On Thursday, June 28, 2012, a group of history lovers from the Tennessee Genealogical Society (as well as some non-members who joined us) endured the 100+ degree heat to tour the splendid Davies Manor Plantation located just outside of Memphis near Lakeland, TN.
Located on 32 acres of land that at one time numbered over 2000 acres, the Davies Manor House and its surrounding buildings, gardens, wagons, well – and even an outhouse - represented a trip back in time, all the way back to a time before the county of Shelby was even established.
Our docent informed us that the first room of the Manor House was actually built in 1807. West Tennessee was not even officially open to settlers at that time and wouldn’t be until 1818. Although the unknown builder of that one log cabin room was not a member of the Davies family, the first family members appeared in West Tennessee sometime around 1838. They eventually acquired the land and began to add on to that room until finally completing the beautiful home that still exists today.
There were so many beautiful things to see in the house itself. Looking at the hearth, the furnishings (many pieces original to the home), and experiencing the feel and look of the log cabin walls actually helped the group members realize what it must have been like to live in those ‘olden days.’ The original ‘dog trot’ or breezeway in the house had been closed in a number of years ago and serves as an entry room for the house itself. Standing in that entryway, one could imagine the open area where the dogs and other farm animals would freely roam through, and where whatever gentle wind that might be blowing at the time would help cool down the house and its occupants.
One member of the tour group, Pete Crawford, took a number of excellent photos. I’m a firm believer that a ‘picture is worth a thousand words,’ so I will close and allow you to enjoy the slideshow below. Hopefully, the photos will encourage you to visit the Plantation. To learn more, be sure to visit the Davies Manor Plantation website.
Carla Love Maitland
Tennessee Genealogical Society