When Chattooga was established as the seat of Walker County in 1835, the Georgia General Assembly authorized the construction of an academy for boys and girls to be located in the town. The name of the town was changed to LaFayette in 1836, but the academy, which opened its doors to students during the 1837-38 school year, continued to be called Chattooga. Sometime before the Civil War, it became known as LaFayette Academy. During the Civil War, the academy served as a temporary headquarters of Confederate General Braxton Bragg during the Battle of Chickamauga. It served students of LaFayette until the early 1920s, when a modern high school was built.
In 1924, the building was purchased by three women’s clubs. Local chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, as well as the Women’s Club of LaFayette raised money and remodeled the interior for use as a meeting place. In 1925, they re-christened it John B. Gordon Hall, in memory of the Confederate General and former Georgia governor and U. S. Senator who had been an early student at the academy. It’s likely the cannon ball pyramid was placed around this time, but I’m not sure. Due to vandalism and high upkeep costs, the women’s clubs deeded the structure back to the Walker County Board of Education, which then deeded it to the city of LaFayette. The Chamber of Commerce began renovation of the academy in 1971 and occupied it for many years thereafter.
Today it is part of the Joe Stock Memorial Park, a wonderful green space which also features the Marsh House. It is thought to be the oldest standing brick schoolhouse in Georgia. Another recent renovation in 2009 has insured that it will be around for many years to come. It now houses as a small museum and tourism office.
National Register of Historic Places