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The Historic Haile Homestead is missing something – YOU!

Join our team of volunteers and share the history of the Haile family, the Kelley family and the plantation’s enslaved laborers with our community. We need volunteer docents to lead tours of the house and/or staff the Allen & Ethel Graham Visitors Center. Each docent volunteers for one 4-hour shift per month because the Homestead is only open on Saturdays and Sundays.

What are the prerequisites for being a docent?

  • Docents must be in 8th grade and up and have transportation to/from the Homestead.

  • Docents must complete an application and attend three training classes prior to volunteering.

  • Docents must become members of the Historic Haile Homestead Inc. (HHH), the 501c3 non-profit organization which operates the Homestead as a tourist destination and museum. Annual memberships start at $20 per calendar year.  

The Historic Haile Homestead would not be what it is today without our amazing volunteers. If you want to join us, please click on the How To Help tab above to register for the next docent training session.

Funded in part by Visit Gainesville/Alachua County. 

WELCOME to the Historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation. In 1854, Thomas Evans and Serena Chesnut Haile moved their family from Camden, South Carolina to Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida. Their 6,200 square foot home was built by 56 enslaved laborers. The Historic Haile Homestead is unique in the nation for its "Talking Walls." For a reason lost to time, the Haile family wrote on the walls of their home - over 12,500 words in almost every room and closet! Come visit us this weekend and see this gem of history, frozen in time. Let the walls speak to you of joys and sorrows of more than a century ago. Visit the Allen and Ethel Graham Visitors Center and Museum! Learn about the enslaved laborers and freedmen, whose stories are intertwined into the fabric of our tours! NEW: Videos to watch while you wait for your tour to begin: "Beginnings" and "Enslavement to Freedom." Learn about a group of cotton planters who relocated from South Carolina to Florida. And more importantly, learn about what slavery was, the brutal truth of it, and how Reconstruction and Jim Crow impacted freedmen in Alachua County and Florida.

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