Recently I took a trip south to southwest Georgia, Thomasville to be exact, which is only 35 miles north of Tallahassee, FL. It was my first visit, but I was thoroughly entranced with this small Southern town. I was there for a small travel conference but sure enjoyed my time in Thomasville. I was also invited to stay overnight at Pebble Hill Plantation, a neighboring plantation to the one the travel conference was held. I’ll share more of that later on too.
Nestled behind this stately brick entrance lies Pebble Hill Plantation, a stately architectural beauty of a house enhanced by grounds full of magnolia and long leaf pines of southwest Georgia. Just driving through the gate and meandering down the lanes of Pebble Hill, you feel yourself being taken back to a simpler time when getting away from it all in a countryside setting was all that’s important. A gracious Southern home rich in art and history, it’s a sight I won’t soon forget. I can’t possibly cover all the history of Pebble Hill in this post, but let me tell you, it’s a beautiful place to visit and if you get the chance, definitely go! And check out their Pebble Hill website for more information. Many weddings are held at Pebble Hill.
Pebble Hill Plantation was a cotton and rice plantation owned by Thomas Jefferson Johnson. The property stayed in his family until his daughter could no longer care for it after reconstruction of the South after the Civil War.
In 1896, Melville Hanna acquired the property. In 1901, the plantation was given by Melville to his daughter, Kate. Mr. Hanna had come from Cleveland, Ohio when that part of the country wanted to escape the harsh winters and come South for a respite from the cold. So they got on the train and came by railcar to Thomasville, GA the last stop on the rail line. Two large luxury hotels were built in Thomasville and this little town saw a great resurgence of growth during this time.
After visiting the warm climate of the South, some of these Northern vacationers stayed. They bought the area’s old cotton plantations, which were suffering from the financial instability of reconstruction. The prominent and powerful new owners brought Thomasville’s hotel era lifestyle to the plantations. The great nineteenth century agricultural estates became the shooting plantations of the twentieth century. Quail hunting is very popular in south Georgia.
From the website: Kate was the great builder at Pebble Hill. She secured the services of Cleveland architect Abram Garfield in 1911 to build the Plantation Store. Over the next 30 years Kate and Garfield worked together planning and building all the major structures on the plantation. Their last major project was the spectacular Main House completed early in 1936. The original plantation house burned and this house was then built.
I got a tour of the house from the curator, Lori Curtis, who was very informative of the history of Pebble Hill.
Kate’s daughter, Miss Pansy, put everything in place for Pebble Hill to become a museum before her death in 1978.
The house and grounds are magnificent and I enjoyed this beautiful blue sky day walking around and taking pictures.
It’s so picturesque and peaceful on the grounds. Birds chiriping in the background made it such a serene place.
The inside of the house was immaculate and such a beautiful time in history and architecture. I loved every bit of this tour. Most of the furniture is original to the home and so lovely to see. The art collections in the home are magnificent as well and the entire upstairs is an art gallery featuring art from the Hanna family collection.
Pansy commissioned J. Clinton Shepherd to paint the murals for the Big Room and the Indian Room in Pebble Hill’s Main House.
This room was absolutely stunning! It was just amazing to stand there and take it all in.
Upstairs is the Elisabeth Ireland Poe Gallery featuring her collection of art as well as her husband, Parker Poe.
Going on now is a rotating art exhibit from the Parker B. Poe Collection and if you are in the area, there are two events left that you can attend about the exhibit, March 21st and April 18th. Check the website for details!
A Cultural Legacy: Selected Works from the Parker B. Poe Collection
Latest Rotating Art Exhibit Features Rare, Inside Look at Mr. Poe’s Eclectic Collection
Pebble Hill’s annual Easter Egg hunt will be held Saturday, April 11th, tickets here. That sounds like fun!
Picasso print in the collection.
Pablo Picasso pottery piece.
The grounds have several buildings and it was fun to walk around and enjoy the view.
The visitor’s center.
A hunting dog statue is appropriate.
The stables with horses grazing out front was just beautiful.
I had the pleasure and staying overnight at the Firehouse apartment and it was very quaint and comfortable. I can imagine a wedding on the grounds of Pebble Hill would be quite the event.
The apartment was very enjoyable for an overnight stay.
I so enjoyed my tour of Pebble Hill plantation and I hope if you’re ever in the area, you’ll stop in for a visit. I appreciate the opportunity to visit and stay there. I hope you enjoyed the pictures of this beautiful home that graces the grounds of Pebble Hill. I sure did!
I was so impressed with the town of Thomasville, GA and can’t believe I’ve never stopped in this town but it’s off the beaten path of the interstate which is my normal route to get to Florida. Thomasville is worth a visit though and I hope to go back again for another trip! I’ve got more to share of the town too, as well as a neighboring plantation that I stayed at as well.
Bonnie Brown says
Now THIS is a house tour I can really appreciate!!!
Jennifer Veal says
Wow! What great photography and so many gorgeous pictures! I really did enjoy this “virtual” tour. Now I really want to go to Pebble Hill Plantation. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Rhoda!
I’m glad you enjoyed, it’s a beautiful spot to visit.
Your pictures of “our” beautiful Pebble Hill are wonderful. I’ve been on tours and to weddings there as I live just down the road about 15 miles but have not seen the upstairs before. Thomasville is a wonderful little town with so much cultural pride and feelings of nostalgia. There are many interesting places of business, artistic opportunities, and restaurants that present unique and delicious food. It’s is a very welcoming community. Come back soon!
Hi, Celia, I agree Thomasville is a great town, loved my visit and I can see why you like living there.
The hubby and I go fairly often to Thomasville, love to walk by (and into) the downtown shops. Last time we were there it was the Rose Parade Day. There was many roses to appreciate on display. We drive by the Pebble Hill plantation on our way to and from Thomasville, but have never visited….thank you for sharing!
Diane, you should definitely stop in for a tour!
Henry King says
great article. I was born in Thomaaville, ga. My grandparents worked and lived on pebble hill and owner to visit the almost every weekend as a small boy. Everyone, if they have the time should visit this wonderful town
My hometown!!!!! So much history there…and don’t forget of nickname, The City of Roses. Check us out.
Nita Christian says
Loved this great home, Pebble Hill Plantation! Thanks for sharing.
Becky in 'Bama says
Thank you for the recommendation. Added to my bucket list.
Carolyn Cloud says
You definitely need to come stay a while in our town. There’s so much history here. My family moved here in the 80s. We truly love our town. Ive pulled many field trips to Pebble Hill. Truly a sight to see.
Hi, Carolyn, I hope to come back for a visit with my husband. I loved the feel of Thomasville, such a great little town. I can see why you love it!
SUSAN ANDERSON says
Thank you so much for the lovely pictures. My husband lived in Thomasville for eight years when he was growing up. I have only visited one time. Is the old live oak still standing? It is stated it maybe the oldest tree in the south.