Historic Markers Across Alabama

Boxwood Plantation

Marker ID:  
Location: at the intersection of Cooperage Way (County Route 700) and Alabama Route 20, Trinity, AL
County: Lauderdale
Coordinates: N 34° 38.038    W 087° 6.815
  34.63396666    -87.11358333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


Boxwood Plantation

(side 1)
This small dwelling is the last reminder of "Boxwood" plantation, the home of the Elliot family, and later of the Nevilles. Built-in 1854 of slave-made brick and occupied by the household servants it is one of the few brick plantation "quarters" surviving anywhere in Alabama. The main residence, razed in the 1950s for the widening of Alabama Highway 20, stood just to the northeast. Such brick quarters were unusual and suggest the higher status generally accorded to the household staff. its door to the outside is a typical slave-dwelling design found throughout the southern states and as far north as Maryland and Missouri. At Boxwood, log and frame cabins located further away to the south housed the enslaved workers who tilled the vast surrounding fields of cotton. Here, in the years before the Civil War, Samuel Elliott, Jr., and his wife, Elizabeth, developed a notable country estate including the boxwood gardens which gave the plantation its name. Their son, Dr. Jeremiah Pearsall Elliott, inherited Boxwood in 1870.

(side 2)
This building then became a lodge for the young men of the family. In 1907, prominent Morgan County planter William Vinkley Neville purchased Boxwood. Neville descendants continued to own the property until the 1980s. Concealed by later additions the old slave quarters came to light in 2010 during the development of the Mallard Fox West Industrial Complex by the Industrial Board of Lawrence County. To foster interest in its significance, local volunteers Lisa and Jimmy Lentz stripped away the additions to expose the original two-room house underneath. It was then stabilized in consultation with the Alabama Historical Commission and with a small grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, In 2013, this rare vestige of early agricultural life in the Tennessee Valley was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The generosity of the Brown-Forman Corporation of Louisville, Ky., and Jack Daniels Cooperages made possible its exterior restoration in 2014-15.

Erected in 2015 by the Courtland Historical Foundation and Courtland Historical Association

End of Boxwood Plantation