Category Archives: Lexington GA

Paul’s Bar-B-Q, Lexington

pauls-barbeque-lexington-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-north-georgia-usa-2017

According to almost anyone you ask in Lexington, or any of the myriad barbecue “experts” out there, Paul’s was one of the best barbecue restaurants in Georgia over its long history. [I’ve eaten at many of the “best barbecue in Georgia” joints and very few have impressed me. My favorite remains Armstrong’s in Summerville and it’s not even on many of those lists. They seem to have issues with their hours, though]. Online reviews raved about the perfect vinegar-based sauce, the thick Brunswick stew and sweet tea better than your granny’s. Paul’s was only open from 9:30-2:00 on Saturdays and on Independence Day. They finally shut their doors on 4 July 2016, a day which made many people sad.

Luckily, the good folks at the Southern Foodways Alliance interviewed the owners in 2008 and recorded an oral history of the business. It began in 1929 when Clifford Collins started cooking and barbecuing whole hogs in Lexington. He and Fudge Collins sold their product under the shade of a Mulberry tree on Main Street for the next forty years. With the advent of health regulations, the business moved inside this building and they began smoking hams instead of whole hogs. Clifford retired when he was in his 90s and passed the business on to his nephew, George Paul, Jr.  George was a farmer with no restaurant experience but he quickly learned the ropes. He and his son Jimmy operated the business from about 1979 until 2016, with George smoking the shoulders on a pit at his farm and Jimmy making the Brunswick stew.

pauls-barbq-lexington-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-north-georgia-usa-2017

 

5 Comments

Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Lexington GA

Main Street, Lexington

Lexington GA Oglethorpe County Historic Downtown Storefronts Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Lexington is a great town to visit. It’s easy to walk around the historic side streets, exploring the architecture and history of a place that dates to the late 1700s. The town itself was incorporated in 1806 and named for Lexington, Massachusetts. It’s close to Athens but with fewer than 300 people still has the feel of a traditional small town. Here’s another view of Main Street’ historic commercial row, taken from the courthouse lawn.

Lexington GA Main Street Historic Commercial Storefronts from Courthouse Lawn Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

2 Comments

Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Lexington GA

Platt Street, Lexington

Lexington GA Oglethorpe County Courthouse Square Granite Storefronts Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Platt Street is located on the west side of the courthouse square and is a good example of small town revitalization. Oglethorpe Fresh (on the right) is a sustainable, local farmers market that encourages artists, musicians, historians and other creative types to come together and share ideas.

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Lexington GA

Oglethorpe County Courthouse, 1887, Lexington

Oglethorpe County Courthouse Lexington GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Designed by L. B. Wheeler, W. H. Parkins, and H. I. Kimball, Lexington’s Richardsonian Romanesque courthouse is one of my favorites in Georgia.

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

1 Comment

Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Lexington GA

Oglethorpe County Jail, 1878, Lexington

This jail was in use until 2002 and is now owned by Historic Oglethorpe.

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

2 Comments

Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Lexington GA

Maxwell-Knox House,1857, Lexington

Lexington GA Oglethorpe County Knox House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

The last survivor of the houses that once surrounded the courthouse square, the Knox house largely retains its original appearance. The thin columns are rarely found on I-Houses in Georgia, and their raised granite bases are even more unusual. They’re apparently later additions, as they’re not visible in the image below made by Frances Benjamin Johnston for he Historic American Buildings Survey in 1939. Photograph Courtesy Library of Congress.

Lexington GA Maxwell Knox House HABS Library of Congress

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Lexington GA

Stephen Upson House, 1812, Lexington

Lexington GA Oglethorpe County Stephen Upson House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Surrounded by a stacked granite wall on expansive grounds, this is one of the most imposing properties in Lexington. Photographs of the gardens were included in the landmark Garden History of Georgia (1933). Though the one-story portico seen here is now the entrance, it was once the rear of the house. Otherwise, the house is in relatively original form. Amazingly, another of his Georgia homes survives largely intact in Athens, now used as bank offices.

Connecticut native Stephen Upson (1785-24 August 1824), who was called the “wisest man in Georgia” during his lifetime, came to Lexington via Virginia to study law under William H. Crawford. He married Hannah Cummins after establishing a practice in Lexington and was a member of the Georgia legislature from 1820 until his death. He also served as the head of the Georgia bar. Shortly after his death, the legislature created and named Upson County in his memory.

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

2 Comments

Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Lexington GA

Willingham-Watkins House, 1832, Lexington

Lexington GA Oglethorpe County Willingham Watkins House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Built as an I-House, like the neighboring Baldwin-Cox-Chedell and Platt-Smith-Brooks houses, this was expanded to include the portico and columns in the mid-19th century. The granite column bases are an interesting feature.

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Lexington GA

William Baldwin House, 1818, Lexington

Lexington GA Oglethorpe County Dr Bernard Chedel House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Like many of Lexington’s historic homes, this Greek Revival landmark was built as an I-House (Plantation Plain) by William Baldwin and evolved with the needs of its subsequent owners. The columns and portico were added just before the Civil War, by Swepson Cox; the hip roof is thought to have been added at that time, as well. Dr. Bernard Chedell was a longtime resident, as was the Hugh Callaway family. [Variant names include the Cox-Chedell-Johnston House & the Chedell-Broach-Titus House].The Johnston, Broach and Titus families have also called this beautiful house home over the years. Linda Titus Parish, the present owner, has done a great job of maintaining the historical integrity of the property.

Lexington GA Oglethorpe County Dr Bernard Chedel House Perspective Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

L. D. Andrew photographed the home and a dovecote on the property in May 1936, for the Historic American Buildings Survey. I assumed it was gone, but owner Linda Titus Parrish notes: “When we purchased the property in 1976, the original dovecote/carriage house had been turned into a one car garage with storage and a manger added behind it. It still exists, without the dovecote, and is now used as storage and a workshop area with a new tin roof“.  Photographs Courtesy Library of Congress.

Lexington GA Cox Chedel Johnston House Photographed by L. D. Andrew Historic American Buildings Survey Courtesy Library of Congress

Lexington GA Dovecote at Cox Chedel Johnston House Photographed by L D Andrew HABS Courtesy of Library of Congress

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

3 Comments

Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Lexington GA

Platt-Brooks-Smith House, Circa 1830, Lexington

Lexington GA Oglethorpe County Platt Brooks Smith House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

This Federal Style landmark was built as an I-House with later owners expanding it to its present appearance. The columns and portico were added in the mid-19th century and the first floor, originally a basement, was expanded into a full floor in the 1890s.

Lexington GA Oglethorpe County Willingham Watkins House Door Entryway Porch Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

L. D. Andrew took the shots below for the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1936. Note the ornate medallion in the second photograph. Photographs Courtesy Library of Congress.

Lexington GA Photographer L D Andrew Judge Platt House 1936 HABS Library of Congress

Lexington GA Photographer L D Andrew Judge Platt House Interior View Ceiling Medallion 1936 HABS Library of Congress

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Lexington GA