Welcome to Pebble Hill Plantation
A visit to Pebble Hill in Thomasville, Georgia is sure to result in an awe-inspiring and memorable experience for all who enter the plantation’s gates. Pebble Hill Plantation has been called a Georgia Belle. This stately architectural beauty stands proudly amid the magnolias and long leaf pines of southwest Georgia, and like an alluring belle, it has magnetic appeal and breathtaking beauty.
With its relaxed order and sense of timelessness, Pebble Hill puts everyone immediately at ease and invites closer inspection of the plantation and its former occupants. Gracious and vital with the South’s rich traditions, Pebble Hill is a home rich in both art and history. The overall impression one receives from this remarkable plantation is more felt than defined.
A Brief History of Pebble Hill Plantation
Pebble Hill Plantation was established in 1825. The founder was Thomas Jefferson Johnson. Johnson and his family owned Pebble Hill through the Civil War period and beyond. Prior to the Civil War, Pebble Hill was an agricultural site producing cotton, sugar cane, corn, and tobacco and was worked by Johnson and his family along with his slaves. After Johnson’s death his widow and daughter managed the plantation.
Beginning in the 1870’s the emergence and growth of Thomasville as a winter resort marked major changes to the function of Pebble Hill and Thomas County. Northerners began coming to Thomas County seeking relief from the harsh northern winters. Once introduced to the hunting attractions, Northerners became enthusiastic visitors. Soon, several Northerners began buying country estates that had once been cultivated for crops and converting them into hunting preserves. This would be the case for Pebble Hill.
In 1896, businessman, Howard Melville Hanna, Sr., from Cleveland, Ohio purchased Pebble Hill Plantation. The Hanna daughter, Kate Hanna Ireland Harvey, was given Pebble Hill in 1901 by her father. She restored the existing house and enjoyed it as a winter home and shooting preserve. In 1934 a fire destroyed that house. By 1936, a new house was built. This house is as you see it today. After Mrs. Harvey’s death in 1936, the property passed to her daughter, Elisabeth (Pansy) Ireland Poe. Mrs. Poe was the last mistress of Pebble Hill, and it was her desire that Pebble Hill be left as a museum. She established and endowed a private foundation for Pebble Hill so that visitors could enjoy seeing her family’s beloved country estate. After Mrs. Poe’s passing in 1978, Pebble Hill opened to the public in October 1983.