Days Gone By - stories from the past

Queensdale was a large antebellum plantation in Lowndes County, Alabama

The John McQueen House was the center of a large antebellum plantation located in northeast Lowndes County. The McQueen family originally settled the site in the 1820s and were prominent planters.

Located in Burkville, Alabama

Once located in Burkville, Alabama, the McQueen house burned around 1970 and the site was abandoned. In 1825, John McQueen Jr.of South Carolina, received a land patent to eighty acres in Lowndes County, Alabama and moved with his family to Alabama shortly afterward. He continued to acquire additional land and became a prosperous cotton planter and owned many slaves.

The 1830 census lists McQueen as occupying the site with his large family. He built a large frame home on a hill near the western boundary of his property and named it Queensdale. Descendants of the McQueen family state that the house was built around 1830 and it resembled the nearby Young-Nall house in appearance.

Young-Nall House Lowndes County, Alabama 1939 (Library of Congress)

John McQueen, Jr. accumulated around 1,800 acres by the time of his death. Several of his nine children built smaller homes on the plantation. “The 1855 census shows that the McQueen family owned 142 slaves and cultivated large quantities of corn and cotton. The family also raised cattle, pigs and sheep. When John McQueen died in 1859 all of his property and slaves were divided among his children.”

View from southwest – John McQueen Servant’s House, U.S. Highway 80 East of Berry Lake Road, Burkville, Lowndes County, AL (Library of Congress)

After the Civil War, the house and lands passed into the hands of Benjamin McQueen who farmed the land by utilizing the tenant system. When Benjamin’s son, B. Harris McQueen received the property in 1920, it consisted of 924 acres. Queensdale was continually occupied by the McQueen family until the 1950s when it was sold and subsequently abandoned. All that remains of Queensdale is the foundation after the fire in the 1970s. “A servant’s house is located to the southeast of the main house site and the family cemetery is located to the west of the site. Further to the southeast is a surviving tenant house, the McCary House.”1

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Your article on Queensdale, the large antebellum plantation in Lowndes County, Alabama may have removed a roadblock in my research of my mother’s childhood. My grandfather worked in a sawmill just east of Montgomery when the recession hit, and when he lost his job there, they moved to a place between Prattville and Selma for a short time where he was a tenant farmer. Some time prior to 1935 they moved to the McQueen Smith Plantation east of Prattville between Montgomery and Prattville. I have never been able to determine where the place she lived between Prattville and Selma was located, and I believe this could well be the place, as my grandfather moved to the McQueen Smith Plantation as a carpenter and blacksmith and also as a tenant farmer.
    Would it be possible to get copies of the photos you show in the movie clip in the referenced article?

    1. Hi Jack, The pictures are available through the Library of Congress. Be sure and check the footnote link provided at the end of the story. It has additional info on McQueen Plantation.

  2. I believe that would be Lake Berry Rd. in Lowndes county. It is a very long gravel road between U.S. Hwy. 80 and the Old Selma Rd. It is on the south side of the Alabama River. I wish I knew how to post links on Google Maps. There is a Young and Nall cemetery on this road. I think you can find it on Find A Grave website.

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