If Red Gate Farm’s 300 year-old oak trees could talk – they would tell stories of Indians and Colonists who once called this place home. Unfortunately, the trees can’t talk, but through extensive research we’ve learned:
•From 1861-1864 – The Mackey House land in Savannah, Georgia was an encampment for Confederate soldiers led by General William Hardy
•The property then became occupied by Union Army troops led by General William T. Sherman after their March to the Sea
•In 1898 — a Powder Magazine, used to house ammunition was built on Red Gate Farms, the care-keeper’s house was located on the farm’s property. Remnants from both are still available for viewing today.
In 1931, Harry Edward Martin, Jr. purchased 440 acres of wooded countryside, which he and his wife, Mamie, named in memory of her cousin, Cyrus Steadwell. Cyrus had always dreamed of owning his own farm and calling it “Red Gate Farms.” He would never see that dream come to life; he was killed in France during World War I and Mamie Martin couldn’t think of a better way to preserve Cyrus’ memory than by naming the land Red Gate Farms.
Mr. Martin was a direct descendant of John Martin, a Scottish Highlander emigrant who came to Georgia when it was still a colony in 1742. By 1782, John became governor of the Georgia Colony and as a highlander, was famed for his passion for land and protectiveness of his family.
Together with his wife Mamie Smith Martin, who purchased Red Gate for 4 yearly installments of $750 each. The land was acquired a little over a year after the beginning of the Great Depression which began with the stock market crash of 1929 also known as “Black Tuesday”. Red Gate was an underdeveloped 440 acre tract and 350 acres was immediately converted into Georgia’s first homogenized Jersey cattle farm. Their dairy, hog, and chicken farm became widely known and duplicated throughout Georgia. Mr. Martin led the state in Jersey herd development and became a bit of a “folk hero” when he led a major fight to lower milk prices.
There are none of the 140 Jersey cows, hogs, chickens and on-going campaigns to keep milk affordable today, but Harry Martin’s devotion to family and his 20th Century “folk hero” legacy keep his close-knit posterity active still on Red Gate lands. Harry and Mamie Martin’s descendants own the farm lands today.
The Martin’s grandchildren and great grandchildren are the descendants active in managing Red Gate and The Mackey House today. Laura Mackey her husband Fred Mackey and their son Trey Mackey are the current owners and are active in the daily operations of The Mackey House today. The grand plantation home features a formal staircase, beautifully decorated rooms-spacious for ease of traffic flow, and picturesque landscaped ground that preserve and complement the woodlands’ natural beauty.
Welcome to our family’s plantation! You may thank Mother Nature for the picture-perfect beauty, with a wink to The Martin’s for the effortless, top-shelf southern hospitality and readiness planning across all venues on the entire farm.