When our local community of photographers chose The Davis Home for our latest Looks Like Film Tennessee Meet Up, we were all ecstatic about exploring the breathtaking vintage mansion and all the beauty spread across the grounds of Strawberry Plains in Holly Springs, MS. Last month our meet up took place in Downtown Memphis, and we all agreed that we had our urban fix and were ready to head down a tad further south for something a little different from what we were all accustomed to.
The Davis Home at Strawberry Plains is the perfect southern wedding venue. On the 2,600 acres of beautiful land that make up the plantation, stands the Davis Home. Each room is filled with antiques and vintage decor, stories, and decades of history; this house is a southern bride's dream come true. Below are my favorites of the adorable Katie & Zach from our meet up, and a little excerpt from the Davis Home website on the history of this remarkable wedding venue and how it came to be.
After settling in Marshall County in the 1830’s and naming his land Strawberry Plains after the wild strawberries that grew there, Ebenezer Nelms Davis built this majestic, Federal style, two-and-a-half story house in 1851 from bricks fired on the property. Other buildings around the house included the ice house, flour mill, blacksmith shop, carriage house, smokehouse, cotton gin, stables and a one-room school house for the Davis children.
Being up in years and unable to fight during the Civil War, Mr. Davis left for his land in Alabama to farm at the request of his wife. There are many stories of Mrs. Davis’ courageous acts as Union troops repeatedly raided Strawberry Plains, ultimately ending in the house being burned.
The Davis Home was restored to its former grandeur from 1968-1973 by Margaret Finley Shackelford and her husband John Shackelford. The banister and stairway were acquired from the Shriners’ Temple in Memphis which exemplified the effort put into the restoration.
The Davis House and surrounding 2,600-acre farm were donated to the National Audubon Society just prior to Margaret’s death in 1998. The property is now operated as an environmental education facility for the public.
Two sisters, Ruth Finley and Margaret Finley Shackelford of Holly Springs made sure their love for Mississippi’s birds, wildlife and natural habitats would endure. Their gift of Strawberry Plains to the National Audubon Society laid the foundation for ecological restoration that is healing the land and bringing back native wildlife. Because of their caring, Strawberry Plains Audubon Center is reaching out to visitors, local landowners and home owners helping bring nature home to further protect the wildlife they loved.