Amis-Elder House, Circa 1805, Oglethorpe County

This Federal/Plantation Plain-style house is an important early example of the form which came to dominate the architecture of the planter class in 19th century Georgia. Significantly, over two centuries, its owners have maintained the house with very few changes to its original state.

This property, near Big Creek, originated as a grant to John Peek which was sold to Joseph Crockett in 1797. In 1810, Crockett sold the property, including the house, to Thomas Amis. Tax evaluations indicate that the house was built between 1797 and 1810. Thomas Amis, Jr., inherited the property upon his father’s death and in 1867 sold it to S. R. Aycock. In 1884, it passed to Aycock’s daughter, Martha Elder, and in 1930, to his grandson, Courtney B. Elder. Mr. Elder, who bought out his siblings’ share of the property, lived here until his death in 1975. Dr. Forest Kellogg was a later owner.

National Register of Historic Places

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Arnold Cotton Gin, Arnoldsville

Local tradition suggests that this gin was built of Georgia granite to replace an earlier frame structure destroyed by a tornado in the early 1900s, though I am unable to confirm this. It was operational until at least the 1950s and was established by Nathaniel (Nat.) Dowdy Arnold (1859-1928), who was the namesake of this small agricultural community. Arnold’s wife was Annie Susan Callaway (1863-1901), from the Callaway Plantation in Wilkes County.

Nathaniel Dowdy Arnold in William J. Northen, Men of Mark in Georgia, Volume VII, A . B. Campbell Publishing, Atlanta, 1912. Public Domain.

The original settlement, dating to the 1770s, was established near an important Native American trading route and was known as Cherokee Corner. By 1811, a sawmill, gin, and general store were present in the community. A Presbyterian minister named Safford operated the Cherokee Corner Academy and until at least the 1840s was involved in the cultivation of silkworm cocoons.

In 1894, local merchant Edwin Shaw established a post office and named the village Edwin after himself. In 1896, Nathaniel D. Arnold bought Shaw’s store and his postal rights and the town became Arnoldsville.

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Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Arnoldsville GA

Gabled-Ell Farmhouse, Oconee County

This house features a nice local stone chimney. It likely dates to the late 19th century.

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Bank of Jersey, 1904, Walton County

Built in 1904, this structure was home to Jersey’s only bank until the Great Depression brought on its failure in 1931. It was organized by Josiah Blasingame, Sr., a prominent landowner and merchant who served as the first postmaster and first mayor of Jersey. It was used for storage until the early 1980s and was later used as a dental office.

National Register of Historic Places

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General Store, 1900s, Jersey

Though it is now used as the Jersey Community Building, I believe this stone-veneer storefront was originally a general store. Besides the Bank of Jersey, it is the only surviving commercial structure from the early days of Jersey. It has been nicely preserved and its continued use speaks to the quality of its construction. It likely dates to the first decade of the 20th century.

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Union Primitive Baptist Church, 1896, Madison County

One survey states that this church building dates to 1896, but the congregation may be older.

There is a very large cemetery adjacent to the church. A modern structure across the highway now serves the congregation.

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Henry Strickland House, Circa 1790, Madison County

This familiar landmark in Danielsville was purportedly built by Revolutionary War veteran Henry Peter Strickland circa 1790, predating the creation of Madison County. Strickland and his wife Mary had eight children.

Additions to the house, prominently the front porch and posts, have led some to surmise the house to have been built later than its stated construction date of 1790, but local tradition suggests that it may in fact be of late-18th-century vintage. The Preservation Committee for the Madison County Heritage Foundation has shared these details, from an architectural survey: The interior of the building features 16-inch boards, no longer available, and the wood used upstairs has never been painted or stained. A set of ”dog leg” stairs leading to the upper floor has weakened with time. And although it is the only access to the top level, the stairs now remain unused for lack of repair.

Whatever its history, it is an important local landmark and will hopefully be preserved. I understand that the county has strongly advocated for the preservation of the house, but do not know details of its current status.

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Filed under --MADISON COUNTY GA--, Danielsville GA

Crawford Long Childhood Home, 1810s, Madison County

Also known as the Crawford Long Childhood Home, this Federal style house was built by Madison County pioneer James Long, circa 1817. James long was the father of Dr. Crawford Williamson Long, the first man to successfully use ether as an anesthesia for surgery. The elder Long came to Georgia with his family from Pennsylvania in 1790 and was a successful planter and merchant and was one of the founders of Danielsville in 1812-1813. He was among the first in newly created Madison County (1811) to receive a license to sell liquor. His holdings in the area eventually reached 13,000 acres and at least 22 slaves. He married a local girl, Elizabeth Ware, on 8 December 1813 and their son Crawford was born on 1 November 1815, presumably at an earlier, though undocumented, home the family owned in Danielsville proper.

The land where this house is located wasn’t purchased until December of 1817 and wasn’t located within the city limits. Because of the low tax evaluation of the property at that time, it is presumed the house was not present at the time of the purchase. James Long was active in local politics and early sessions of the Inferior Court met is his home. He served as Clerk of the Superior Court, Danielsville postmaster, and in both houses of the Georgia legislature. According to the nomination form which added the house to the National Register of Historic Places, it is the only extant, authentic structure associated with his [Crawford W. Long’s] life.

After the sale of the house by the Long heirs in 1874, it has had several owners, including the Thurmond, O’Kelley, Thompson, and Sorrow families. They have kept a watchful eye over it. Crawford Long lived in the house until he left for nearby Franklin College (University of Georgia) in 1829. Local oral traditions suggests that Dr. Long was actually born in the house, which would place its construction date in the 1813-1815 range, but since no primary evidence exists to prove this claim, a debate continues. Either way, it’s significant as a residence of one of the most important figures in 19th century American medicine.

Dr. Crawford Williamson Long. Photo Source: A Cyclopedia of American Medical Biography, Volume 2, 1913. Public Domain.

The National Register nomination also notes: Architecturally, the Crawford Long Childhood Home has significance as a refined example of federal period architecture used in the construction of dwellings on the upper frontier portions of Georgia during the nineteenth century. The style of the structure is more refined than other extant vernacular houses of its area. A graphic reconstruction of the structure, with its original federal pedimented porch would reveal a definite change in character from its present appearance and would distinguish it from other houses in that early nineteenth century period and locality. The interior of the building is indicative of an imported eastern taste transferred into the upper Piedmont of Georgia. The wood paneling and graining found in the formal rooms of the house reflect quality craftsmanship and are a noteworthy accomplishment for that early date and time. The two second-story fireplace surrounds also convey a quality of craftsmanship. The smooth finishing of the interior wood indicates great care in construction as well…

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --MADISON COUNTY GA--, Danielsville GA

Jacob Eberhart House, 1854, Colbert

The Jacob Eberhart log cabin was saved and relocated to downtown Colbert, where it was reconstructed in its original form. It’s a good representation of a typical working class antebellum dwelling of this area of Georgia.

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Colbert Volunteer Fire Department

The old Colbert Fire House is now home to the Colbert Volunteer Fire Department, which was established in 1968.

Colbert Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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