History

Africa House formerly known as Clearing Manor was a dream of first owner David Chapman. It is on this land that Chapman ancestors settled in 1799. Africa House sits on 30+ acreage of the original land. This three story mansion is the culmination of designer and builder David Chapman. David and wife, Carol, have been through countless historic homes. This home is a composite of things they liked: twelve and eighteen foot ceilings, two foot thick exterior and one foot thick interior walls, large pocket doors, transoms over man doors, re-production 1840 door locks, heavy trim and three story, standalone curved stair make this their dream.

The mansion is on land originally settled by David's ancestor in 1799. The land remained in Chapman ownership until 1928. David's dad grew up on this farm. In 2004 the farm was divided into tracts and sold. David purchased 30+ acres and started drawing.

To put it in David’s words: "When I was a small boy my dad would every so often take my siblings and me by the old "home place." I would look on top of the hill and think someday I will build a mansion on that hill. I grew up in a 24' x 34' house. After many years of long days at work and with the grace of God, here it is."

(“Chapman Clearing” was a name given to it by the locals because the landowner was known to tell everyone to “clear the land!”)

The Chapman family history is the history of America. The family patriarch was an officer in America’s Revolutionary War. In 1799, he bought 200 acres of land in Gallatin, Tenn., then moved there from Virginia with his family. The Chapman family was to buy, sell, and pass parcels of land down to subsequent generations for the next 200 years.

Chapman men fought in the Revolutionary War, the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812, and the Civil War. Enslaved Africans and their descendants worked the land for decades, including a few that decided to stay on the property after the South lost the Civil War.

The sprawling property Chihombori now owned had once been a part of 300 acres that belonged to the former owner’s great-grandfather – who had been a slave owner. The place now known as Africa House had once been the part of a massive slave plantation.