Davis House was built in 1851 by Ebenezer Nelms Davis and his wife, Martha Greenlee Davis. The Davis family called the house and the surrounding grounds “Strawberry Plains”, due to the abundance of wild strawberries and the hundred acres of fields overlooking the plantation.
During the Civil War, while Ebenezer was away from the plantation, Union soldiers repeatedly raided the plantation. During one such raid, Martha Davis shot and killed a Union soldier who cursed her, an action which was widely praised in the local community. In retaliation, Davis House was almost completely destroyed, though the strong exterior brick walls survived. The Davis family moved into another smaller house on the property, and the ruins of Davis House stood for over 100 years.
In the 1970s Davis descendants Margaret Finley Shackelford (1915-1998) and her husband Dr. John Shackelford (1902-1985) restored and rebuilt the Davis House. In 1998 the Shackelford and Finley family willed Davis House and the entire Strawberry Plains plantation to the National Audubon Society, whick established the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, a 3,000 acre nature and wildlife center. The restored Davis House remains the historical centerpiece of Strawberry Plains.
Davis House is a restored Greek Revival mansion, with a front pedimented portico with a prominent lunette dormer and supported by Corinthian columns. Both the first and second floor entrances are surrounded by sidelights and a transom. The home is approached through an avenue of picturesque mature cedar trees.