Category Archives: Greenville GA

James Render House, Circa 1832, Greenville

greenville ga render family homestead photograph copyright brian brown vanishing north georgia usa 2016

This house, begun on a much smaller scale in the Plantation Plain (I-House) style, is the focal point of the Render Homestead National Register property. James Render (1777-1854) came to Meriwether County in 1832 and established a large cotton plantation from this house. He served as a justice of the Inferior Court of Meriwether County. He migrated from Wilkes County, where he had served several terms in the General Assembly. By 1850, he owned 1900 acres and owned 76 slaves. One reason for his success was his diversification. Besides cotton he raised potatoes, sweet potatoes, Indian corn, wheat, rye and oats. He had eleven children and among his descendants were Governor James M. Terrell of Georgia and Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice James Render Dowdell.  Render’s son, Joshua (1818-1867) inherited the house and continued the successful farming operations of his father. Forty-two of the plantation’s freedmen remained as contract laborers after the Civil War. Upon the death of Mrs. Joshua Render in 1902, James L. Render (1863-1932) became the owner of the property. It was during James L. Render’s ownership that the house was expanded to its present Neoclassical appearance, thought to have been the work of prominent Georgia architect T. F. Lockwood. There have been at least four owners since the death of Sarah McGehee Render in 1960. It is beautifully maintained to this day but not open to the public. More information about the property in historical context can be found here.

National Register of Historic Places

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Greenville Presbyterian Church, 1836, Meriwether County

historic greenville presbyterian church meriwether county ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing north georgia usa 2016

This historic congregation was formed by Reverend Edward Lanier and Reverend Jesse Sratton on 27 March 1829. The Presbyterians of  Greenville were granted a lot in town for the building of a house of worship but sold it and built this one-room church a few miles from town in 1836, preferring a rural setting. Though it never boasted a large congregation, Greenville Presbyterian was quite active in the community. Dwindling membership and a newer church in Greenville, Stacy Presbyterian, led to the closure of the church in 1963 but it reopened in 1972. A small but determined congregation still holds services here. Greenville Presbyterian is significant as one of just a few antebellum Presbyterian churches in Georgia.

historic greenville presbyterian church graveyard meriwether county ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing north georgia usa 2016

The cemetery is one of the most historic in the area. Perhaps the most fascinating interment is John Gaston, who was famously known as “The Giant”, for his 7’6″, 340-pound stature at a time when the average height was about 5’7″. Gaston was born in Chester County, South Carolina in 1821 and died in Woodbury in 1866. His slab has been damaged over the years, and a smaller adjacent slab corrects previous statistics, which stated his height as 7′ and his weight at 430 pounds.

greenville presbyterian church cemetery john a gaston the giant headston photograph copyright brian brown vanishing north georgia usa 2016

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Folk Victorian House, Greenville

Greenville GA Meriwether County Folk Victorian House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

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Meriwether County Courthouse, 1904, Greenville

Meriwether County Courthouse Greenville GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

National Register of Historic Places

Built by Georgia’s greatest courthouse architect, J. W. Golucke, the Meriwether County Courthouse burned in 1976 but the external walls remained intact and a restoration which took several years returned the structure to its prominence in the community. It’s one of my favorites of the domed clock-tower style.

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Italianate Office Building, Greenville

Greenville GA Meriwether County Restored Italianate Office Building Photo Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

This landmark has recently been restored.

Greenville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Downtown Revitalization, Greenville

Downtown Greenville GA Historic Storefronts Revitalization Court Square Cafe Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Greenville is one of the nicest little towns in Georgia. Much of its historic business district has been restored, with businesses like the Court Square Cafe, seen above.

Revitalized Downtown Greenville GA Historic Early 20th Century Storefronts Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Greenville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Roberts Garage, Greenville

Roberts Garage Greenville GA Meriwether County Historic Downtown Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Greenville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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