Woodland is located in Wheeler County, Georgia and spans an impressive 457 acres.
Woodland's significance comes from not only its stunning, unique mansion but also its local history. It is associated with the late 19th century timber industry and two prominent families. After the Civil War, the cotton economy was in disarray. It is at that time that Georgia's vast pine forests were first considered a valuable natural resource- one that was already prepped for immediate industrial development. Following this realization in the 1870s, companies were formed, large landholdings were acquired, and the lumber industry boomed. In Wheeler County- then Montgomery County-lumbering became the top industry and towns such as Lumber City popped up.
The McArthur family owned portions of the land that is associated with Woodland since 1827. When his father passed away, he inherited all of the property. Walter T. McArthur fought in the Civil War, served in the state legislature for several sessions (1861-1871), and worked for the Georgia Land and Timber Company before he began developing Woodland and building Woodland Mansion. McArthur's son, Douglas S., managed Woodland after his father's death in 1894 under the name McArthur and Company.
In 1917, Woodland was sold to Emory Winship- a career naval officer from a prominent family from Macon. He used Woodland as a hunting lodge and retreat during his ownership.
The real gems of the property are its two historic houses. Woodland Mansion was constructed between 1870 and 1877 during a period when very little construction occurred. The house is a whopping 7,700 square feet (heated and cooled) and is considered a prime example of a Victorian eclectic country home with Gothic- style scroll sawn detailing. The sawn work is of exceptionally high quality and reflects the builder's connection with the timber industry- highlighting the ornate possibilities of timber.
Woodland Mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The main house consists of 18 rooms, 6 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, and two central hallways. The two story foyer showcases the large single-run staircase which boasts turned balusters and a mahogany handrail. Two identical parlors separated by pocket doors boast stunning Italian marble mantles, large chandeliers, and bay windows. Fireplaces - 16 total- present in nearly every room are a harken back to the house's early years. The mansion also fearutes two kitchens.
The most unique feature of the house is the two-story porch that connects the main house to the East Wing. Porches on the mansion total 1,800 sqft. The elaborate arched scroll sawn detailing mirrors the front porch exactly. It also has a prominent single-run staircase that connects the ground floor to the second floor. The East Wing's ground floor is said to have housed the original kitchen, dining room, office, and school room in the past. The second floor was a complete apartment built to the same standards as the main house. This building has entrances on all four sides. The East Wing is currently used for guests.
Also on Woodland is the McArthur House. It was the original McArthur family house believed to have been built at the beginning of the 19th century. The two-story 1,600 sqft home is constructed of hand-hewn logs that are pegged together. Known as "dog-trot" style, the residence has an open hall on the first floor that connects two rooms on either side. It is believed that there was a detached kitchen-common for houses in this time- that is no longer standing. Many of the doors, all of the walls, both chimneys, and the upstairs flooring are original to the house. After Woodland Mansion was built, the McArthur family abandoned the old house and used it as a storage shed- mainly for cotton or hay. It was restored in 1993 and is now used as a guest house. The McArthur House is a three bed, two bath house with five total rooms and a total of four fireplaces.
The remainder of the property consists of 39 acres of irrigated farmland, 161 acres of merchantable timber, 23 acres of pre-merchantable timber, and a 5-acre duck pond with the balance in clear cuts and open land.
Other notable aspects on the property are an old carriage house, Walter McArthur's original office, the endless white picket fence, and the McArthur Family Cemetery.