Homewood Plantation

Submitted by FHMaster on Sat, 12/17/2016 - 22:31

Built from 1855 to 1860 by William S. Balfour, son of William L. Balfour, and his wife Catherine Hunt, daughter of David Hunt. Burned in 1940.

Homewood Plantation was a historic plantation with a mansion of the same name located on it in Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi. Built in 1860 as a wedding present for the Southern belle Catherine Hunt, the daughter of planter David Hunt, the mansion remained unscathed during the American Civil War of 1861-1865. By the early twentieth century, it was used as a shooting location for 1915 classic film The Birth of a Nation. The mansion burnt down in 1940.

Homewood - Front (East) Corner - Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi.jpg

Adams Co., MS. Specifically, this plantation was a mile or two north of the town of Natchez along Pine Ridge Road (now M.L. King).  The plantation was located at land coordinates T7N-R3W, section 12.  The plantation adjoined Lansdowne Plantation (originally Ivy Place), which was to the north east of Homewood.

 

The land is known to have been owned by Robert Dunbar (who owned neighboring Ivy Place - later renamed Lansdowne) and then passed down through his descendants to Catherine Hunt.  Thus, the land was surely part of plantations with other names that were owned by Catherine's ancestors since the 1790s.

 

The plantation was 600 acres in size.  From the late 1700s to 1850, the land was a probably primarily a cotton plantation.  Beginning in 1850 the plantation was named Homewood and became part suburban Natchez estate and part cotton plantation when it was a wedding gift to Catherine (Hunt) and William S. Balfour from Catherine's father - David Hunt.  It was given so that the Balfours could build a residence on the plantation which would be close to Natchez.  William S. and Catherine soon built one of the largest mansions in the Natchez area there. 

Though cotton would have been the cash crop and corn would have been grown to feed the people and livestock, the small cotton operation on Homewood probably wasn't very important to the Balfours.  Both sides of the family set the Balfours up with other plantation(s) and possibly investments too which were far more profitable than Homewood.  Probably 20 to 25 of the larger total number of possibly 40 slaves on the plantation would have worked to support the mansion (a butler, a cook, house maid, nurse for the children, someone to wash the clothes, someone to care for the yard and garden, etc).

 

Tags

Location
Natchez
State
County
Owners
William Suggs Balfour
Stephen Minor
Robert Dunbar
David Ferguson
David Hunt
Lucy Stone Balfour
Founded
1850
Status
No remains