1875 Italianate Manor
Historic Brookfield Plantation
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|Heated Sq. Ft.||4,919|
|833 x 312 x 154 x 315 x 609 x 250|
|MLS No.||FMLS 6503321|
- Has Rentable Unit(s)
- 1st Floor Bath
- 1st Floor Bedroom
- Bonus Room
- Breakfast Room
- Crawl Space
- Dining room
- Gourmet Kitchen
- Laundry Room
- Living room
- Utility Room
- Master bedroom upstairs
- Circular driveway
- Guest House
- 6 Outbuildings
- Restored exterior
- Storage Building
- Built-in Cabinets
- Ceramic Tile
- 5 Fireplaces: Wood
- High Ceilings
- Asphalt shingle Roof
- Wood floors
- Shingle Roof: Asphalt shingle
- Central air
- City water supply
- Septic Tank
- Butler's Pantry
- Carriage House
- 12-foot Ceilings
- Claw-foot Tub(s)
- 10-foot Wrought Iron Gates
- 3-tier Driveway Fountain
- Entertaining Barn
- Front & Back Porches
- Gourmet Appliances
- Gravel Driveway
- Horse Stables
- Old Mills Smoke House
- Outdoor furnace oven / BBQ shed
- Outdoor gas jets
- Park Benches
- Secure Gated Entrance
- Split Rail Fences
- Storage Shed / Utlity Room
- White Picket Fences
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Agent Contact Information
Historic Brookfield Plantation offers so much for that person looking for a very unique Historical Property close to Atlanta. Please contact me for a showing.
Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty
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More About This House
Historic Brookfield, was once the center of an 800 acre cotton plantation. Brookfield is rare for how many of its original buildings are still intact - giving it the feel of a thriving village.
The estate encompasses two Guest Cottages, a Carriage House ‘Party Barn’, a Horse Stable, an old School house office, and the original white stucco Mills Family Smokehouse (now a stone-lined dining room). The Main House is a beautiful two story dwelling with tall ceilings, wide center halls, heart of pine floors, and an original staircase. Enjoy living in the renovated 4 Bed / 4.5 bathroom home, and the two renovated Guest Cottages (with their own bedrooms & kitchenettes).
Everywhere on these 17 acres, are park-like surroundings with mature gardens displaying classic Southern foliage including century-old Magnolia trees, Camellias and Azaleas. (Also English Boxwood shrubs, climbing Roses, 100-foot Oaks, and Pecan trees).
Other features on the grounds include: a picnic or party pavilion, 2 outhouses (female & male), a wide playing field for lawn games (previously a ‘trophy ring’ for showing thoroughbred horses), a fire pit (made from stones found onsite), a formal garden with an obelisk monument, and an authentic sharecropper's cabin.
At the rear of the property is a nine acre black-fenced pasture for farming, gardening, horses, or other livestock.
Brookfield would be ideal as a full time estate home, or an exquisite Southern retreat (or second home). It could also be used as an Events facility, a Bed & Breakfast, (or as a live/work space where you could occupy the main house yet keep 2 “whole house” options rentable on Airbnb at all times). Conveniently located near Atlanta in Spalding County, Brookfield is like living in another world - yet only a 40 mile drive from the world’s busiest airport - Hartsfield-Jackson International.
The Main House is a two story weatherboard house, built in a four-over-four Federal design, with tall ceilings, wood floors and the original entrance staircase. (A “four-over-four” arrangement means four rooms on the top floor, directly placed over four on the lower floor, separated by a central hallway).
Each room is approximately sixteen feet square and twelve feet high, and the hall is eight feet wide by thirty-two feet long. Every bedroom is a corner room, and each of the eight corner rooms is lighted by four large sash windows which bathe the home with natural light (all now fitted with custom plantation shutters). All rooms open onto the central hall. There and throughout the house the original wood flooring is made of random-width heart of pine.
The Main House contains:
Four southern-style bedrooms with bathrooms (one on the main level)
Formal Dining Room (with original Vermont-slate mantel & fireplace)
Den/Breakfast room (with original Vermont-slate mantel & fireplace)
Parlor / Library room (for a retro man cave)
Back entry foyer
Butler’s Pantry (with cove lighting)
Large country Kitchen (with black slate floor and brick mantel & fireplace)
Brookfield is architecturally significant as a rare example of the Italianate architectural style in Georgia. Italianate-style houses are unusual here because their popularity coincided with the Civil War and its aftermath. (The fact Brookfield’s first owner, Thomas Mills, chose the style reveals his awareness of Victorian architectural trends in the 1870’s).
The Italianate details (added onto the square shaped Federal structure) are best seen on the front & back porches and the overall roofline. They appear as lintels over the windows, and the broad overhanging eaves of the roof highlighted by single-spaced scrolls and corner medallions with pendants.
The old time back and front porches span the width of the home. The immediate grounds host gardens, a patio with pergola, brick walkways and gates - all against the backdrop of white picket fences and an old schoolhouse.
Outside the kitchen, there is a unique Southern Barbecue shed (and furnace oven) which offers true opportunities for hospitality (as it can cook 15 Boston butts at once, providing enough pulled pork to feed an army).
The furnace oven patio is a great place to entertain while the magnificent view of the land and sharecropper cabins show from the main house.
The Country Kitchen has been totally updated with modern amenities, all tastefully designed in keeping with this Historic Home, and the brick fireplace, including:
Thermador Professional stainless gas range (8 burners)
Sub Zero Refrigerator (with matching wood paneling)
Kenmore Double Ovens
Bosch Stainless Dishwasher,
KitchenAid Ice Maker
And "Cristol" brand custom wood cabinetry throughout
Other features in the kitchen include; black slate floors and a wood burning arched fireplace with brick mantel.
Other living quarters on the property include two original Historic guest cottages.
The first is ‘The Cooks Cottage”. It was built in 1875 before the Main House and housed the the kitchen which supplied food for the workers building the house and growing the crops. This cottage’s most defining feature is the double-sided white stucco fireplace & chimney in the center of the main room. (It was constructed from lime made onsite). The floors are wooden plank and the walls traditional bead board.
The second guest house is “The Overseer's Cabin”. It was also built in 1875 as the residence of the foreman supervising the building of the Main House. The floors are wooden plank and the walls are shiplap.
Both guest houses include bedrooms, fireplaces, kitchenettes, and bathrooms with showers. The cottage are tucked discreetly among the grounds along what appears to be an old plantation road. They are shaded by towering oaks with outreaching branches and massive twisted limbs.
“The Old Mills Smoke House” is highly significant architecturally (and listed on the National Register of Historic Places). This rectangular building, with a hipped roof, features poured-in-place concrete-wall construction extremely unusual for its time in Georgia. The concrete walls are made from rubble stone, lime, and clay mud cast in linear wood forms. The roof is supported by heavy sawn timber rafters (highlighted by accent lighting which show its beauty). Outside it has a tin roof.
The Smoke House is an elegant structure (with a white stucco facade) that more resembles a European turret than the log cabin smoke houses one expects to see. Inside it has exposed field stone walls that make it resemble a wine cellar. It runs 10 degrees cooler inside - and has been converted to a space for dining or entertaining (and a perfect place to cool down during summer parties).
There are numerous other plantation outbuildings: including a school house loft, horse stable, laundry room, tack room, horse training ring, and well houses. There are abundant storage areas, covered porches and large covered garage, separate tractor barn or tool shed, a grain silo, and an antique rustic sharecropper cabin. All intertwined with the nostalgia and integrity of the original plantation.
Brookfield was built by Thomas Mills from 1875-1877 as an 800 acre cotton plantation and summer estate.
Thomas Rowland. Mills, Sr. and his brother were important cotton merchants in Savannah during the mid 1800's and owned substantial interest in the Savannah Marine Bank. They were opposed to the Civil War for economic reasons, and in an effort to protect their investment during the War, they exchanged U.S. bank notes for British pounds. After the War, the Savannah Marine Bank was one of the few in the Confederacy able to pay its depositors back in gold.
In the mid-1870s, Thomas Mills, Sr., (and his wife Elizabeth) purchased a large plot of land south-west of Griffin on a high ridge and built this summer house. They named it
"Brookfield” (in remembrance of her father’s home in Brookfield, Massachusetts). Generations of locals referred to the property simply as the “Mills House and Smoke House” (since smoking their meats on the property was the main way most interacted with this imposing estate). And this is still how the site is referred to in ‘The National Register of Historic Places’ today (Mills House & Smokehouse #80004308).
The size of the house, the number of outbuildings, and the amount of acreage associated with the house indicate the financial stability of the Mills. Few Georgia families survived the War financially intact, let alone were able to erect a home that reflects their continued prosperity during the Reconstruction era.
Mills built a race track and stables for the thoroughbred horses he began breeding, and he also introduced the first Guernsey cows to Spalding County. Although planted in cotton most of its agricultural history, Brookfield is thought to have been the first commercial scale pimento pepper farm in America. (So Brookfield could arguably be called “Home of the Pimento Cheese Sandwich”!)
Mills and his wife would live 6 months of the year at Brookfield, but return to Savannah in the winter. They are buried there in Laurel Grove Cemetery. Later generations of the Mills family made Brookfield their permanent home.
Today this Historic home still stands grandly at the end of a long cherry-tree lined drive (surrounded by all its parts). There is no mistaking, the magic of this place captures the Old South at every turn.
Owner's Improvements (Jan 2017 to Jan 2019)
New Usable Spaces:
2 new full bathrooms installed in each main house upstairs guest rooms (in a manner that does not disrupt footprint of historic floor space
Renovated Carriage House ‘Party Barn’
Renovated Smokehouse (as dining/entertaining space)
Renovated Guest House (new bathroom & kitchenette)
Renovated Schoolhouse (as loft home office)
Rustic Fire Pit added
New roofing on all structures with shingles (main house, school house, well house, sharecropper cabin, small structure covering electrical service, cooks cottage, hay manger)
New gravel driveway (previously sand) using top-grade gravel (total cost $24,000)
Newly installed “LiftMaster” gate closing mechanism (and keycode stand)
New electric lights installed around the grounds (above smokehouse doorway, under Pavillion, outside Overseer’s Cottage, on carriage house)
New sink & toilets at Pavillion-side outhouse
Landscaping and Grounds Upgrades:
Newly repaired & painted (black) perimeter fencing
Landscaping restored with use of current* landscaping service (with extra attention paid to proper pruning of all old-growth flowering/ornamental shrubs and rose bushes around the fountain)
Matures trees restored and regularly pruned by arborist/tree service to maintain oaks, pecans, magnolias & cherry trees lining drive
Installed rustic stones lining brick path outside Main house kitchen patio back door
(full list of upgrades available from realtors)
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