Built for Peter J. Williams, the Homestead was owned for many generations by his descendants, including his great-granddaughters “Miss Sue” Jones, Mrs. David Ferguson, and Betty Ferguson. Frances Lewis is also listed by architectural historian John Linley as an owner of this grand home.
In The Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area, John Linley shares some fascinating anecdotes about the Homestead.
“It…has a ghost, who appears as a little old lady dressed in brown and usually seen in the garden about dusk. She…has followed the family from Wales to New England, and thence to Georgia. She also attends to her ghostly duties, though in a rather lackadaisical way. She has been known to appear to members of the family just before they died, or before there were deaths in the family. Mostly, however, she just putters about the garden.“
But please don’t come here looking for the ghost or for an invitation into the garden. Be respectful that the house is private property.
“The Homestead may well be the first house in America to utilize a narrow colossal-type portico with only two columns. Though never widely used, the style became so popular in the Milledgeville area that it is frequently referred to as the Milledgeville-Federal type of architecture.”
Adjacent to the Homestead is this structure, the brick lower floor of which was originally the kitchen for the estate. It’s likely contemporary to the 1818 date of the main house. The second floor was a later addition which I assume may have housed servants.
Milledgeville Historic District, National Register of Historic Place