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The Gaither Plantation – History


The Gaither PlantationThe Gaither Plantation has one of the richest rural Georgia histories. 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. Whether you visit to see the secret staircase and a bit of civil war history, or you visit to see the scenic landscape, you’re sure to be amazed. The Gaither plantation is the epitome of Newton County, it has history, hauntings, and Hollywood.

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