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Early Days

In 1821 George Strother Gaines, an Indian agent for the United States government, came to the Demopolis area and built a home in 1821. Gaines’ double pen dog-trot cabin was a common style of frontier home. The cabin had two rooms or “pens” connected by a breezeway with a common roof and floor.

While in the area, Gaines played a prominent role in Alabama history. He negotiated treaties with Chief Push-ma-ta-ha, who was also known as the “Indian General”, was a highly regarded regional chief of a major division of the Choctaw nation.

In 1843, Gaines had completed his mission in the area and sold his dog-trot cabin and 480 acres to General Nathan Bryan Whitfield. This was the beginning of the beautiful Gaineswood mansion.


Continue to Making of a Home

*Photo Courtesy: Alabama Historical Commission Archives

George Strother Gaines*
Chief Push-ma-ta-ha*
Double-Pen Dogtrot Cabin*