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Newton County History: The Gaither Plantation

The Gaither Plantation is a historical site in Newton County GA. The Gaither Plantation has one of the most interesting historical pasts in all of rural Georgia. In the middle of the 19th century, William Gaither acquired 875 acres of land in Newton County. It was on this land that the original Gaither home was built and where the house stood as the center of a rural Georgia farm for the next 100 years.

The house belonged to the Gaither family until 1921 when William Gaither’s grandchildren were forced to declare bankruptcy, ultimately causing them to lose the Gaither home. After the Gaither family lost their family home, the Gaither Plantation was sold to an array of farming families in the community. It passed through several hands until being acquired by Newton County in 1996 as a part of the Bear Creek Reservoir Project.

Many historical tales are still associated with the Gaither Plantation. One of the famous stories came from a story told by a previous owner, Christine Whelchel. The historical account included rumor of a secret stairway in an upstairs bedroom. Ms. Whelchel was told that the lady of the house during the Civil War hid several Confederate soldiers in the hidden stairway; saving the soldiers lives, as well as her home.

Christine Whelchel also told stories of when she occupied the Gaither Plantation. She told the story of the honeybees; no matter what she did to rid of the bees, they always came back. Ms. Whelchel claimed that the honeybees around her large plantation rarely bothered anyone, yet they refused to leave her property. The Gaither plantation has had such an intriguing history. Whether you visit to see the secret staircase, a part of Civil War history, or the beautiful scenery surrounding the plantation – you won’t regret the trip!

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