Wilcox County, Alabama⁞19± ACRES
Magnificently Restored Brick Plantation House in Canton Bend, Alabama. The Last Extant Brick Plantation House in Wilcox County
- Magnificently restored historic antebellum house situated on approximately 19 stately acres, known as ‘Pleasant Ridge’ and offered Turn-key
- Located in Canton Bend, Alabama, approximately 5 miles from the Wilcox County seat of Camden
- The last extant brick plantation house in Wilcox County, and also one of less than a dozen brick plantation houses to survive in the Black Belt. Tristin Bethea, a native South Carolinian, built this home around 1844.
- 3500+/- square feet both Federal and Greek Revival style architecture with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in the main house with an attached mother-in-law suite with a bathroom
- The main floor includes a formal dining room and parlor in the front and a service wing (extending from the dining room) containing a library, butler’s pantry, and huge eat in kitchen. The hall ends in a wide porch which engages rear service wings and the mother-in-law suite
- The main hall’s staircase accesses two large bedrooms with the same dimensions as the parlor and dining room below. A bathroom is located in between them
- The sale includes all of the furniture, most of which are valuable antiques, with the exception of a few personal items (family pictures, etc.)
- Two frame bunkhouses are situated on the property. Both possess porches and one has multiple rooms. Additional quarters for family and friends on weekends or holidays are easily at hand
- Spectacular views of manicured grounds with parterre gardens and centuries old cedar trees lining the oval drive
- Brick Columns anchor the wrought iron gated entrance with a white 3-rail fence along the road
- Convenient to restaurants, hardware & grocery stores in a quintessential southern town with more social & culinary options than any other town in the black belt.
- Exceptional hunting, fishing, and recreational opportunities are in short distance
- An upward trending rural town benefitting from increased investment and enjoyment of the historic buildings, dining options, and country pursuits
- An easy drive from Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, and Meridian
Pleasant Ridge Plantation circa 1838
Pleasant Ridge provides more than a pleasing prospect. While the views of and from this grand country seat are singular, they are but only a portion of the appeal of a truly remarkable property. We are talking about a historical, an architectural, and a landscape ensemble that is the ideal in the real. The past and present day experiences of this plantation property cause for greater appreciation of that prettiest of places upon a promontory.
Located along one of the most picturesque stretches of scenic Highway 28, Pleasant Ridge is defined by its main house. This tall-columned “big house” is not only the last extant brick plantation house in Wilcox County, but also one of less than a dozen brick plantation houses to survive in the Black Belt. Though the masons and carpenters behind the construction of the two-story brick residence are no longer known, the life of the builder, Tristam Bethea, still has a resounding presence in the area. The South Carolina born planter was among the earliest settlers in Wilcox County. He played a prominent role in transition of a rural and fertile wilderness into one of largest producing cotton counties in the State of Alabama. Bethea situated his grand house upon a gracious rise that cascades into valley. The use of brick alone is telling of significance of the house then and now. By 1860, only the Wilcox County Courthouse and Wilcox Hotel, both in nearby Camden, and a few other dwellings were made of brick. Even the wealthiest of planters, lawyers, doctors, and cotton factors constructed their houses of wood. The majority of the populace contended with log or small frame dwellings. A two-story brick domicile was the utmost badge of affluence.
The big house at Pleasant Ridge is as practical as it is grand. A two-columned, monumental ionic portico fronts the symmetrical facade. The vista from it is of the almost two-hundred-year-old cedars ringing the u-shaped drive. Formal gardens are to either side. The two-story gallery and its balcony front double doors with arched fanlights accessing first-story and second-story halls. Upon entering the main floor, one can venture to the left into a formal dining room or to the right into a parlor. The grandly scaled rooms possess twelve-foot ceilings and could serve multiple purposes. These rooms, as well as the upper-story chambers, feature exquisite faux grained and marbled treatments on paneling, doors, and mantels. The hall ends in a porch which engages rear service wings. This porch functions as an outdoor living room during most seasons of the year, especially after toddy time! One service wing (extending from the dining room) contains a library and huge eat in kitchen. The second service wing is a mother-in-law suite. The main hall’s staircase accesses two large bedrooms with the same dimensions as the parlor and dining room below. A bathroom is located between them.
The picture has not always been so rosy at Pleasant Ridge. The Bethea family lost the property after the Civil War. It was let by let by later owners and fell into considerable decline. The main house was unoccupied for almost fifty years. By the 1980s, it was an evocative ruin. Previous owners completely restored the house and embellished the grounds. They respected and preserved historic features and introduced modern conveniences. The current owners have maintained and improved the whole with the utmost care.
Again, the main house at Pleasant Ridge affords one undeniably beautiful view from any angle. Those vistas from the big house are equally if not more pleasing. Large double hung windows with wavy old glass provide glimpses of formal and pastoral grounds. A number of ancillary buildings are found on the property. A late 19th Century barn and two frame bunkhouses are situated in close proximity to the main house. Having the appeal of follies, they serve and can serve further ends than the merely aesthetic. Both of the bunkhouses possess porches. One has multiple rooms. Additional quarters for family and friends on the weekends or the holidays are thus easily at hand.
Pleasant Ridge is but a five mile drive from Camden. With Gaines Ridge Supper Club and The Pecan, that quintessentially Southern county seat offers more culinary options than any other in the Black Belt. Black Belt Treasures, the award-winning artists cooperative, Gee’s Bend, and Auburn’s Rural Studio are short distances for those with cultural inclinations. The recreational opportunities are abundant. Deer and turkey abound. If birds are your game, there are numerous outlets for you, your guns, and pup.
Camden is blessed and affords more than visual appeal, dining options, and country pursuits. Gracious locals are joined by families maintaining or restoring other historic buildings nearby. Wilcox County has the third largest concentration of Antebellum buildings in Alabama. The beauty of these structures and the landscapes upon which they stand are benefiting from increased investment and enjoyment.
Pleasant Ridge is that union of past, architecture, landscape, recreation, and community that is a proven betterment to self and family. A hop, skip, and jump from Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, and Meridian, this estate is move in ready and offered turn-key. A house made a happy home by the current owners, this wonderful place awaits a new people.
A Social Storm™ Property
Pleasant Ridge Plantation is considered a Social Storm™ Property, a term we trademarked to identify unique properties that investors gravitate to for safety in bad times and buy for a recreation reward in good times. What makes a Social Storm™ Property so unique?