Historic Haile Homestead

Historic Haile Homestead, Gainesville: Address, Phone Number, Historic Haile Homestead Reviews: 4.5/5

Historic Haile Homestead
4.5
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In 1854 the Haile family, from South Carolina, established a 1500 acre Sea Island cotton plantation. The 6,200 sq ft home was the site of house parties attended by Gainesville’s finest citizens. The Hailes had an unusual habit of writing on the walls. See the "Talking Walls," over 12,500 words written by family and friends in every room. Exhibit on the enslaved builders. On National Register.
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4.5
49 reviews
Excellent
26
Very good
16
Average
7
Poor
0
Terrible
0

OrlandoGal22
Orlando, FL621 contributions
We visited on a recent Sunday afternoon and had a great tour by a knowledgeable docent.

Lovely grounds, well-maintained historical site with the extremely unique "talking walls, and informative visitor's center with very small but nice gift shop "area." The short video played in the visitor's center is a must-watch to orient yourself to the property.

Clean on-site bathrooms.

Highly recommend for any North Central Florida history buff!
Written May 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Colleen J
New Albany, IN65 contributions
Interesting historical site. The story of the Haile family is worth visiting if you are in the area. The house itself, however, is very sparsely furnished, and there are no other outbuildings still standing. The visitors center has a lot of information. The house is unique in that the family and guests had written extensively on the walls!
Written March 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ChrisH
Frederick, MD397 contributions
Two adults went here on a Saturday in early January and had a great visit. Took one of the guided tours and the guide was great. It was only the two of us with the guide. The guide took his time and we ended up spending about two hours all together. YMMV as we really enjoy history. The tour consists of the first floor and you self-guide on the second. Unique house.
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GatorGirl428
320 contributions
Family
What an interesting place. This is a historic homestead by some early Gainesville settlers. It only can you tour the home and land, but you can also learn about the people that lived there, both the Haile family and the slaves. I especially found it neat that the connection was made between the slave family and some current prominent Gainesville residents. It made it so much more real. They also have yours at Christmas time when the house is decorated as it would have been when the Haile family lived there.
Written July 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stew H
Marietta, GA58 contributions
Solo
Many family members grew up in and around Gainesville. This was my first visit to the Homestead, and it was well worth the 6 hour drive to take it all in. It was a real experience for me to see the many members of my family are represented on the "talking walls". I was given a real history lesson about the family roots by one of the Docents and also given many copies of information for me to take back home. I found out about the many burial sites around Gainesville that Haile family members occupy and their relationship to me. A rare and rewarding experience for me but should also be interesting to other travelers as well. Well worth the visit.
Written May 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Francine14
Central Florida, FL88 contributions
What a delightful surprise! While in the Gainesville, FL area, I visited this historic homestead. This Classic Revival Plantation home, with some Cracker influences, was built between 1854-56. The home has been carefully restored. The skilled workmanship testifies to the skills of the enslaved craftsmen who built the house from native materials. Visitors are treated to "walls that talk". The Haile family had the unusual habit of writing on the walls... everything from shopping lists, olden prescriptions and recipes, adages, agricultural records, party-guest lists and even just plain doodling. Example: "January 1886... Bitter cold. Thick ice lasting from Friday 7th until Thursday 14th. Oranges all frozen - ground frozen from 8th to 13th. The longest and most severe spell of cold since we came here in 1854..." or "15 drops turpentine, 10-15 drops laudanum , 1 teaspoon paregoric in glass of water. Repeat every 3 hours if necessary". How about "If love be cold, do not despair, there's always flannel underwear". Reading these walls was a treat! Tour guides point out architectural elements unique to this style of home such as the columns standing off-side the porch which prevented rain from splashing onto the porch. Admission is $5.00pp with children under 12 free. Group tours are welcome. Check out their website www.hailehomestead.org or call 352-336-9096.
Written September 3, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

twistabout
Ellijay, GA370 contributions
Friends
Yes, this historic plantation and simple house is home to not only the Haile family but "the Talking Walls." Each rooms of this historic home has written notations on its walls. Perhaps there was a shortage of paper or they wanted a permant copy of lists, supplies, guests, silver..etc. this fact gives an insightful and tangible look back in time. Simple furnishings in this modest home gives your mind room to roam, to imagine the past. A twist to the predictable homes of yester year.
Written January 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jonaleman
Orlando, FL6 contributions
Couples
The Historic Haile Homestead is a great way to spend an hour or so exploring the history of Gainesville.

By no means will this attraction encompass your entire afternoon, but it's swell for a brief and relaxing jaunt. Fun for the whole family.

Our tour guide was Anne, who (for a whopping $5) gave us a thorough and unbiased tour of the house. From its inception to its current state (and that handwriting on the wall!), we got a very comprehensive look at some Gainesville history.

Would completely recommend to anyone looking for a cute and endearing way to learn about the good ol South.
Written October 18, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BobHoward9
Oviedo, FL51 contributions
Friends
An interesting period plantation home, very well preserved, though sparsely furnished. No other structures other than the main house, though reconstructions of out-buildings are planned. Docents were very nice and knowledgeable, and the visit was interesting. Children probably would find it a bit dull.
Written October 4, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

acphifer
Athens, PA743 contributions
My mother and I enjoyed our tour of the Haile Homestead. The guide was knowledgeable and engaging. Fascinating history of a unique family!
Written August 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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