Fourteen miles southeast of the city of Little Rock stands beautiful Marlsgate, a stately columned Greek Revival Mansion shaded by ancient oaks and a pecan grove overlooking the waters of Bearskin Lake. Majestically rising amid acres of rice, cotton, and soybeans, Marlsgate is a reflection of the opulent plantation era when cotton grew tall and there was a privileged class of wealth in the Arkansas Delta. For over 100 years, Marlsgate was home to the Dortch family. For over three decades, Marlsgate was home to David P. Garner, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. David Garner, Sr., and his late grandmother, Grace Cupit Newman. Marlsgate is now the private residence of Martha Ellen and Beau Talbot, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Famed as one of the most resplendent plantation homes built in the Arkansas Delta, Marlsgate’s fine detail begins with brick Doric columns over forty feet in height and continues inside with original beveled glass windows, sliding oak doors, handcrafted woodwork, Carrara marble fireplaces, and sculpted metal ceilings throughout the mansion. White oak floors were installed over an inch thick layer of horsehair insulation. The mansion was constructed with thirty two rooms and contains eleven thousand square feet of living space.
The first floor has a magnificent central hall and staircase, drawing room, dining room, music room, master bedroom, office, and a separate kitchen and service wing attached to the mansion in the prevailing custom of the day. The second and third floors contain additional bedrooms, sitting rooms, and private studies.
Upon arriving at Marlsgate, a visitor steps immediately into the past and experiences the gracious way of life enjoyed and maintained on the old plantations of the Arkansas Delta. Southern history permeates the mansion as Martha Ellen and Beau Talbot share their home and gardens with professional ease and enthusiasm. Marlsgate is a magnificent setting for luncheons, formal dinners, receptions, weddings, and social functions attended by thousands of guests annually.
Providing the serene and genteel atmosphere for gracious entertainment and southern hospitality requires the services of a chef, gardeners, floral designers, waiters, musicians, and Martha Ellen and Beau's own constant work and supervision. Marlsgate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.