The plantation was created by my great,great grandfather Gideon Coats. He bought all of the land in the bend of the Coosa River from the Indians and named the plantation Coats Bend. The family name was changed to Coates because of a family by the name of Coats who were horse thieves. This was all pre-Civil War. The plantation home still stands and is known as the Thornton Mansion. My great grandfather's sister inherited the plantation. The family thought she would never marry since she had been dropped when a child by a slave and was crippled with one leg shorter than the other.