Stephen F. Austin State University

Dial-J.B. Williamson Plantation/Pine Hill

411 Hwy. 449, Nesbitt

National Register

The J.B. Williamson Plantation was recorded in the National Register in 1979.

TX Historical Marker

The Dial-Williamson Plantation was the tenth structure in the state of Texas to become a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark in 1963.

Architectural Survey

Architectural Survey

• Description: The Dial-Williamson house is a one-story Greek Revival structure with an inset gallery supported by six square columns extended across the main facade. Originally constructed as a two-room dog-trot log house, the home was later enlarged to a square form with hipped roof. The central double door is surrounded by sidelights and a six-light transom. The windows are double hung and floor length. Several of the original uut buildings remain on the property which include a barn, carriage house, servant's quarters and a well house.
• Significance: The Dial-Williamson home represents a transition from the early Texas architecture to the Greek Revival architecture that became popular within the nineteenth century. Due to Sam Houston's frequent visits to the plantation, the home is pictured in "Texas Homes of the Nineteenth Century - Sam Houston's Texas" by Sue Flanagan, and an early publication by the Steck Company in Austin entitled "Following Sam Houston."

Historical Background

The Dial-Williamson plantation is located on FM 449 which is also known as Old Longview Road or Hynson Springs Road. The home's name comes from two prominent owners; Garlington C. Dial, an officer in the Texas Army and a founder and patriot of the Republic of Texas, and J.B. Williamson, the first and only Republican county judge of Harrison County until the 1970s. According to deed records, Henry Morgan, the first landowner, built the first addition of the house as a double log, dog-trot cabin. (Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. C, Pg. 24, filed November 8, 1841.) Matthew Cartwright, the second owner of the property acquired the land by deed on December 13, 1843 and sold it the following year to Garlington Coker Dial on January 1, 1844.(Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. C, Pg. 102, filed January 1, 1844.)

Captain G.C. Dial, an officer of the Texas Army and listed as a Founder and Patriot of the Republic of Texas, married Pamela Margaret Scogen in 1848. Dial enlarged the cabin to the present-day square four-room Greek revival residence with a hipped roof. Although some sources say it is a myth, there is substantial evidence that indicates Sam Houston was a frequent visitor to the home of G.C. Dial when he came to town to visit Anna Raguet.
John Brown Williamson, a post-Civil War politician and Reconstruction era county judge bought the Dial home in 1869 and built a few additions to the house in the 1870's.(Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. S, Pg. 661 filed March 8, 1867.) The house passed to his children after his death in 1883, and remained in the family until the 1960s.

In 1904 William H. Attebery and wife Eunice Williamson Attebery bought the house and several hundred acres of land. (Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. 55, Pg. 343.) During their ownership, they established the largest peach orchard in the state, with over 18,000 peach trees. His success can be contributed to the fact that he cultivated many peach tree varieties that originated in East Texas, which resulted in a hardier tree that responded well to the climate. (Marshall News Messenger, August 16, 1908, Sentinel Publishing Co., Marshall, Texas.) The home remained within the family until their youngest daughter, Mrs. Eleanor Attebery Cooper sold the plantation in 1944 to Edith Jackson. (Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. 266, Pg. 128.)

In 1962, Mrs. Jackson sold the home to Dick H. and Katharine Parker Gregg. (Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. 572, Pg. 227, filed June 19, 1962.) The Greggs built several additions as they restored the house into their retirement home. The latest addition by the Gregg's was a hip-roofed kitchen wing and a screened porch extending across the back end of the house. The Gregg's transformed the plantation into a pine seedling tree farm in 1966, which is where the name 'Pine Hill' originated from. Due to the Gregg's painstakingly restoration, the house was awarded a Texas Building Medallion and Plate in 1965 and was listed in the National Register in 1979. The Greggs donated the Pine Hill Plantation in 1982 to the Harrison County Historical Society to be preserved for posterity. (Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. 991, Pg. 722, filed December 28, 1982.)

There are four outbuildings that remain in decent condition upon the property; the oldest on the property being a wood frame barn southwest of the main house, built at the same time as the cabin. The carriage house, west of the main house, is a one-story frame building with clapboard siding, built from the wood of the old kitchen outbuilding. Southeast of the house, is the servant's quarters, which is a one-story pitched-roofed cottage with one main room and a shed room at the rear. Although the cottage was removed from its original location at 203 W. Grand Avenue in Marshall in 1964, the building did serve as servant quarters there at the Key family plantation, which had been in existence since before the Civil War. The new brick well house covers a water well that was dug by the Greggs, whereas the original well was enclosed in a back porch.

The Harrison County Historical Society is currently trying to sell the plantation due to lack of funds for maintance.

Dial-Williamson House Photos