This familiar landmark in Danielsville was purportedly built by Revolutionary War veteran Henry Peter Strickland circa 1790, predating the creation of Madison County. Strickland and his wife Mary had eight children.
Additions to the house, prominently the front porch and posts, have led some to surmise the house to have been built later than its stated construction date of 1790, but local tradition suggests that it may in fact be of late-18th-century vintage. The Preservation Committee for the Madison County Heritage Foundation has shared these details, from an architectural survey: The interior of the building features 16-inch boards, no longer available, and the wood used upstairs has never been painted or stained. A set of ”dog leg” stairs leading to the upper floor has weakened with time. And although it is the only access to the top level, the stairs now remain unused for lack of repair.
Whatever its history, it is an important local landmark and will hopefully be preserved. I understand that the county has strongly advocated for the preservation of the house, but do not know details of its current status.
Also known as the Crawford Long Childhood Home, this Federal style house was built by Madison County pioneer James Long, circa 1817. James long was the father of Dr. Crawford Williamson Long, the first man to successfully use ether as an anesthesia for surgery. The elder Long came to Georgia with his family from Pennsylvania in 1790 and was a successful planter and merchant and was one of the founders of Danielsville in 1812-1813. He was among the first in newly created Madison County (1811) to receive a license to sell liquor. His holdings in the area eventually reached 13,000 acres and at least 22 slaves. He married a local girl, Elizabeth Ware, on 8 December 1813 and their son Crawford was born on 1 November 1815, presumably at an earlier, though undocumented, home the family owned in Danielsville proper.
The land where this house is located wasn’t purchased until December of 1817 and wasn’t located within the city limits. Because of the low tax evaluation of the property at that time, it is presumed the house was not present at the time of the purchase. James Long was active in local politics and early sessions of the Inferior Court met is his home. He served as Clerk of the Superior Court, Danielsville postmaster, and in both houses of the Georgia legislature. According to the nomination form which added the house to the National Register of Historic Places, it is the only extant, authentic structure associated with his [Crawford W. Long’s] life.
After the sale of the house by the Long heirs in 1874, it has had several owners, including the Thurmond, O’Kelley, Thompson, and Sorrow families. They have kept a watchful eye over it. Crawford Long lived in the house until he left for nearby Franklin College (University of Georgia) in 1829. Local oral traditions suggests that Dr. Long was actually born in the house, which would place its construction date in the 1813-1815 range, but since no primary evidence exists to prove this claim, a debate continues. Either way, it’s significant as a residence of one of the most important figures in 19th century American medicine.
The National Register nomination also notes: Architecturally, the Crawford Long Childhood Home has significance as a refined example of federal period architecture used in the construction of dwellings on the upper frontier portions of Georgia during the nineteenth century. The style of the structure is more refined than other extant vernacular houses of its area. A graphic reconstruction of the structure, with its original federal pedimented porch would reveal a definite change in character from its present appearance and would distinguish it from other houses in that early nineteenth century period and locality. The interior of the building is indicative of an imported eastern taste transferred into the upper Piedmont of Georgia. The wood paneling and graining found in the formal rooms of the house reflect quality craftsmanship and are a noteworthy accomplishment for that early date and time. The two second-story fireplace surrounds also convey a quality of craftsmanship. The smooth finishing of the interior wood indicates great care in construction as well…
Dr. Crawford Williamson Long was born in Danielsville on 1 November 1815. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1839. While in college, Long participated in what were known as “ether frolics”, obtaining a slightly altered state by the use of nitrous oxide. This led him to believe there was a possibility that a similar application could be used to alleviate pain during surgery. Upon returning to Georgia, he began a practice in Jefferson. Since he couldn’t procure nitrous oxide in rural Georgia he began experimenting with sulfuric ether. On 30 March 1842 he used sulfuric ether to render patient James M. Venable unconscious for the removal of a tumor. When Venable regained consciousness, he felt no pain. This was the first use of sulfuric ether as an anesthetic and Long went on to become nationally recognized for his pioneering work. He later moved to Athens, where he continued a thriving practice. He died there on 16 June 1878. Long County, in southeast Georgia, was named in his honor in 1920.
In 1926, a statue of Long by Scottish-American sculptor J. Massey Rhind was placed in the National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. This is likely contemporary to that date and appears to be a copy. The base of the large statue contains general biographical information and this quote: “My profession is to me a ministry from God.”
This place is a landmark, and a living landmark at that. The whole time I was walking around the courthouse square, cars were pulling in and out of here constantly. They had a great selection of flowers and garden plants right out front and it seemed to be the place to be in Danielsville. The first floor is a traditional hardware store while the second floor is filled with antiques.