HISTORIC HAILE HOMESTEAD
Size: 40 acres Date conserved: 1985 Partner Organizations: Historic Haile Homestead Inc.
Historic Haile Homestead (HHH) is a hidden treasure in north central Florida. Nestled in Gainesville, this 6,200 square-foot structure was the heart of the old 1,500 acre Kanapaha plantation.
The home is the second oldest in Alachua County, but the feature that makes HHH particularly special is the “talking walls.” Members of the Haile family and their guests would write on the walls – anything from diary entries to party guest lists to recipes for home remedies. The walls contain more than 12,500 words, with much of this being in the music room and parlor. Ben Haile has the oldest writing in the home, dated in 1859 when he was just seven years old.
The Haile family moved to Gainesville from Camden, South Carolina in 1854 to establish a Sea Island Cotton plantation, which they named Kanapaha. HHH was completed in 1856 with the labor of enslaved black craftsmen.
In the late 1980’s, the Haile family partnered with Alachua Conservation Trust to restore the house. Today, ACT co-owns and manages the property with the Haile family and HHH Inc. in a partnership that maintains the family name on the house and preserves this unique resource as a historic house museum.
Learn more about Historic Haile Homestead on HHH Inc.'s website.
HHH Inc. is a separate 501c3 non-profit corporation established to market & raise funds for the house. In addition, they coordinate a docent program to educate visitors about the early history of the family and homestead in this part of Florida.
Historic Haile Homestead is open to the public for tours every Saturday from 10am to 2pm and on Sunday from 12pm to 4pm. Tours are $5/person, children under 12 are free.
None are currently available.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP
ACT is currently replacing the structure’s current shake-shingle roof, and the total cost will be well over $50,000. To help pay for this project, ACT has initiated a “RAISE THE ROOF CAMPAIGN”, and are hoping to raise at least $25,000.
If you would like to support preservation of one of Alachua County’s oldest and most historically significant structures – one visited by thousands each year – please send your contribution to ACT by mail:
ALACHUA CONSERVATION TRUST 7204 SE County Road 234 Gainesville, FL 32641 (352) 373-1078
DONATE ONLINE (select HHH- Raise the Roof under Fund).
Use our interactive map to find other ACT properties and explore the different conservation lands in Alachua County.
Know or own a property that should be protected for its natural, recreational, or historical value, learn how you can help protect it.