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The Modern Era
Galena Plantation was farmed by descendants of Amelia Lacey, Tom Lacey and wife Moultrie, during the 1920s and 1930s. During subsequent years, the plantation home was abandoned, eventually declining in repair until it became unsalvageable. It was demolished in the 1950s.
Holly Springs native, W.O. “Bill” Fitch, inherited a parcel of the plantation’s land in the early 1970s. Fitch had served in the Korean War as a Navy pilot and had been working in New York at a successful Wall Street firm at the time. But he had always wanted to return to the home of his youth to raise his children in a rural environment as he had been raised. So, in 1974, he moved back to Holly Springs and soon established himself as one of the region’s most prominent financiers.
An avid hunter and history lover, Fitch dreamed of building his land into one of the nation’s finest quail reserves. And so, he began gradually acquiring the 8,000 acres currently held, which includes the Milan plantation lands and a portion of Galena. He renovated the former slave quarters of the Milan Plantation and other antebellum cabins. He even purchased the General Nathan Bedford Forrest home, moving it from Hernando and restoring it to its former glory. As a historical note: Forrest purchased the home in 1845 for $300 and lived there for 12 years. The home was the site of his wedding and the birthplace of two of his children.
Today, under Fitch’s ownership, the property is one of the South’s best quail hunting preserves, ranked as one of the top five in America. The preserve maintains the time-honored tradition of quail hunting from horseback and mule-drawn carriage.