The Plantation


The Plantation as it looked in 1947 when it opened as a plush supper club.


In 1970, The Plantation fell victim to the wreckers.

It had stood vacant for nearly 20 years, but the proud Proctorville, Ohio,
mansion once had been a gathering place for the region’s
upper crust and much later a plush supper club.

The mansion was constructed in the 1880s for Col. Reese Dobyns
and his wife by Huntington builder Henry Persun. Its 19 rooms
 included a dance hall, pool room, library and basement
recreation room lighted by carbide lamps. The 28-acre
riverbank property housed stables for six horses and
had extensive floral gardens. Hired hands raised
 corn, potatoes and hay on the property.

An Englishman by birth, Dobyns owned property in Cincinnati.
 Once a month or so, steamboats would stop at the mansion,
throw down a boarding plank for Dobyns and
 take him downriver on business.

When Dobyns died, his daughter and son, Emily and
John, took over the estate. In the early 1920s, it
was sold to Dr. F.L. Allen of Ashland.

In 1947, Paul Reese purchased it from Allen for $30,000,
 spent $90,000 on repairs and redecorating and turned it
 into a fancy supper club he called “The Plantation.”

The menu for the 75-seat dining room was southern style.
In good weather there was dancing on the second-story
 veranda with music provided by a four-piece string
ensemble. The décor included expensive carpets,
 a crystal chandelier, an imported French mantel -
piece and a grandfather clock from
 the original Dobyns estate.

Initially the club was successful but soon fell on hard
times. It closed in the early 1950s. The property
was next owned by D.E. (Ducky) Corn of
Ironton, who sold it to A.E. Giesey
of Cleveland. And then
the wreckers came.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Sep. 1, 2020.


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