Covington, Newton County (The Original Hollywood of the South) houses some of the most beautiful historic homes. We are proud of the History, Hauntings, and Hollywood homes that are often used as backdrops for some of Hollywood’s biggest tales. One historic home The Gaither Plantation, has one of the richest rural Georgia histories.
Gaither Plantation has 256-acres and is one of the few remaining examples of mid-19th to late 20th century farms and cotton plantations in Northeast Georgia. The house was the center of a rural Georgia farm for 100 years. The main part of the house was built in 1850 and lived in until 1950. The Gaither family, for which the plantation was named, lived in the house until 1920. William Hulbert Gaither bought 875 acres of land and built the Gaither house around 1850. In 1881 he deeded the house to his wife, and in 1890 he died. His wife, Cecilia, moved her and her son to Covington in 1906. However, they kept the plantation. Many grandchildren and great-grandchildren of William Gaither remembered happy memories on the plantation. However, in 1921 the Gaither family had to declare bankruptcy due to financial hardships. The plantation was sold to many different farming families until it was acquired by Newton County in 1996 as part of the Bear Creek Reservoir project. One of the families who lived in the Gaither plantation was the Whelchel family. They bought the farm in the fall of 1949 from a Mr. McIntosh. Christine Whelchel has many fond memories of her times living there. One fond memory is of a story she was told. The tale had to do with a secret stairway in an upstairs bedroom. She was told that the lady of the house hid confederate soldiers up this stairway so that the Yankees wouldn’t burn her house! They didn’t find the soldiers, however, they did find and take her hidden livestock. Christine Whelchel also had stories from when she lived there. She fondly remembered her run-ins with the honeybees. She said no matter how many times they tried to have them removed, they just kept coming back! However many bees there were, she said they very rarely bothered anyone. Ralph Whelchel designed the barn that is now on the farm in the early 1950’s. He built the farm to reduce heavy lifting since he had a bad back
The Gaither plantation has a plethora of history, new and old. Currently this historic home is used for weddings, family reunions, filming, and more. The Gaither Plantation is the epitome of Newton County.
We invite you to make the Newton County Visitors Center, 2101 Clark Street, Covington, GA 30014 your first stop when you come to #ilovecovga to get all your maps, info, and maybe a good story or two for FREE, to make your next visit the most memorable one ever.