Longleaf is a beautiful and exceptionally improved 1,282± acre recreational property in the Albany, Georgia quail belt and features the quintessential wiregrass and longleaf pine landscape. Much of Longleaf borders, and was once part of, the 30,000± acre Ichauway - long-term chairman of The Coca-Cola Company, Robert Woodruff’s quail hunting preserve, and now The Jones Ecological Research Center.
Magnificent live oaks just inside the entrance command pause as one pulls through the gate and drives down the mile-long driveway to the main house. The property features a 6,000± square foot classical-style house, a rustically renovated barn serving as a three-bedroom/three-bath guest house, modern six-stall stable, state-of-the-art 20-run dog kennel, and carriage barn, in addition to farm-operation buildings, all thoughtfully designed and immaculately maintained.
Just the Facts
- 1,282± acres in Baker County, Georgia, southwest of Albany, known as the “quail hunting capital of the world”
- Impossible not to notice the placemaking and attention to detail by the current owner of 23+ years
- Bordered on three sides by the renowned 30,000± acre Ichauway (now the Jones Ecological Research Center), of which nearly half of the property was once a part of
- Other nearby quail properties include Nilo, Pineland, Pinebloom, and Nonami
- Three quail courses, currently managed for wild quail
- 6,000± square foot classical-style main house built in 2005, designed by award-winning architect Norman Askins, and features a grand living/dining area, two bedroom suites, heart pine floors throughout, exquisite millwork, mud/gun room, courtyard with outdoor fireplace, porte cochere, and two-car garage
- Beautiful formal parterre-style garden and back lawn with dovecote
- "The Barn" guest house is a fully converted 2,500± square foot barn with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, fireplace, kitchen, living room, screened porch, and 8-run guest dog kennel
- "The Stable"– Beautiful 5,100± square foot six-stall horse barn with tack room, feed room, wash stall, and hay storage in attic space
- 5± acres of four-board fenced and cross-fenced pasture
- Auxiliary improvements are very well-planned with no deferred maintenance
- State-of-the-art 20-run 7,200± square foot kennel with climate-controlled wet room and dry room
- "The Shed"– 6,000± square foot equipment shed with two offices, tool room, bird cleaning room, and restroom
- "Pole Barn"– 7,200± square foot equipment barn built in 2019
- "Carriage Barn" – 2,400± square foot pull-through enclosed barn with climate-controlled tool shop and storage room
- Manager's house is three bedrooms and three bathrooms
- Assistant Manager's house is three bedrooms and two bathrooms
- Year-round recreational opportunities
- 2± acre stocked bass pond with "Pond House" pavilion
- Five station sporting clays course and rustic wobble trap house
- 37± acres under center pivot irrigation
- Managed for trophy deer and a great dove field
- Six water wells supporting houses, operational structures. And pond
- Standby generators installed at the main house, the guest house, and manager’s house
- Outstanding, experienced property manager has been employed for 17 years and desires to continue caring for the property
- Offered turnkey with most furnishings and equipment remaining
In the early 1920s, Robert Woodruff was a member of the group that acquired Norias, a quail hunting preserve on the Georgia-Florida line. These men, along with others in the region, had commissioned Herbert Stoddard’s study on bobwhite quail, which included recommended management practices for enhancing quail populations. In 1923, Woodruff became president of The Coca-Cola Company at the young age of 33, maintaining control of the company for the rest of his life. It was around 1925 when Woodruff sold his interest in Norias and began purchasing forest and farmland along the Flint River, eventually amassing nearly 36,000 acres which he called Ichauway.
When Mr. Robert Woodruff passed in 1985, he left land to three impactful Ichauway managers, including former manager Bill Etchells to whom he left approximately 500 acres. When Etchells passed, his children inherited the land and sold it in 1999 to the current owners, a retired couple who spend much of the year at their home in the mountains of western North Carolina.
The current owner, a forestry school graduate of Auburn University who, in a serendipitous turn of events, ended up in banking after serving our country as an Air Force pilot during Vietnam. In the 1980s, he combined his passion for forestry with his banking background and created the country’s first timberland investment management organization (TIMO).
Having overseen a substantial amount of commercial timberland assets during his career, his passion for longleaf and the habitat it provides for protected species, such as the red-cockaded woodpecker and the gopher tortoise, is what gets him excited. He has worked to buy adjacent and nearby farmland to restore it to longleaf and has gone as far as to NOT plant longleaf in straight rows, so as to create a more natural looking stand. His story with Longleaf has been documented in the book, Longleaf–Far as the Eye Can See.
With a good portion of Longleaf formerly part of the iconic Ichauway, there are areas of old growth longleaf forest with an open understory, primarily occupied by wiregrass and other warm season native grasses and legumes. Photos of these stands are featured in the book, as well.
The benefits of purchasing land from an engaged, committed, detail-oriented, and capable Seller are tremendous. Longleaf is NOT a project as new land ownership tends to be, but instead a property that will be enjoyed as hoped for on day one. Longleaf is the most impressive and well-put-together midsize quail property in south Georgia.
Longleaf is located in Baker County, Georgia, 30 minutes southwest of Albany, eight miles west of Newton, the county seat.
For generations, southwest Georgia, and the Albany area in particular, has been labeled the “Quail Hunting Capital of the World.” There are 295,000± acres of exceptional quail properties in the greater Albany area.
Longleaf’s gated main entrance is easy to access off SR 200, a recently repaved road that runs east, ending in Newton, where you continue up to Albany through beautiful plantation country on SR 91. The property is a 30-minute drive to Albany, 50 minutes to Thomasville, and three hours south of Atlanta. The Southwest Georgia Regional Airport is just 25 minutes from Longleaf and offers several commercial flights each day to and from Atlanta, as well as a 6,601-foot runway for private aviation.
Southwest Georgia has a humid subtropical climate and offers long warm summers and the most pleasant and mild of winters. Between November and March, the daily high temperatures in Albany average 65 degrees and low temperatures on average are 39 degrees. Rainfall usually peaks in March and during the summer months, with an average annual rainfall of 51 inches.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Longleaf is 1,282± acres and consists of nearly all productive uplands with excellent longleaf soils that has been assembled over 21 different real estate transactions.
Upon arrival at the main entrance gate, you immediately notice the forethought that went into the planning for everything created—and every moment experienced—at Longleaf. The entrance showcases dozens of magnificent live oaks with long arms reaching over areas of saw palmettos. An architecturally beautiful folly, reminiscent of gatehouses in the Lowcountry, stands unattended to greet you as you meander back on the mile-long pea gravel driveway to the main house and property compound.
Improvements have no deferred maintenance.
The Main House: The 6,000± square foot classical-style main house was designed by award-winning Atlanta-based architect Norman Askins with the rambling layout for which he is famous, replicating how a historic house would have wings added over the years as families and wealth grew. The house was built in 2005 and features a grand living/dining area, two-bedroom suites, a mud/gun room off the porte cochere, a grand yet warm eat-in kitchen, library with beautiful woodwork, office/art room, powder room, laundry room, and four fireplaces. The entire rear of the house, designed to be a screened porch, was instead finished with windows and features a number of bright and cozy sitting areas.
Views from the wide front porch range left-to-right from glimpses of the piney woods, to an expanse of fenced pasture leading up to the stable, to the two-acre pond. The backyard features a beautiful formal parterre-style garden and back lawn with dovecote. A wrought iron gate beckons you into a walled courtyard with a water feature and outdoor fireplace. A detached two-car garage blends right in with the bricked walls and gardens.
The intentionality of the interior finishes, especially the lighting fixtures, colors, and décor, are extremely well-done and on-theme for a quail hunting property in Southwest Georgia, all hand-picked by the lady of the house/current owner who had a distinguished career in commercial interior design. There are heart pine floors throughout most of the house and exquisite millwork, much of which came from Longleaf’s “longleaf” — trees harvested from the property.
"The Barn" Guest House: While the current owners were making plans for the main house, they fully converted an existing wood-frame barn into a 2,500± square foot guest house with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, kitchen with 48” Thermador range and Subzero refrigerator, living room with fireplace, dining area, and screened porch. The bedrooms are all off of a center hallway and each is themed; there is an equestrian bedroom, one featuring the wildlife of the property, and one paying homage to the working dogs of Longleaf.
The Stable: A beautiful 5,100± square foot, six-stall, center aisle horse barn with tack room, feed room, wash stall, built-in fly spray system, and hay storage in the attic space. A cupola with weathervane adorns the roof. There are approximately five acres of four-board fence, cross-fence, and two shelters.
Hunting Kennel: State-of-the-art 20-run 7,200± square foot kennel with climate-controlled wet room and dry room.
"The Shed": 6,000± square foot equipment barn with the manager’s office, bookkeeping office, bird-cleaning/break room, and restroom.
Pole Barn: 7,200± square foot equipment barn built in 2019.
Carriage Barn: 2,400± square foot pull-through, fully enclosed barn with a climate-controlled woodworking shop/tool room, and storage room.
Manager’s House: Three-bedroom, three-bathroom ranch-style house located within the main compound.
Assistant Manager’s House: Three-bedroom, two-bathroom house located on the southernmost portion of the property.
Misc: The property has a total of six wells with well houses, a wood storage shed, and a “pond house”/pavilion.
The Main House, the Manager’s House, and The Barn (guest house) are all equipped with automatic standby generators.
The 2022 property taxes for Longleaf are $20,150.
One look at the notes in the guest book or the framed notes from family—and even a former president—and it’s easy to quickly recognize the entertainment value and year-round “fun factor” at Longleaf.
The primary recreational focus on a majority of the property has been quail hunting. With about 400 acres of textbook-quality longleaf pine–wiregrass ecosystem, the acreage supports three beautiful quail courses enjoyed by hunters on jeep or mule-drawn wagon.
There are over thirty brood fields and food plots, and feed trails supplementing those, providing the right mix of habitat for quail and other wildlife to thrive. A nice 15± acre dove field has hosted great shoots. Guests especially love time together shooting clays from the wobble house or on the five-station sporting clays course that wanders through a stretch of woods.
Longleaf’s trophy deer program, with just a handful of deer harvested each year, has resulted in a nice herd with bucks harvested measuring in the 150s and 160s.
When you tire of the trigger, take up a rod and reel on the two-acre bass pond. The pond is stocked in the winter with fun and easy-to-catch trout. With depths at 15-feet, cooler water temperatures allow for stocking trout seasonally.
It goes without mention, a horse enthusiast at Longleaf has one of the prettiest stables in Southwest Georgia and a beautiful setting for trail-riding. The property is offered with two fine Tennessee Walker riding horses and a matched pair of mules that pull the custom-built hunting wagon that was hand-made from longleaf pine harvested on the plantation.
This story has a happy ending for everyone involved. Both buyer and seller can rest assured that the Diamond S is in good hands moving forward.
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