Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Vintage Photos: Watkins Plantation House

The Watkins Brothers moved to Izard County around 1844 and the family created the largest plantation in the county. The Watkins Plantation House stood into the late 1960s or early 70s until it was dismantled. The bricks, which were made by the Watkins slaves on the plantation, were later used to build the Knight House that stood just east of Melbourne along Highway 69 near Possum Trot before it burned just a few years ago.

From a conversation online at RootsWeb that includes remarks and research by our friends, Jean Mayfield Cuevas, Rosemary Kenney, and others:

"Wild Haws" was a large estate, which one entered by means of two large

gates. The little community, consisting of a general store, post office,
drug store, hardware store, etc. was practically owned by Dr. O.T. and was
about 1/2 mile from the estate (main house) and to this community came
people from all around to trade. His home was a large brick house, with
brick made on the property. Had comfortable quarters for slaves which were
a distance from main house. Principal crops were corn & wheat. however all
other kinds of foodstuffs were also raised. He had immense orchards that 
furnished fruit for all in abundance, there was a smoke house for the meats."

Another interesting comment about the plantation from the same conversation:

"During Civil War Grandfather Martin went to live with his
>daughter, Elizabeth Mahala Watkins, on her husband's plantation "Wild Haws"
>where he died in 1864, Sept 27th. In 1861 Yankees came onto his plantation
>and destroyed everything, including Family Bible brought from Ireland."

Thanks to our friend, Sue McCluskey for sharing these photos on Facebook! Unfortunately, we are not certain who the people are in the photos.

You can learn more about the Watkins Family at our article on the adjacent Watkins Cemetery.

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