Category Archives: Greenville GA

Eclectic House, 1910, Greenville

This house has 11 bedrooms. I’d love to know more about its history.

 

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Ragan-Harris-Downs House, 1832 & 1910, Greenville

Built by pioneer Abraham Ragan in the Plantation Plain style, this house originally sat on the adjacent hill before being rolled to its present location in 1910 to accommodate the construction of Roswell J. Atkinson’s ‘The Terrace’. During the Civil War, it was open to wounded soldiers, serving as an impromptu convalescent hospital. The Ragans sold the home to Henry Harris. I’m unsure when the columns were added, but it was likely at the time of the move.

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The Gables, Circa 1870, Greenville

Confederate veteran Samuel Monroe Davidson built this house. He served in the 31st Regiment Georgia Volunteer Infantry (Mountain Tigers) and was wounded at Cold Harbor in 1862. Upon his medical discharge at Macon, he settled in Greenville and built this house around 1870. He was a city councilman and was instrumental in bringing the railroad to Greenville. The Mabon family were later owners.

 

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Peavy-Flynn House, Circa 1870, Greenville

Confederate Major and state senator George Peavy built this Gothic Revival house around 1870. He and his wife were well-known hosts of social functions and it was a center of activity in Greenville for many years. Later owners were the McLaughlin and Flynn families.

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Antebellum Greek Revival House, Greenville

This house was hidden by trees and brush for many years and has recently been restored. I’ve not been able to locate any information on the builder or specific date; tax records indicate an 1860 construction but it is most certainly older than that. It’s also thought to have been the inspiration for FDR’s Little White House. I will update as soon as I locate more information.

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Warner-Hill-Clark House, 1836 & Circa 1869, Greenville

Originally, this house was a small cottage built by Judge Hiram Warner (1802-1881) in 1836. Judge Warner came to Georgia from Massachusetts in 1822 and eventually became Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. Around 1869 Judge Warner’s daughter, Mary Jane Warner Hill, added another structure to the extant one, creating a two-story house. The Greek Revival appearance likely dates to this time. The Louie Cleveland Clark family purchased the house in 1934. The property has long been known as Clarkland Farms and is now an event venue.

National Register of Historic Places

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Burwell O. Hill House, 1893, Greenville

Built as a Victorian, the Hill House took on its present Neoclassical appearance with a 1909 remodel. The house was designed by Mrs. Hill’s brother-in-law, Newnan architect W. A. Steed. Burwell O. Hill (1856-1918) was a prominent Meriwether County farmer. His son, Obadiah W. Hill, and grandson, J. Render Hill, both served in the Georgia legislature.

National Register of Historic Places

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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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McMakin-Jarrell House, 1920, Greenville

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

 

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