Historic Rose Mont
Rose Mont was the home of Josephus Conn Guild (1802 – 1883) and Katherine Blackmore Guild. The name “Rose Mont” references the once extensive rose garden at the north side of the house. A smaller replication of the rose garden has been installed near the original location outside the farm office.
The house was built from 1836 to 1842 with the center section, galleries and detached kitchen constructed first, followed by the wings.
At the time, Tennessee houses typically were plain, box-like structures modeled after late Georgian or Federal design. However, because Guild was a frequent visitor to new Orleans, he was greatly influenced by the unusual architecture found there. He incorporated Creole design elements in Rose Mont, including wide porches, large windows, open-air halls and staircases, separate wings connected by loggias and galleries, a raised basement, and an extended roof. Even so, the main facade (east front) is based on classic Italian design (Villa Mocenigo) by Andrea Palladio, a highly regarded architect who lived and worked during the 18th century. Palladio’s influence dominated the architecture of the South’s plantations to mid-19th century.
Originally, Rose Mont was a working thoroughbred horse and longhorn cattle farm of 500 acres. Supporting structures that were here originally are long since gone. Rose Mont was also constructed of materials found on the site.
After Judge Guild’s death, Rose Mont and sixty-five acres passed to his daughter-in-law Bettie Alexander Guild, who outlived her husband, Walter Guild, by many decades. The remaining acreage was divided among Guild’s four remaining children by drawing lots. Bettie’s two sons inherited Rose Mont, but after William Alexander’s death, Lewis Cass purchased his brother’s interest. After his death, the only one of his children interested in living there was Jo Conn, who with his wife Joan Brown Guild, got the house and six acres. The remaining land was sold for subdivision development. After Jo Conn’s death, Joan lived at Rose Mont, but in 1993 she sold the house to the Rose Mont Restoration Foundation, Inc., for preservation and historical interpretation. It is now owned by the City of Gallatin but operated by the non-profit foundation.