Category Archives: –HANCOCK COUNTY GA–

Abandoned Federal House, Hancock County

This house is a good example of a locally early Federal style I-House. It likely dated to circa 1800-1820. Anne Chamlee made the photograph in northern Hancock County in March 1991 and the house is believed to be lost. I hope to identify it.

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St. Mark’s A. M. E. Church, Sparta

Founded by freedmen circa 1867, St. Mark’s was one of the first A. M. E. congregations in Hancock County and was a major social and cultural influence on the newly emancipated African-American community of Sparta. The present structure dates to either 1892 or 1901.

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Horeb Baptist Church, 1824, Mayfield

Organized as Folsom Creek Baptist Church on 28 June 1792 by Adam Jones and Jeptha Vining, this church was renamed Horeb in 1798 and relocated to the present location in 1799. As was often the case, slaves were members until the Civil War and some are buried in the adjacent cemetery. Newly emancipated, African-Americans began to organize their own churches after the war. At its bicentennial in 1992, membership in Horeb had dwindled to such a low number that the church officially disbanded. It is still well-maintained and used for occasional events and services.

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Reynolds House, Mayfield

One historic resource survey dates this Plantation Plain/I-House to circa 1860, but I believe it was built earlier than that. Other than the name of the first owner, I have been unsuccessful at locating more history.

 

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Birdsong-Hill-Elliot House, Mayfield

As evidenced by its present state, Mayfield’s iconic Birdsong-Hill-Elliot House is likely in its last days without quick intervention. It has rapidly deteriorated since I last photographed it in 2014.

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Craftsman Bungalow, Circa 1910, Mayfield

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Mayfield Methodist Church, 1949, Hancock County

I believe this was built by the Mayfield Methodist Church to replace an earlier structure on the site dating to 1897. The property was a gift of Lena Birdsong. The congregation formed earlier in the 1890s and originally met in members’ homes and a one-room schoolhouse. Construction began on this church in 1949, but I’m not sure when it was completed. The congregation was never very large and disbanded years ago.

In recent years it has been home to a couple of African-American congregations, including the Mayfield Church of God in Christ and the Ogeechee Ministries of God.

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Central Hallway Farmhouse, Hancock County

This house was likely used by tenants of Shoulderbone Plantation. I believe it may actually be two houses that were joined together at some point.

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Lanier House, Circa 1860, Hancock County

This is part of the Shoulderbone Plantation property, to my understanding, and was owned by the Lanier family for many years. I’m unsure who the original owners were.

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John S. Jackson House, Circa 1850, Hancock County

This imposing Greek Revival plantation home, situated on a high point overlooking acres of gently rolling hills and pristine farmland, was built by William Jackson for his son, John Swinney Jackson and his first wife, Artemesia Hall. The elder Jackson acquired the property from William Knowles in 1832. John Jackson, who had lived all of his life in Hancock and Greene Counties developed the property, through slave labor, into a thriving agricultural operation. At the outset of the Civil War, Jackson owned over 1000 acres and 38 enslaved Africans. Like most Georgians, Jackson served the Confederate cause and the futile effort ended in his loss of the plantation. It was purchased by Robert M. Grimes in 1870 who sold it to James M. Harris in 1874. Grimes reacquired it in 1880, but after a lawsuit over debts sold it back to Harris in 1881. Harris sold it to Henry Thomas Lewis in 1900. Lewis was an Associate Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court who lived in Greensboro and Siloam, keeping the plantation as a country retreat. After Lewis’s death, his widow sold the plantation to Jeff W. N. Lanier, whose family owned neighboring lands. Subsequent owners were D. B. Taylor and Dorsey L. Campbell. Campbell’s daughter, Alice Hartley, deeded the house back to the Lanier family in 1982.

The property is known today as Shoulderbone Plantation, for the historical Shoulderbone Creek which runs nearby.

National Register of Historic Places

 

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