Huckleberry Chronicles

Pebble Hill Plantation

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[Thomasville Georgia, Pebble Hill Plantation Family Cemetery]


Located in Thomas County, Southwest Georgia. Thomas Jefferson Johnson first came to the area when he was 25 years old. He acquired the initial Pebble Hill acreage in 1825 and built the first house on the property in 1827. He continued to add to his land holdings and was recognized as a very successful planter in the area. During this time, Johnson also wrote the bill to create Thomas County. Johnson and his first wife had three children, but only one survived to adulthood. When Johnson died in 1847, his daughter, Julia Ann, inherited Pebble Hill. She was 21 years old at that time. She married John William Henry Mitchell in 1849 and together they continued to operate Pebble Hill as a successful working farm. In 1850, they replaced the original residence with one designed by English architect, John Wind. When Mitchell died in 1865, the strong-willed Julia Ann determined to continue the farming operations on Pebble Hill. She struggled in the throes of the post-war depression and died in 1881. Not surprisingly, by this time Pebble Hill was in a serious state of disrepair.

Pebble Hill sold in 1896 to Howard Melville Hanna of Cleveland, Ohio. He was a brother to Marc Hanna, the Ohio senator who guided McKinley to the U. S. Presidency. Hanna gave the Pebble Hill property to his daughter, Kate Benedict Hanna Ireland, in 1901. Kate was married twice. Her first husband, with whom she had two children, was Robert Livingston Ireland. Their children were Robert Livingston “Liv” Ireland, Jr. and Elisabeth “Pansy” Ireland. Her second marriage was in 1923 to Perry Williams Harvey. Kate was mistress of Pebble Hill until her death in 1936. Tragedy struck in 1934 when the 1850 portion of the Main House was destroyed by fire. The Loggia wing, added in 1914, was saved from the fire and was included in the plans for the new house. The new house was constructed in the following 18 months and was completed in January, 1936. Kate died in May of 1936, and her daughter, Pansy, became Pebble Hill’s mistress. In the 1950s, Pansy established the Pebble Hill Foundation, a private foundation which she endowed. At her death, her will dictated that the Pebble Hill property would go to the Foundation and that Pebble Hill would become a museum open to the public.


Who I am and why I’m here

I have decided to start a blog based on my interests in historic sites, my travels, graveyards/grave sites, photography, and chronicling future endeavors involving such things. Instead of keeping a personal journal, I hope to engage with others based on my interests as well as experiences. This post is step one in the Zero to Hero challenge here at WordPress.

The topics I will go into detail about are the historic sites I visit, as well as the interest I have in getting involved in local historic restoration efforts of local communities.

I would love to connect with others who have similar interests and goals. I would love to see other bloggers completed or in process projects associating with historical sites or generally antiquated objects.

If I successfully blog throughout the year 2014, I would have hoped to accomplish forming or getting involved in an online community promoting the efforts of maintaining & restoring grave sites that are meaningful to local communities that typically will not receive help monetarily or get the volunteers to accomplish such tasks. Being a new member of AGS [Association for Gravestone Studies] I wish to learn from others who are involved in such efforts. As well as doing massive amounts of research!

Cheers to day one!