Welcome to Washington Plantation!
This fine old bed and breakfast inn (one of our guests, from Ireland,
said "It's more like a boutique hotel!") began life in 1828 as
a two over two plain-style farmhouse. Over the years, as the prosperity
of Washington, Georgia, and the home’s owners, waxed and waned, the
house grew into its present superb example of Greek Revival
architecture. The wealth was here: at one point, the house ruled over
nearly three thousand acres.
A thorough restoration in 2004 has brought Washington Plantation back
to its full happy glory. Through the years, it has been the scene of
festive weddings, reunions and just plain parties. It seems that the
whole population of town has fond memories of joyous occasions at
Washington Plantation. Hospitality is built in.
The seven acres of grounds, planted with magnolias, immense oaks,
dogwood, pecan, hickory, elm and crape myrtle, have served as the
backdrop of history. Both Union and Confederate armies camped here in
1865. The beauty and tranquility of the land, and the house’s setting
at the top of a gentle knoll where the breeze always blows, stand as
testimony to the eye of Daniel Chandler, the first builder at Washington
What you will find here will transport you back to the days when
cotton was king and the cotton planter an aristocrat. The house is
furnished with period antiques and fine reproductions. The breakfast
china is Wedgwood or Lennox. The table silver is sterling. The window
treatments are handmade and luxurious. Crystal and brass chandeliers
appear in every room. Irish crystal glassware, 1000 count Egyptian
cotton sheets, gas fireplaces and the finest amenities grace the
bedrooms. That’s the way a planter would greet his guests, and
that’s what’s in store for you at Washington Plantation.
Come and join us to experience the planter’s life when cotton was
Tom and Barbara Chase, Your Hosts.
Washington Plantation offers five spacious and luxurious bedrooms
each with a private bath, individually controlled heating and air
conditioning, and original heart pine floors with fine oriental rugs.
Each room has a gas log fireplace or coal grate, telephone, cable
television and free wireless Internet access. All of the bedrooms have a
writing desk and sitting area with silver wine and ice buckets, Irish
crystal and silver goblets. Brass and crystal chandeliers are
rheostat-controlled to allow you to set the mood.
Bathroom amenities include bayberry and glycerin soaps, bath salts,
bubble bath, shower gel, hand and body lotion, rubber duckies, luxurious
spa robes and slippers, lighted magnifying vanity mirrors and Egyptian
Bedding consists of pillow-top mattresses, 1000 count Egyptian cotton
sheets, and pure hypoallergenic down pillows, duvets and comforters.
Even though all rooms share the same high level of luxury, each is
different in tone and feeling. The rooms are named, with one exception,
for members of our family, and the decoration and furnishing reflect the
taste and style of the individual.
Abigail's Room has soft mint green walls with lavish darker
gray-green drapes with white sheers and floral tops, and a white
beadboard ceiling. A handmade queen four poster rice bed, a period
spinet desk and Queen Anne highboy are the major furniture pieces, lit
by a pewter chandelier. Occasional tables hold the wine and ice
buckets, and there is a Cambridge SoundResearch radio/ CD player. A
tiled oversized shower and toilet are separate from the vanity area,
which is in an alcove open to the room.
Amity's Room is painted a buttery gold with a natural bead board
ceiling. This is our Eastlake room, with a hand carved oak queen size
bed, two oak dressers and a dark pine tilt-top desk from the 1880s.
The window treatments consist of moiré gold drapes with fanciful
fringed plaid valances. The brass chandelier and the Bose Wave radio
add to the ambience. The large bathroom features a vintage clawfoot
tub with brass shower surround and sunflower showerhead and a well lit
Katie's Room is painted in a pale blue that changes with the
ambient light. The drapes are white cotton eyelet lace, echoed in the
bedspread and bed ruffle on the four-poster queen rice bed. Two period
dressers and occasional tables grace the room and carry the Bose Wave
radio and wine and ice buckets. The bath has a vintage clawfoot tub
with brass shower surround and sunflower showerhead.
Martha's Room, located downstairs, is colored in dusty rose with
matching draperies and burgundy valances, and is the second largest in
the house. The king size four poster rice bed, vintage highboy and
gracious sitting area before the fireplace make this room special. The
tiled bathroom has a vintage clawfoot tub with shower surround and
sunflower shower head. The Cambridge SoundResearch radio/CD player and
brass chandelier complete the ambience.
The Planter's Room:
The Planter's Room is the master bedroom of Washington Plantation,
and is the largest and most elegant of all. Wallpapered in toile with
matching drapes, the effect is luxurious and inviting. The king size
full tester bed has lace bed curtains and a ceiling suspended canopy
straight from the 1840s. The beautiful brass chandelier with lead
crystal bobeshes casts a wonderful glow. The bathroom is large, with
an old marble counter top and a beautiful drop-in sink. The bathtub is
a clawfoot style 72" whirlpool bath with hot air bubbles and room
for two, with a brass shower enclosure and sunflower showerhead. This
room is the best of the South.
Wilkes County, Georgia, was one of the first and biggest created on
what was then the frontier. Inhabited by Cherokee and the fierce Creek
Indian tribes, and coveted by the rising European population, the
fertile lands between the Broad and Little Rivers (the present, vastly
contracted boundaries of the County) were fiercely contested. Still, new
residents flooded in, mostly from Pennsylvania, Virginia and the
During the American Revolution, things were mostly quiet in Wilkes
County, except for British efforts to stir up the Indians of the
frontier, and the reaction of the frontiersmen to counteract them. The
one major exception resulted in the Battle of Kettle Creek, about 7
miles from Washington Plantation. On February 14, 1779, American militia
forces under Colonels Andrew Pickens, John Dooly and Elijah Clark, about
400 troops, pursued, surprised and defeated a Tory force of more than
700 at Kettle Creek, effectively ending British influence in northeast
The advent of the cotton economy in succeeding years brought
considerable prosperity to Washington and Wilkes County. Eli Whitney’s
cotton gin (invented near the City of Washington) vastly accelerated the
pace. Wilkes County quickly became one of the richest cotton counties in
Georgia. As more Virginian and Carolinian planters continued to arrive,
the plantation system became firmly entrenched in Wilkes County. Some of
the largest expanded to nearly 5000 acres.
The Chandler-Irvin house (as Washington Plantation was then known)
was the seat of a 3000 acre plantation, uniquely located a quarter mile
from Washington town square. Isaiah Tucker Irvin, Commander of the
Wilkes Guards (a local militia company), bought the home in 1835. I.T.
Irvin, like most Wilkes County pioneers, was a colorful character. Court
martialed in 1814 during the War of 1812 for insubordination and
dismissed from the service, he nevertheless rose to be Speaker of the
Georgia House of Representatives, and an important actor in the events
leading to Secession. I. T. Irvin died in a steamboat explosion in New
Orleans in 1860, on the eve of Secession. He was so admired that his old
militia company, the Wilkes Guards, voted to become the Irvin Guards,
and served with some distinction as an artillery company in the
Confederate States Army.
With Charles E. Irvin becoming the owner, the Corinthian features
were added, along with side porches that lead into cross hallways. High
wainscoting, paneled doors, random width heart pine floors, 11.5 foot
ceilings, original mantles and beautiful staircase are a few of the
architectural features. The columns gracing the front of the house are
the rarely-seen Temple-of-the-Winds Corinthian pillars.
But Washington Plantation did not exist in a vacuum. Washington,
Georgia boasts more antebellum homes and buildings than any other city
in Georgia excepting Savannah. Union General William Tecumseh Sherman
bypassed Washington on his famous (or infamous, depending which side you
were on) March to the Sea after the fall of Atlanta. A local Union
supporter and friend of Sherman’s convinced the General to spare the
town, and the result is the city you can visit today, a jewel of the