THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — Take a long drive through history through the long leaf pines of southwest Georgia.
There you'll find Pebble Hill Plantation.
One of the South's most magnificent estates, Pebble Hill plantation sits on 3,000 acres in Thomasville; 78 of which are the perfectly manicured and preserved main grounds offering a variety of educational opportunities for visitors.
"You can tour the grounds and learn about a lot of the out buildings there. Historic landscapes and other things along those lines,” Whitney White, executive director of Pebble Hill Plantation said. "There were the service buildings as well as one of the staff houses that are open to the public. The main house is open for visitors to take a guided tour and learn about the lifestyle the family enjoyed while they were here.”
That family was the Hanna Family and their era in Pebble Hill's history began in 1896 when Howard Melville Hanna purchased the property from Thomas Jefferson Johnson. That's when the plantation changed from a working farm into a winter home and sporting estate for the Hanna family.
“The last Hanna Family member was Pansy Poe and she's the one that left it open to the public and she left it in situ,” White said. “So when you tour the main house you are seeing their furniture and furnishings. As you go about the grounds a lot of the plantings are from the 1920s and 30s.
The main house replaced the house that burned down in 1934. It only took 18 months to build and it was designed by Abram Garfield; President James Garfield's youngest son.
Inside the grand neo-classical home, completed in 1936, you'll find refined interiors antique furniture, and an expansive sporting art collection.
Visitors to Pebble Hill get an education that is unique to the Red Hills area of north Florida and south Georgia.
“I was shocked to see how much of here ties into the village of Thomasville. There's a lot of history right in the area,” Marjorie Leclaire, a visitor, said.
Everything from the ecology to the history to decorative arts, one can travel through time into the lives of the families and staff that operated the plantation.
“Our mission is to educate the public on all aspects of this property,” White said.
This year marks the Plantation's 40th anniversary being open to the public and they are celebrating throughout the year with a variety of activities like a Woman's polo event, 5K Quail Trail Run, Christmas activities and floral workshops.
For more information go to their website, pebblehill.com.