This was built by Ernest Vandiver, Sr., and was likely employee housing for his cotton seed business.
Samuel Ernest Vandiver, Jr., (1918-2005) who was born in nearby Canon, served as Georgia’s 73rd governor from 1959-1963. During his administration, the archaic county unit system that gave local political bosses vast power, was ended. This was seen as a step forward for Georgia but angered many of its beneficiaries. Honesty and fiscal responsibility were hallmarks of Governor Vandiver’s term. After leaving the governor’s office, he practiced law, first in Atlanta and then back in Lavonia. His wife, Betty, was a niece of U. S. Senator Richard B. Russell.
The Lavonia Methodist-Episcopal Church was organized between 1878-1880. It first met in the Joe Vickery Store until building its first permanent home a few years later. A second church was built in 1907 and replaced by the present structure in 1948. Roy E. Hitchcock, who collaborated on numerous facilities at the University of Georgia, was the architect.