the Sam Davis Home to keep alive the story of Sam Davis, his family, and the people who labored on this Middle Tennessee farm before, during, and after the Civil War. Through museum exhibits, the historic home, preserved farm land, and quality education programs, the SDMA imparts to its visitors the importance of learning about their past and its relevance to their present.
The site sits on 168 acres, 100 of which are cultivated for cotton, which the Davis’ would have grown when they lived there. The main house was built between 1810 and 1820, and Mr. Charles Davis, Sam’s father, added on to it in 1850 for his growing family. The property also boasts a modern Visitor Center and 2,700+ square foot museum opened in November 2003 as well as many original outbuildings including a kitchen, a smokehouse, and an overseer’s cabin. Three single-pen slave cabins and one dogtrot slave cabin were moved to the property in the 1940s to interpret the lives of the enslaved on the plantation.
Each year, the museum hosts a variety of activities that appeal to the diverse community of Smyrna. The site is supported by the revenue produced by events and daily tours, monetary donations, membership to the Sam Davis Memorial Association, and private facility rentals. For more information on the site or to make a donation, please visit www.samdavishome.org or call 615-459-2341.