Just outside the city of Thomasville, Georgia there is a beautiful southern Georgia plantation open to the public for tours, it is Pebble Hills Plantation. So on Tuesday Nov. 17th it was a beautiful day, and me and Maxine headed out to the plantation.
In the late 1800s after the Civil War Thomasville and many other southern cities became winter destinations for wealthy Northerners. At that time Thomasville was the southernmost destination on the train route in the 1870s. Thomasville was one of the few Georgia communities that openly welcome Northerners and their money to come and spend the winter months, being just after the Civil War many Southerners did not openly welcome Northerners, but the people of Thomasville area did. They built grand lavish hotels and many other smaller hotels and boarding houses to accommodate the wealthy Northerners and their guests. Thomasville today is still a southern destination for a lot of Northern dog trainers.
In the late 1800s, cotton prices were very much down, and the local farmers were not growing much cotton and therefore the land prices were also down. The wealthy Northerners found out that they could buy land by the acre cheaper than they could stay in hotels for one night. So the ones that had money started buying up large quantities of land and developed hunting plantations. Most of this acreage was working farms that was cleared an ideal for bird hunting mostly quails. Even today there are still many plantations, (I believe a total of around 14 in the Thomasville area) that are used for that purpose they are still owned by many of the descendants of the original plantation owners. For the right price you can come down here and enjoy these properties. Pebble Hills is the only plantation that is open to the public for tours and the grounds can be rented for weddings and other activities it is a beautiful 3000+ acre plantation with around 80 acres of that open for the public.
The last owner Elizabeth “Miss Pansy” Ireland Poe, who did not have any children to pass the estate onto, wanted Pebble Hills to become a museum open to the public. In 1956 she set up the Pebbles Hill Foundation for that purpose, upon her death in 1978 pebbles Hill became the property of the foundation which today is responsible for its managing and maintaining the estate.
The main house is open to guided tours it consists of 29 rooms and during the tour you will get to see many of these. The house was built in 1936 after a fire in 1934 destroyed most of the old structure. Unfortunately no photos are allowed of the inside of the main house. But it is beautifully furnished with many of the original furnishings dating back to the early 1800s. The furnishings in the house are from the original owners of many generations. With beautiful artwork by local and world-famous artists and a large autobahn collection. Along with many trophies and ribbons that “Pansy” won over the years, raising prize-winning hunting and jumping horses and polo ponies. She would hired the very best professionally equestrians to show her horses.
In the earlier years of the plantation the owners had developed a large dairy farm of prized Jersey cows, and built a first-class dairy barn of brick and mortar. When “Pansy” took over the plantation she was more interested in horses and hunting, so she converted much of the dairy barn into horse stables. Fox hunting and bird hunting were a big part of plantation life. For this reason, for many years at Pebbles Hills plantation, the dog kennels house 75 to 100 dogs they were an important part of the plantation hunting. A dog hospital on the grounds made it possible to give extra special attention to their needs. Today the visitor center is located in the barn which is much nicer than many homes.
Here is a photos of the entrance to the visitor center part of the dairy barn and stables.
Here are some photos of the back of the dairy barn and courtyard between the dairy barn and horse stables.
One of the nice things about this tour is you are allowed to bring your dog out on the grounds to walk around with you. So Maxine got to enjoy the large park like setting and pose with some of the animals that call Pebble Hills home.
There are beautifully landscaped acres and acres of yard. Here’s a photo of the front of the plantation.
Here are photos from the back of the plantation and some of the backyard.
The oldest building on the property is this little log school house that was built in 1901.
Here’s a picture of what was referred to as the overflow house, when there was not room for all the guests in the main house some of them would stay here. The terrace gardens in front of this house were used as vegetable gardens to grow vegetables for the dinner tables, but now they are planet with flowers. There are a total of 40 some buildings on the property many that were used for workers over the years, and some long staying guests.
There is a large pond with picnic areas but as you can see from these photos you have to be careful of snakes and alligators.
Maxine on the watch.
Down in the area of the pond there is a playhouse of sorts that was built to look like Noah’s Ark is beautiful murals painted on the inside and out.
There is a large hedge maze out in part of the front of the main house.
It was a very enjoyable day with beautiful clear skies warm and sunny. You can stay on the property as long as you like to enjoy it. I think it was worth the $16 that I spent to tour this beautiful estate and enjoy the wonderful yards. 🙂