One of the most distinctive features found on the Ames Plantation is the Ames Manor House. While commonly associated with the Ames family, the home has a history which began over 50 years before its purchase by Hobart Ames in 1901.
Built in 1847 by John Walker Jones, the Federal Style, two-story, ell-shaped frame house with a central passage typifies the affluent plantation lifestyle so common in southwestern Tennessee during the antebellum period. Today's Ames Manor was the second home of the Jones family who arrived in Fayette County in 1826 to establish their "Cedar Grove Plantation". The replacement of their first home, a two story log cabin, with the more spacious and comfortable manor house reflects the economic advances experienced by the family during their first two decades in the area.
After acquiring the home in 1901 Hobart Ames made significant changes to the original plantation house which better suited the needs of the wealthy industrialist. The house was enlarged with the addition of a wing to provide accommodations for Ames' servants. Other improvements made during the early 20th century, including the addition of electricity and a kerosene furnace to heat water for the heating system, made the Ames Manor one of the most refined homes in the region at that time.
Today the home remains little changed from that exciting time in the past when Hobart & Julia Ames spent a part of each year enjoying their southern retreat while hunting quail and entertaining.
Tours of the Manor House are available for a nominal fee on the 4th Thursday of the month, March through October.