Magnolia Hall, a 3,500 +/- acre historic plantation located in the famed Red Hills Plantation Belt, is one of the few remaining examples of original plantation acreage with an antebellum home by famous architect John Wind intact. The plantation is diverse and naturally beautiful. It has one of the largest stands of intact wiregrass and longleaf pine in the Red Hills Region and seven miles of large creek & river frontage. The plantation has one of the most natural ecosystems of any in the Red Hills. It is located less than 15 minutes to I-75 and only 30 minutes to Thomasville, Georgia. Magnolia Hall is complete with almost all of the original 3,500 acres, its famous 1850's five-column antebellum Greek Revival home, commissary and orchard, red clay roads, live oak lined entrance, magnificent untouched hardwood bottoms, and the convergence of the Withlacoochee River and both Okapilco and Piscola Creeks, all located alongside some of the finest stands of natural pine timber in the Southeast.
In 1843, James Oliver Morton and his new bride came from Savannah to unsettled Southwest Georgia. With this once-in-history opportunity, he had his choice of the finest land and timber in Georgia. The entrepreneur chose 4,000 acres located on what was then the Oglethorpe Trail, just a few miles southeast of present-day Quitman. His choice made him wildly successful. With more natural beauty and diversity than almost anywhere else in southwest Georgia, he picked an area of fertile soils and rolling pine-covered hills where the Withlacoochee River, Okapilo and Pisgola creeks converge. He prospered with this plantation, named Morton Bray Plantation, and became one of the founding fathers of Quitman as well as both a Judge and founder of the Bank of Quitman, which is still in existence today.
In 2018, we were honored to represent Morton Bray and sold the historic plantation home to one of the South's greatest stewards, Mr. Virgil Williams. With a penchant for preserving historically significant structures, and leaving the land better than found, Mr. Williams originally bought and beautified the renowned Southern Heritage Plantation. After more than 20 years of progress, Mr. Williams turned toward his next great legacy project and set out to completely remodel Morton Bray, while preserving historically accurate design aspects with immaculate detail. It was a project few would dare to take on, and if it weren't for his incredible efforts, the home would not stand in its full glory as it does today. With a new look came a new name, and Mr. Williams renamed Morton Bray to its present-day name, Magnolia Hall.
The historic Greek Revival house is two-storied with fluted, Doric columns supporting the front portion of the roof which extends over a wide veranda on the first floor, and a balcony on the second floor. The second-floor balcony also acts as a hallway between rooms on that floor. The house is L-shaped with dining and sitting rooms, a master bedroom, office, kitchen and back porch on the main floor. The entrance is into a foyer that extends from the front veranda to the back porch. In the foyer is a floating spiral stairway, with a banister of spooled mahogany, leading to the second floor. This home is one of his last surviving plantation houses with original acreage and is proudly listed on the National Historic Register.
In addition to the grand home, there are several additional living structures on the grounds, each remodeled or even newly constructed with the same eye for detail as the main house. One of these such buildings is the old commissary. Originally built in the 1800s the commissary was historically preserved and now serves as a modernly updated gathering hall for group meals and lounging.
A short distance from the main house and commissary are three additional guest houses. The first is a quaint, beautifully refurbished 2,070 sq ft H/C, 1 BR/1BA cottage. A set of stairs leads to a welcoming front porch perfect for quiet mornings and enjoying the evening air. Through the front door is a comfortable living space with fireplace that leads directly into a kitchen complete with everything a guest would need. The 1 BR/1BA suite has a fireplace as well.
From there, it's just a short walk past the dog kennels and original hay barn to a 4BR/3.5BA guest house built in 2022. The exterior of this 2-story new guest home blends effortlessly with the original structures in the living compound. Inside the first floor is a living and dining space, a full kitchen, half bath and master suite. Upstairs is a second master suite, an additional full bath and two bedrooms. Just this one house has enough space for several guests to visit in comfort.
A final guest home rounds out the living compound. It is a 3BD/3BA more modular style home but has a newly updated master bathroom and is a nice option for additional guests.
Not to be outdone, the 3,500 sq ft manager's house, completed in 2021, is just a short distance from the main living compound. It is a quintessential southern style 3BD/2 BA home with a beautiful front porch, and shutters, and is the perfect place to call home.
Headquarters for Magnolia Hall land management is the 8,000 sq ft equipment barn. It has two open air storage spaces, and a large, enclosed space complete with a bathroom. It is just adjacent to the pasture and horses and has two large silos for easy access.
Mr. Williams, however, did not just stop with the improvements, he enlisted the help of Tall Timber's Research Station and set to work in partnering on a quail translocation and restocking program to rebuild the wild quail counts, and manage the habitat with fire for optimal health. The partnership began in 2018; ag fields were converted to planted pines and fallow fields increasing brood habitat across the property. An improved predator control program and consistent supplemental feed program have resulted in a year-over-year 60% increase in call counts per Tall Timber's most recent annual report. In 2022, more than 20 coveys were counted across six call points (a stark contrast to the four wild coveys counted at the program's inception, and a testament to the excellent management in place). Boasting some of the most beautiful and diverse quail woods in the region (with more than three wild quail courses spanning the property), Magnolia Hall is a shining example of what makes the Red Hills so special. To this, the plantation has record timber value, with one of the most intensively stocked, privately owned stands of natural timber in the Southeast.
In addition to the profound quail grounds, the property is extremely game-rich in turkey and deer thanks to diverse habitat, and the confluence of three waterways. The turkey are abundant here, and this area of Georgia in known for its great genetics and trophy deer hunting.
Magnolia Hall is located in the Tallahassee/Thomasville Plantation Belt near other famous Brooks County plantations such as Talloakas, Okapilco, Brannville, River Bend, Pinion Point, Four Oaks, Kinderlou Forest, Tamathli, Pinckney Hill, Blackwater, Hickory Head & King Place. It is only 35 minutes to the Thomasville airport & only 30 minutes to the commercial airport in Valdosta & 25 min to Valdosta, Georgia.