Our History

After settling in Marshall County in the 1830’s and naming his land Strawberry Plains after the wild strawberries that grew there, Ebenezer Nelms Davis built this majestic, Federal style, two-and-a-half story house in 1851 from bricks fired on the property. Other buildings around the house included the ice house, flour mill, blacksmith shop, carriage house, smokehouse, cotton gin, stables and a one-room school house for the Davis children.

Being up in years and unable to fight during the Civil War, Mr. Davis left for his land in Alabama to farm at the request of his wife. There are many stories of Mrs. Davis’ courageous acts as Union troops repeatedly raided Strawberry Plains, ultimately ending in the house being burned.

Davis-Front-garden-980-1The Davis Home was restored to its former grandeur from 1968-1973 by Margaret Finley Shackelford and her husband John Shackelford. The banister and stairway were acquired from the Shriners’ Temple in Memphis which exemplified the effort put into the restoration.
The Davis House and surrounding 2,600-acre farm were donated to the National Audubon Society just prior to Margaret’s death in 1998. The property is now operated as an environmental education facility for the public.

Two sisters, Ruth Finley and Margaret Finley Shackelford of Holly Springs made sure their love for Mississippi’s birds, wildlife and natural habitats would endure. Their gift of Strawberry Plains to the National Audubon Society laid the foundation for ecological restoration that is healing the land and bringing back native wildlife. Because of their caring, Strawberry Plains Audubon Center is reaching out to visitors, local landowners and home owners helping bring nature home to further protect the wildlife they loved.


This historic home is now available to be the backdrop of your wedding or event.  With scenic grounds and ample indoor and outdoor space available for celebrations, The Davis Home at Strawberry Plains will quickly become a favorite destination for a personalized and unique special event.

A Historic Home for a Historic Beginning