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Pond Spring Plantation

Location: Historic Pond Spring; Lawrence Co., Alabama
Constructed: 1818

History: The first land-holding settlers moved into this area of Northern Alabama in 1818. Previous to this time, the land was part of Indian territory. John Hickman and Benjamin Sherrod began what would eventually become Pond Spring and the General Joe Wheeler Home. The three houses on the property include a "dogtrot" or double log cabin possibly built before 1818, a somewhat later two-story Federal-style house (1830's), and the main wing built around 1872.

Oral tradition credits the Hickman family with building the oldest of the three houses, the log dogtrot. Federal census records for 1820 list John P. Hickman as one of Lawrence Country's early settlers. The Hickman family included 11 members and 56 slaves. The Hickmans sold their interest in the Pond Spring plantation to Colonel Benjamin Sherrod, partner in the initial purchase of the property.

Colonel Sherrod was born in Halifax County, NC, migrated first to Georgia, then about 1818 settled in Alabama where he established several cotton plantations throughout the Tennessee River Valley. Sherrod's own home, "Cotton Garden," was located north of the nearby town of Courtland, and his eldest son, Felix, and his family lived at the Pond Spring place. The owner of more than 300 slaves, Benjamin Sherrod was an early Alabama "tycoon," with extensive and varied business interests.

The Pond Spring plantation passed from Sherrod's son, Felix, to a grandson, also named Benjamin Sherrod. In 1859, Benjamin married Daniella Jones of nearby "Caledonia" plantation, and at the time of his premature death in 1861, the plantation became Daniella's. After Benjamin Sherrod's death, Daniella returned to her parents' home, where in the fall of 1863, she met General Wheeler while he and his troops camped near the Jones home. They fell in love, and were married following the War in 1866. Following their marriage, Joeseph and Daniella lived in New Orleans for four years. They then returned to Alabama and the Pond Spring farm to raise their family.

Property of Alabama Historical Commission, the site includes 50 acres and 13 historic buildings. The main museum houses the Wheeler family's original furnishings.

Associated Surnames: Hickman, Sherrod, Wheeler

Associated Plantations: Caledonia Plantation (Lawrence Co., AL)

Associated Free White Names

Associated Black Slave Names

1820: Slaves of John P. Hickman
From 1820 Census (see "History" above)

1860: Slaves of Benjamin Sherrod
From 1860 Slave Schedule, Extracted by Tom Blake


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