March Tuesday, 2011 at 8:29 am
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History


 

If Red Gate Farm’s 200 year-old oak trees could talk – they would tell stories of Indians and Colonists who once called this place home – or laugh at the joy brought to them by wild animal inhabitants – or remember the glory years of those who chose this land as their final resting place…

• Unfortunately, the trees can’t talk, but through extensive research we’ve learned:

• from 1861-1864 – The Mackey House land in Savannah Ga.  was an encampment for Confederate soldiers led by General William Hardy

• later the property 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

• we have discovered numerous artifacts dating back to the Civil War that have confirmed our research about the land and its history

In 1918, Mr. 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.

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. Edward has carried on that same Martin family tradition.

The Martin’s began a dairy farm and cultivated 300 of the land’s acres for silage corn, grain crops and pasture land for their 140 Jersey cows. 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. Today, Mr. Martin’s family still share his passion for family and this land.

Although the land is no longer used for farming, it remains an oasis of gracious entertaining, located only 5 minutes from Historic downtown Savannah. Red Gate Plantation is still owned by the family.

Laura and Fred, who have owned ABC Childcare Centers since 1972 and their son Trey  are well known in Savannah for their gracious entertaining. The Mackey House family has been the center of parties for more than 25 years providing full wedding, reception, birthday party, anniversaries, corporate and many other events.

Trey, Laura and Fred, along with the rest of The Mackey House staff welcome the opportunity to help make your special event a memorable one for you and your guests. Please email or give us a call to set up your personal tour.


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