Seven Chimneys

History

The history of what is now known as Seven Chimneys Farm dates back to 1848, when the original portion of the plantation home was constructed by Colonel William J. Oldham. Originally known as the Prarie Plantation House, it is believed to be the oldest extant home in Coahoma County. The land the home sits on is located just off the Mississippi River and was acquired from Choctaw Indians soon after the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830. By 1836, Colonel William J. Oldham had cleared the timber from the land, and construction began on the home in 1848. The home and surrounding land was passed down from generation to generation and the plantation itself has become known as Stovall Plantation.

It’s hard to imagine that what we now know as the Delta was once covered entirely by forest. That is what the people who first lived here looked out on when they opened their front doors - miles and miles of trees. Dams in the Mississippi River further north have altered the river's course, but back in 1840’s the house was near the river bank and served as a remote outpost for traffic coming up and down the river moving logs and supplies. It is likely that the Oldhams spent most of their time in Memphis, particularly the ladies, and Colonel Oldham would have only visited occasionally to check on the progress of the hired help and slaves who lived and worked on the property.

The original house has been enlarged and altered numerous times over the years, but its earliest form is clearly evident, and most of it's original features have been preserved. The bricks for the house were fired on site. Intricate molding and trim on the interior, elaborate mantel pieces, and distinct chimneys all add to the allure of the home. Many of the major additions and ornate detailing came about during the mid to late nineteenth century with more significant changes to the exterior during the mid-1890s.

The plantation and home have seen much excitement in its time of existence. From the detailing of the home, Union soldier visits during the Civil War, elaborate social gatherings, historic floods, agriculture progress, and the birthplace of such icons as Muddy Waters, the plantation and home are a reminder of the importance of our culture and region.


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