Marlsgate Plantation from the Sky
With special permission, Ronnie Cates of Aerial Concepts flies Marlsgate Plantation, also known as the William P. Dortch House or the Dortch Plantation, is located on Bearskin Lake near Scott, Arkansas. The main plantation residence was built in 1904; it, along with a historically significant portion of the plantation, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The NRHP listing was increased in 1979 to cover additional building(s) dating from 1888.
The original property totaling 1,600 acres was a wedding gift to Mr. and Mrs. Dortch by Mrs. Dortch’s parents, Thomas and Elizabeth Steele, who operated Lynnwood Plantation south of Scott beginning in 1850. Described as one of the finest private residences in the State of Arkansas, Marlsgate’s Neoclassical, Greek Revival design features 30 rooms in a total of eleven thousand square feet of living space.
On the front portico facing Bearskin Lake doric columns rise over forty feet in height. The interior features a dramatic double staircase, original beveled glass windows, sliding oak pocket doors, handcrafted woodwork and Carrara marble fireplaces.