Dixie Plantation History
In the 1820's General Bailey established a cotton plantation named "The Cedars" on what is now Dixie Plantation. The land was passed down in the family until 1919 when it was purchased by a group of businessmen from Macon, Georgia and renamed the Georgia-Florida Farms.
Georgia-Florida Farms went under in early 1920's with the arrival of the boll weevil, which wiped out their cotton crop. Georgia-Florida Farms sold out in 1926 to a group of businessmen from New York City who planned to colonize with small farmers from Iowa. This venture proved unworkable. This group was bought out by one of its members, Gerald M Livingston, who renamed the property Dixie Plantation. The property consisted of 7,500 acres at that time.
Under the Livingston ownership Dixie Plantation was managed to enhance wild quail, for hunting by the family and guests.
Mr. Livingston continued to add to the property by purchasing adjoining land, and at its peak Dixie Plantation consisted of over 18,000 acres, about equally divided between Florida and Georgia.
Following the untimely death of Mr. Livingston in 1950 the running of the plantation was left to his wife, Eleanor Livingston. Mrs. Livingston was deeply involved in her husband's endeavors and continued the management and development of Dixie Plantation in the manner set forth by her husband, until her death in 1978. Following the death of Mrs. Livingston ownership of the Florida side of Dixie Plantation passed to her daughter, Geraldine.
For the next sixteen (16) years Miss Geraldine Livingston ran Dixie Plantation much the same as her late parents, keeping up the family traditions. In 1994, faced with incurable cancer, Miss Livingston created the Geraldine C. M. Livingston Foundation into which the plantation and other assets were placed. Upon her death the Foundation became active and received IRS approval as a 501 (c )(3) Private Operating Foundation
The Foundation is governed by a board of eight trustees: Sylvia Ripley Addison; John Finlayson, Vice Chairman; Dearl Hemphill; Julie Ripley Miller; Peter Miller; Joseph A. Milligan, Jr., Chairman; Sumner Reed, Secretary and Treasurer; and Rosemary Ripley.
Since acquiring the plantation the foundation has placed over 9,000 acres under conservation easement thereby insuring that the land will never be developed or sold. The foundation has also continued the Livingston tradition of enhancing the habitat for wild quail and hosting bird dog hunting trials.
The Foundation supports and encourages education and research in the fields of forestry, agriculture, and ecology through grants and cooperative research projects. Additionally the Foundation supports selected projects and local educational and charitable organizations.