It was last year in early summer during a bus trip to Arkansas that my mom and I had the express opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Marlsgate and be greeted by the proprieter David Garner. The home belongs to him, his parents and late Grandmother. Mr. Garner had a story about each and every item in the home that brought the mansion into focus and had the group oohing and ahhing over the antiques and the beauty of the home. The website shares a description of just what we saw as we walked up the lane. “Mansion shaded by ancient oaks and a pecan grove overlooking the waters of Bearskin Lake. Majestically rising amid acres of rice, cotton and soybeans, Marlsgate is a refection of the opulent plantation era when cotton grew tall and there was a privileged class of wealth in the Arkansas delta.”
To be sure, Mr. Garner was a character with stories to relegate the crowd. We were able to not only see every room in the storied plantation, but eat at the dining room table and enjoy the wonderful southern cooking and hospitality. We truly felt like part of the genteel members of society or maybe in all honesty like their poor relations that got to come and dine before heading back to home to our real lives. For an evening we were immersed in the charm that only the south can provide.
The mansion located in the Arkansas Delta, has brick Doric columns that rise over forty feet in height. Inside the mansion offers, “…original beveled glass windows, sliding oak doors, handcrafted woodwork, Carrara marble fireplaces, and sculpted metal ceilings throughout the mansion. White oak floors were installed over an inch thick layer of horsehair insulation. The mansion was constructed with thirty two rooms and contains eleven thousand square feet of living space. The first floor has a magnificent central hall and staircase, drawing room, dining room, music room, master bedroom, plantation office, and a separate kitchen and service wing attached to the mansion in the prevailing custom of the day. Second and third floors contain additional bedrooms, sitting rooms and private studies.”
To say the place is “pretty” is an understatement. We filled the entire first floor and flowed out onto the porch for our dining experience. If you get down Arkansas way, stop if you get a chance, it is another world!