Welcome to Dixie Plantation
DP Research LLC and Tall Timbers Research, Inc.
Tall Timbers Research & Land Conservancy acquired Dixie Plantation as a gift from the Geraldine C. M. Livingston Foundation in December 2013. The transaction was approved by the Livingston family, Geraldine C. M. Livingston Foundation Trustees and the Suwanee River Water Management District, who holds the conservation easement on the property, as well as the Tall Timbers Board of Trustees. This is the largest gift ever to Tall Timbers since its founder, Mr. Henry Beadel, donated his 2400-acre property and endowed the institution in 1958. Dixie Plantation will be operated by DP Research LLC, a fully-owned affiliate of Tall Timbers Research, Inc. “For Tall Timbers,” Bill Palmer, President/CEO states, “this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand on our research and conservation efforts in the Red Hills. We are thankful for the generosity of the Geraldine Livingston Foundation for this tremendous gift.”
The history of Dixie Plantation dates from the early nineteenth century. It was first settled as a cotton plantation in 1819-20 by General William Bailey and his family, and was named The Cedars. In 1919, it was purchased by a group of Macon, Georgia businessmen and renamed Georgia-Florida Farm still farming cotton. In 1926, a group from New York City, who planned to colonize the land with small farmers from Iowa, purchased the property. This plan proved unworkable, and by the late 1920s one of the group, Gerald M. Livingston, bought out the others. He renamed the 7500-acre property Dixie Plantation.
Gerald Livingston continued to add acreage until his death in 1950, at which time his wife, Eleanor R. Livingston, took control of the approximately 18,000-acre property, almost evenly divided between Florida and Georgia, and continued to manage it as a quail hunting plantation for family and guests. Upon the death of Eleanor in 1977, ownership of the Florida half of Dixie was passed to her daughter Geraldine C. M. Livingston, and the Georgia portion was left to the rest of the family, including her daughter Mary Livingston Ripley and her four grandchildren. Geraldine lived on Dixie until her death in 1994, when the ownership of Dixie was left to the Geraldine C. M. Livingston Foundation to be operated as a charitable organization dedicated to wildlife management and stewardship. The trustees of the Livingston Foundation have maintained the historical integrity of the main house and grounds, and have annually hosted the Continental Field Trials and other public events. The Foundation Trustees placed almost the entire 9,100 acres in a conservation easement with the Suwannee River Water Management District, which ensures that Geraldine’s conservation interests will continue to be carried out in perpetuity.
The Continental Field Trial will continue at Dixie Plantation, where it has been held since 1937, when it was moved there by Gerald Livingston, during his tenure as President of the Continental. 2013 marked the 119th running of this prestigious pointing dog field trial that attracts participants from across the country. This trial is significant because Dixie Plantation has wild bobwhites providing a true opportunity for the field of derby and open dogs entered to demonstrate their drive and talents.
An important feature of Dixie is its historic main house. The 14,000+ square foot house was designed in 1936 by John Russell Pope, the foremost classical architect of the twentieth century, and built between 1938 and 1940. Mr. Pope designed the Jefferson Memorial, the National Archives and the National Gallery of Art. The Livingston home was the last personal residence designed by Pope, who died prior to its completion.
Tall Timbers, founded in 1958, is a world-renowned research station focusing on fire ecology and wildlife management in the Southeastern United States. The addition of 9,100 acres of land will allow Tall Timbers to expand its research and conservation efforts in the region and better provide science-based management to private and public land managers. This gift fits both the original vision of the founders of Tall Timbers and is aligned with Tall Timbers’ expertise in northern bobwhite quail management and fire ecology, and our accredited Land Trust.
Dixie Plantation Committee
Mrs. Virginia Wetherell, Chairman
Mrs. Cornelia G. Corbett
Mr. Dave Perkins
Mr. Tom Rankin
Mr. John Thompson
Mrs. Rosamond C. Davis
Dr. George Simmons
In February of 2009 the Trustees of the Geraldine C.M. Livingston Foundation placed all but 225 of the 9,100 acres of Dixie Plantation in a perpetual Conservation Easement with the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD). The stated purpose was to “conserve the value, character, and ecological integrity of the Protected Property, conserve the plant and animal populations …, and prohibit certain future development activity on the property for this and future generations.”
Special protection was extended to the 1,859 acres of Wetland Forest and Freshwater Marshes such as that found along the floodplain of the Aucilla River, the properties western boundary.
Tall Timbers is well versed in the protection and management of lands in Conservation Easement as we are an accredited Land Trust, holding well over 100,000 acres of easements in the Red Hills region alone. We are committed to working closely with the SRWMD to uphold the terms of this easement and protect this magnificent property.