Prairie Place is one of four plantations built by the Stone family in the Blackbelt region of Alabama, along the Alabama River. It was named Prairie Place Plantation, and at times, the Stone family called it, the Summer House, because its 12 ft ceilings made it the coolest of all of the Stone plantations and often members of the family gathered here and slept over during the hot and humid summer months.
Originally situated on the Old Selma Road, the house was moved to its present location in 1994. It is now surrounded by 110 +/- (98) acres of wooded and pastured land, affording it the privacy and peaceful setting that makes this property so unique. The property woodlands have been designated a Treasure Forest by the Alabama Forestry Commission. There is also a creek running through the woods. The present believes that there is something truly special about being giving the stewardship of your own forest with all of the accompanying wonders that present with each change of seasons, thus making the property a very special place, indeed. It affords an owner the opportunity to enjoy established recreational hiking trails throughout the woods and to experience the aesthetic beauty of woodlands and prairie fields, with an abundance of native animals, birds, prairie grasses and wild flowers.
Entering the gated driveway, a cedar split rail fence, lined with mature cedars, ushers you to the first tree line. Further down the drive, magnolia and cedar trees line the roadway. Situated at the road head is Prairie Place a true historic gem with a Greek revival frame, a stately front porch (with the original gas lamp still hanging), Doric columns and Italianate brackets. This setting imitates the house as it would have been viewed is the 1850's. A large pond, stocked with bass and brim, sits on one side, and a three-stall barn, with fencing, is located a short distance from the home on the other side. Integrated into the complex and sitting in back of the house, reached by a circular drive, is a two-car garage with workshop, and a separate guest house, with a full bath and a storage room. The plantings around the house are historically accurate to the time period of the home, with many antique roses and indigenous flowers.
Upon entering the fifty-foot center hallway, one notices the hand-painted decorative art work, the 12 foot ceilings, and the original wide-plank, heart pine wood floors. Dominating this room is a beautiful crystal chandelier that once graced Montgomery’s Train Shed. There are four main rooms off this hallway: The formal Music Room, is now filled with musical instruments from the 18th and 19th century, a faux-marble mantel piece, and another large chandelier. Across the hall, in the spacious Blue Room, your eyes are drawn to a spectacular ceiling to floor, heart-pine book case, covering one full wall. This room serves as the study or office, and again has a seating area in front of the gas fireplace. From here there are magnificent views out across the pond. Further down the hall, one door leads to the dining room, which accommodates a banquet sized table and again has an original mantle (there is extra storage in all of the non-working fireplaces). The dining room also has a closet for glass wear and dishes. This room has matching antique 18th century lights. Across the hall is a large guest room with adjoining full bath, mantle and view to the pond.
The oversized, open-plan kitchen and family room area boasts two separate seating areas, and has space for a 10-person dining table and a game table. This area was designed so that extended family could all be in one room, enjoying different activities at the same time, and is the “central hub” of the house. It has a 5’ x 10’ maple-topped work island, all stainless appliances, hand- painted backsplash tiles, a marble-topped pastry work area, a Vermont Castings gas stove (for warmth), ample storage, high cupboards, and room for a computer desk. A bank of windows insures ample cheery, natural light. Off the kitchen there is a storage closet, a half bath, and a large pantry with a second refrigerator. The back porch serves as an outdoor room, where a Weber gas grill, sitting just outside the kitchen door, makes every day grilling convenient.
The master bedroom is oversized and accommodates two large bureaus, two desks, easy chairs, exercise equipment, a library table, plus a king bed with end tables. There is an adjoining walk-in closet, and a large bathroom with two sinks, a shower, tub, and makeup area.
Upon exiting the back porch, a double garage with workshop is on one side, and a guest house with bedroom, full bath, and a storage room. The outbuildings are new and the architectural trim is complimentary to the main house. These buildings are joined by brick walkways. A grape arbor at the end of the garden draws you to the woods and adjoining Federal House. Outside the circular driveway is a small greenhouse near the orchard, and a dock on the pond to use for fishing and swimming.
In back of the big house is the Lassiter House (c. 1825). It represents a unique piece of Alabama history on its own, and is part of rural Montgomery’s vanishing architectural heritage. It was
originally situated on the Old Federal Road near the village of Pintlala, and is referred to as the Federal House. It is 1,860 square-feet, and has a wide, airy, open “dogtrot” hallway, with high-ceilinged front rooms on both sides, and another pair of lower-ceilinged rooms beneath the “saltbox” sloping roofline. The windows are “9-over-9”, and the “cross and bible” doors have all been restored. The interior detailing includes original wainscot of wide pine board topped by beaded chair rail in the main rooms. There is one original Federal style mantle remaining. The present owners use this structure for parties and family holiday evenings, when they sit around a cozy wood fire. The Federal House looks out over idyllic wooded forest. This structure could easily be adapted to use as two more bedrooms with accompanying bathrooms, without compromising the overall integrity of the complex.
Attention to detail and a meticulous restoration plan have guided this project from the beginning. The complete restoration of the main house was designed to place all of the modern plumping systems (on demand water heaters) in the “new” section of the house. Redesigned and new electrical wiring throughout, plus energy efficient insulation combined with modern heating and cooling zones, and energy efficient appliances, allow for manageable utility bills.
Prairie Place is the perfect solution to a hectic modern lifestyle. Our electronic world and a close-by airport make it possible to conduct an at-home business and travel from this site, throughout the world, with ease. It provides complete privacy, with access to the Montgomery downtown amenities, within a 15-minute drive. This is an ideal home for those who want to be close to nature, and want to maintain an appreciation for the value of preserving our historic fabric and legacy. Prairie Place offers privacy, an unparalled family life style, and is coupled with great entertainment spaces. You will find no better-suited place, offering modern family-friendly living amenities. All of this is combined with unbeatable peerless and significant historical dignity.