PLANTATIONS and FARMS
Plantations were an important aspect of the history of the American South and of course Gadsden County, particularly the antebellum (pre-American Civil War) South. The mild subtropical climate, plentiful rainfall, and fertile soils of the south allowed large plantations to flourish and in Gadsden County, the plantation crops generally revolved around shade tobacco and cotton. While no working plantations exist today, there is some history worth noting, and one plantation worth visiting called the White Dog Plantation.
White Dog Plantation
If you truly want to experience something original and unique, come stay and play at the White Dog Plantation. This is an amazingly unique 60-acre retreat for lovers of nature, history and yes, dogs; not only a natural setting steeped in Florida history, but the perfect place for a wedding, meeting, or relaxing getaway. White Dog is a village of historical buildings including the c.1828 Nicholson farmhouse, which is on the National Historic Register, as well as several historic buildings that were moved to the site by Paul Nicholson, a former owner of the property and developer of the much beloved but now closed Nicholson Farmhouse Restaurant.
Behind the village is a gorgeous ravine with a large spring, huge trees, and a nature trail open to the guests of White Dog Plantation. The uplands in front of the village are managed as gopher tortoise, bluebird and native wildflower habitat. You've got to experience this.
Rocky Comfort Plantation
Near SR 65B and 267 in Wetumpka, Florida stood Rocky Comfort, the plantation home of Bryan Croom, a native of North Carolina who settled in Gadsden County in 1826 with his family and slaves. Croom cultivated cotton and prospered to such an extent that he became one of the largest landholders in middle Florida. In addition to his holdings in Gadsden, Croom owned Goodwood Plantation near Tallahassee. He was the brother of Hardy Bryan Croom, discoverer of the Florida Torreya tree.
JOSHUA DAVIS HOUSE – Plantation
Located in Mt. Pleasant; In the 1820's, settlers from Georgia, South Carolina and other states came to the new United States Territory of Florida in search of land to homestead. One such frontiersman was Thomas Dawsey, who by 1824 was residing in the Gadsden County area. In 1827 Dawsey purchased the 160 acres upon which this house stands from the United States Public Land Office, a common practice for homesteaders. Another pioneer in the region was Joshua Davis, who brought his family from Laurens County, South Carolina to a farm two miles west of Quincy ca. 1828. He soon moved to the North Mosquito Creek community located about a mile northeast of this site. Between 1830 and 1849, Joshua Davis acquired the Dawsey property and moved with his wife and five children into what would be their permanent home.
By 1830, a road had been built through this area from Quincy to the Apalachicola River crossing at Chattahoochee. Stage-coaches carrying mail and passengers through this fertile and well-populated farming region traveled over what was known as "the upper road." Some evidence suggests the Joshua Davis House served as a stage-coach stop and perhaps as a horse-changing station. This house was the focal point of cotton, tobacco, and corn plantation which by 1859 consisted of 1440 acres of land on which Joshua Davis had as many as 33 slaves, 6 horses, and 135 cattle.
Rocky Comfort Farms (not to be confused with Rocky Comfort Plantation)
6441 Pat Thomas Parkway
Quincy, Florida 32351
Rocky Comfort Farm features more than 230 acres of pastoral scenery of an untouched natural environment containing numerous species of wildlife. The Farm allows visitors to experience life on a family-owned historic farm by providing opportunities to interact with farm animals and to enjoy fun farm activities such as hayrides, a wagon train, and a children’s playground. The property also contains unique hiking trails that vary in length but are accessible to all.
Rocky Comfort has approximately 75 cattle, two acres of pumpkins, and two acres of millet (a gluten free material). They also raise bees and collect honey, which is very popular for both consumption and homeopathic medicinal use. The honey is sold in the gift shop along with the works of local craftsmen. The facility also provides educational classes to area schoolchildren; these classes allow the children to feed cows, practice milking on a wooden cow, and churn their own butter.
From September through November, the Farm hosts an average of 100 children per day, totaling 3,174 last school season. At the end of each field trip, each child is given a mini pumpkin to take home as a unique memento of their visit. They also receive a coupon for free admission for a future visit. The Farm also hosts seasonal events, including the Fall Fun Festival and the Christmas Tunnel of Lights.