The T. R. R. Cobb House is one of Georgia’s great preservation success stories. It is thought that Thomas H. McKinley built the original section as a Plantation Plain circa 1834. Georgia’s first Chief Justice, Joseph Henry Lumpkin, bought it from McKinley in 1842 and gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter Marion and son-in-law Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb in 1844. The portico and octagonal wings were added in 1852.
Cobb served as reporter of the State Supreme Court from 1849-1857, founded the Lucy Cobb Institute in 1858, and with his father-in-law and William H. Hull founded the School of Law at the University of Georgia in 1859. One of the leading advocates of slavery and secession, he was killed at Fredericksburg in 1862. Marion lived in the house until 1873. It was later a rental property, fraternity house, and boarding house. In 1962, it was purchased by the Archdiocese of Atlanta for the use of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Threatened with demolition in the 1980s, it was moved to Stone Mountain Park in 1985. It was never restored or used by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association due to budgetary constraints. Thanks to efforts of the Watson-Brown Foundation, Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation, and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, the landmark was returned to Athens in 2005. The Watson-Brown Foundation oversaw restoration of the house, which is now a museum.
National Register of Historic Places