The Cooleemee Plantation House is a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. It was constructed between 1853 and 1855 by Peter and Columbia Stuart Hairston. (Columbia was a sister to J. E. B. Stuart.)
The architect, William H. Ranlett, designed the house in the shape of a Greek cross as an “Anglo-Grecian villa”. The detailed plans were in the January, 1850 Godey’s Lady’s Book. The house was constructed of over 300,000 bricks made on the plantation. Stonemasons cut foundation stones and gutters and gateposts from local native rock deposits. Moldings and mantle pieces were made in Philadelphia and brought to the site. Furnishings came from several family plantations, including Berry Hill and Beaver Creek, and some were ordered by Peter Hairston especially for the house.
The original plantation was put together by General Jesse Pearson. He named the plantation Cooleemee after the Kulimi tribe of Creek Indians, some of whom he captured during the War of 1812. He acquired 2,570 acres, which he sold to Peter Hairston in 1817. Peter had come from Virginia where his family had numerous land holdings and homes.
The Hairston family retains ownership of Cooleemee Plantation and resides there.
The pieces of furniture that we are featuring from this historic home have been deaccessioned by the current generation and come with certificates of authenticity as to the ownership by the Hairston family.