Historic Markers Across Alabama

Showplace of the South

Marker ID: HCC 
Location: Henry County Road 47, south of Shorterville, Alabama
County: Henry
Coordinates: N 31° 31.439    W 085° 4.343
  31.52398333    -85.07238333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMKA07


Side 1:
The "Mansion" was built in the 1830's on this site by Colonel James Bennett and his wife, Harriet M. Grace. Tradition maintains that it was the only three story antebellum home in the Chattahoochee Valley. The top floor was a ballroom. Six columns spanned the façade which included a winding staircase. "The Mansion" could be seen from the Chattahoochee River and was know by riverboat travelers as "The Showplace of the South." James Bennett came to Alabama in 1817 with his father, Luke Bennett. They first settled on a ridge between what is now Clayton and Louisville along with James Arthur, Pious Chambers, and others.

Erected by The Historic Chattahoochee Commission and The Bennett Family, 1996.

The "Mansion" later burned to the ground leaving only the kitchen standing. Its construction of 10" x 10" beams set on concrete blocks made of sand and pebbles from the property. Cut nails and large steel spikes were used throughout the building. The cemetery here holds the graves of Colonel James Bennett; Bartlett Smith Bennett, infant son; James W. Bennett, CSA; John B. Bennett, CSA; the Bennett slaves; and the construction overseer from New York, Mr. Williams, who died of pneumonia before "The Mansion" was completed. Harriet Grace Bennett rests in an unmarked grave in the Shorterville Baptist Church cemetery near her son Thomas.

Erected by The Historic Chattahoochee Commission and The Bennett Family, 1996.


Marker Dedication or Erection Date: July 4, 1996

End of Showplace of the South