Historic Haile Homestead, Gainesville

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The Haile Homestead, also known as Haile Plantation House or Kanapaha, is a historic site and museum in Gainesville, Florida, United States. It is located at 8500 SR 24. On May 2, 1986, the plantation house was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.HistoryIn 1854 Thomas Evans Haile, his wife, Esther "Serena" Chesnut Haile, moved from Camden, South Carolina to Alachua County, Florida. There they established a 1,500-acre Sea Island cotton plantation called Kanapaha, meaning "small thatched houses". The Hailes survived bankruptcy in 1868 and turned the property into a productive farm, growing a variety of fruits and vegetables, including oranges.Evans Haile became the owner of the land but lived in town, and after 1900 the home sat vacant for decades.ArchitectureOfficially known as Historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation, the house was built for Thomas Evans and Serena Chesnut Haile in 1856 as part of their original 1500acre cotton plantation. The Hailes brought with them from South Carolina fifty-six slaves who lived in small one-room frame houses for the slaves. Billy Watts was a skilled carpenter who supervised most of the homestead construction. Henry Gaines, a stonemason from the Stringfellow plantation, was responsible for building the fireplaces, chimneys and support piers on the plantation. Johnson Chestnut was a gifted carpenter and furniture maker.
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Historic Haile Homestead Reviews
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  • October 4, 2017
    An interesting period plantation home, very well preserved, though sparsely furnished. No other structures other than the main house, though reconstructions of out-buildings are planned. Docents were ...  more »
  • August 6, 2017
    My mother and I enjoyed our tour of the Haile Homestead. The guide was knowledgeable and engaging. Fascinating history of a unique family!  more »
  • July 19, 2017
    What an interesting place. This is a historic homestead by some early Gainesville settlers. It only can you tour the home and land, but you can also learn about the people that lived there, both the H...  more »

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