Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Grand Old Estate of Major Arvah Hopkins

From the Goodwood Library:  This annual is a collection of papers read at the Tallahassee Historical Society's meetings during the year.  Goodwood is featured in the paper, "Literary History of Leon County" by W. T. Cash, delivered February, 1935.  Excerpts follow:
Settlers from the states began to pour into the present Leon county soon after the site of Tallahassee had in 1823 been chosen as the location of the future capital of Florida.  These settlers (at least many of them) were not of the ordinary backwoods type, but they were men and women of culture, among them were such families as the Calls, the Duvals, the Willises, the Randolphs, the Crooms, the Butlers and the Browns...
Among other things (George M.) Barbour (in 1879-1880) says of Tallahassee and the surrounding country we find the following:  "One beautiful day I rode out to 'Goodwood', the grand old estate of Major Arvah Hopkins, several miles out of town.  This residence was well worth visiting, because it affords a striking evidence of how elegantly the old-time planters enjoyed life.  Erected in 1844, it comprises numerous buildings ranged around a large square in the rear, used for laundry, cook-house, milk-house, saddle and harness house, etc.; and the spacious surrounding grounds are laid out in park-like style, with paths and lawns and innumerable strange plants, ferns and flowers."
Also mentioned in this article is Susan Hopkins' niece:
Mrs. Nicholas Ware Eppes' book "Through Some Eventful Years", published in 1926, tells much of the story of her life, and in it interweaves a great deal of the history of the period.  This book is not only interesting to the student of biography, but one gets much excellent material pertaining to affairs in Leon county before and after the Civil War.  Mrs. Eppes' other book, the Negro of the Old South, is the only one of its kind ever written in Florida.  As the author was fifteen years of age when the war broke out and a bright and trained observer, and as her father owned a large number of slaves, she has a right to know much of the subject about which she has written...

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