Elam Alexander began construction on this house on Coleman Hill in 1836, for Jerry Cowles, the financier who brought the railroad from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Macon and who served as president of the Ocmulgee Bank. The house took on its present monumental appearance with the addition of the colonnade in 1840. Financial woes led Cowles to New York during the 1840s and the house was purchased by Joseph Bond, one of Georgia’s most prominent cotton growers. Bond’s time in the house was short, however, as he was killed by a neighboring plantation owner in a dispute over slave.
In 1865, the estate served as the headquarters of Union Brigadier General James H. Wilson during his occupation of the city. In 1879, James T. Coleman purchased the property and the surrounding area became known as Coleman Hill.
The Oriental/Moorish gazebo, built during the Victorian era, is one of Macon’s most popular photo subjects.
Beginning in 1960, the house served as the segregationist Stratford Academy for a time [now an inclusive institution located elsewhere] and was later gifted to Mercer University by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. It remains one of Macon’s most enduring landmarks.
Macon Historic District, National Register of Historic Places