Alabama Historical Commission, Alabama SHPO


One of America’s finest Greek Revival houses, Gaineswood is a masterpiece.  Exceptional interior spaces have domed ceilings, elaborate plasterwork, and a facing pair of gilt mirrors that endlessly reflect each other.  Designed by owner and amateur architect General Nathan Bryan Whitfield, Gaineswood was constructed during 1843-1861. Some of the elaborate work was executed by African American slaves. The house museum contains many original Whitfield family furnishings and objects. The grounds feature a gazebo, a slave house, and a small building that was most likely a detached kitchen. 

A National Historic Landmark, Gaineswood was built by Nathan Bryan Whitfield.  A cotton planter and Renaissance man of his time, Whitfield moved from North Carolina to Marengo County in 1834.

In 1842 Whitfield purchased the 480-acre estate of George Strother Gaines.  According to family records, a dogtrot cabin in which Gaines lived became the nucleus for Whitfield's Greek Revival mansion.  With the help of artists, craftsmen, and other talented persons, including  enslaved persons, Whitfield enlarged and refined the home to his liking.

By 1856 Whitfield decided to name the mansion Gaineswood in honor of George Strother Gaines.  Gaines played a large role not only in the history of Gaineswood, but also in the history of Demopolis, the state, and in the 1830 Choctaw removal.  It was Gaines who encouraged incoming French exiles in 1817 to establish their Vine and Olive Colony in what was to become Demopolis.

By 1860 Whitfield had added Gaineswood's domed ceilings.  With the exterior and folly landscape complete, Whitfield hired artist John Sartain to produce a steel engraving of the mansion's façade and grounds.  Shown in the engraving are a hand-dug artificial lake fed by an artesian well and a summerhouse pavilion.

Today visitors can tour the Greek Revival structure which contains many original Whitfield family furnishings donated by descendants.

Site Director: Paige Smith
Phone: (334) 289-4846


Gaineswood National Historic Landmark


Adults, $7; College students & seniors, $5; Children 6-18, $4.

Blue Star Museum: free admission for active duty military and families between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

**Groups are ten or more people
    School groups are required to have 1 adult per 15 students.
    Those adults are admitted at no charge


Beginning February 3rd, we will be closed Mondays; Tuesday–Friday, 10 am to 4pm; Saturday, 10am–2pm; Sundays from 2pm - 4pm. Other times by appointment call 334-289-4846. Closed all state holidays.

Group Tours:

Contact the site to schedule group tours a minimum of two weeks in advance. To schedule tour call 334/289-4846.

Driving Directions and Parking

Special Events:

Gaineswood, 805 South Cedar Avenue, Demopolis, AL 36732
Contact or 334/289-4846.

Gaineswood's 4.5-acre grounds is a great location for Easter egg hunts, weddings, music concerts, birthday parties, family reunions, and other events.


Historic Preservation