Tag Archives: 18th-Century Georgia

Montpelier United Methodist Church, Baldwin County

Montpelier is the oldest congregation in Baldwin County. I’m unsure as to the date of construction of the present church, but records of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist church indicate (in a document from 1972) that the structure was built before 1843. That appears to be a good possibility. Slaves attended the church with their owners in the antebellum era. The historical marker placed by the Georgia Historical Commission in 1996 gives more insight to the history of the community than it does the church itself: This church is named Montpelier after Fort Montpelier of 1794, 1/2 mi. below here down the Oconee. This fort and others were built during the Creek Indian troubles. Captain Jonas Fouche was ordered to guard the Georgia frontier from the mouth of the Tugaloo to Fort Fidius on the Oconee. 200 militia cavalry and infantry raised under Governor Telfair were placed under the command of Major Gaither, Federal commandant. A note on Fouche’s map reads: “As it is 40 mi .from Fort Twiggs to Mount Pelah where Maj. Gaither laid in garrison, it is recommended that a public station might be created by the Government (at Cedar Shoals)´

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Blalock-Wright House, Circa 1792, Lincoln County

Built in 1792 by David Blalock, the house was originally a dogtrot. Rem Remsen acquired the house, which had already been expanded to two stories and used as a stagecoach inn, before 1840. Miss Gladys Wright, a retired Lincoln County teacher, lived here until her death at the age of 103 in 1999. Her grandfather purchased the property in 1852 and it remained in the family for 147 years.

One of few surviving 18th-century houses in Georgia, the historic Blalock-Wright House was saved from destruction by the Mildred Estes Fortson Heritage Foundation in 1999 but still faces an uncertain future.

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Filed under --LINCOLN COUNTY GA--

Locust Grove Cemetery, 1794, Sharon

Locust Grove Oldest Catholic Cemetery in Georgia Sharon Taliaferro County Headstones Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

This sacred ground, Georgia’s first and oldest Catholic cemetery, is a great place for walking around and exploring. A real sense of peace came over me when I was there. Though none of the late-18th-century burials are marked or discernible today, the first burial was recorded here in 1794. Fieldstones mark some graves and those are likely the earliest burials.  The headstones are similar to the styles you’d find in Savannah or Charleston, not in the Georgia Piedmont.

Locust Grove Oldest Catholic Cemetery in Georgia Sharon Taliaferro County Headstone with Reolutionary War Flag Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

One of the more interesting interments is that of Lieutenant John Cratin of the 2nd Maryland Regiment, Revolutionary War. Lieutenant Cratin was among the first Catholic settlers of Georgia. Born in 1752 in Maryland, he died on 8 September 1826 in Locust Grove.

Locust Grove Oldest Catholic Cemetery in Georgia Sharon Taliaferro County Stone Enclosure Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

The stone enclosure pictured above is a relatively common construction in cemeteries of this age in the Piedmont.

Locust Grove Oldest Catholic Cemetery in Georgia Sharon Taliaferro County Broken Headstone Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

John Burke (b. 1784, County Tipperary, Ireland – d. 25 September 1846)

Though a few headstones are damaged, the greatest danger to most is the erosion of the script due to nearly 200 years of exposure to the elements.

Locust Grove Oldest Catholic Cemetery in Georgia Sharon Taliaferro County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

If you ever find yourself in the area, take the time to visit Locust Grove. You won’t be disappointed.

Locust Grove Oldest Catholic Cemetery in Georgia Sharon Taliaferro County Headstone Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

Thomas Turley (b. 1807, Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland – d. 20 November 1835)

A list of interments at Locust Grove, compiled by Drexel Beck, can be viewed at Find A Grave:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GScid=35051

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Filed under --TALIAFERRO COUNTY GA--, Sharon GA

The Rock House, 1785, McDuffie County

Rock House Thomas Ansley Wrightsboro Quaker Settlement McDuffie County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

Also known as the Old Rock House, this treasure, built by Thomas Ansley (1737-1809) in the Quaker-settled Wrightsboro(ugh) Township, is the oldest stone house in Georgia and among the oldest well-documented structures in the state. Ansley was a native of Freehold, New Jersey, where stone houses were common and the abundance of material in this area near the Fall Line was certainly a factor. Ansley settled in Georgia in 1768 after a few years in North Carolina. He and his wife Rebecca Cox were part of a colony of 40 Quaker families who came to Georgia seeking religious tolerance. Though he didn’t bear arms in the American Revolution, Ansley served as a forager and drover for the Army.

Rock House Thomas Ansley Wrightsboro Quakers McDuffie County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

When Ansley died in 1809 he left an estate with four houses and eight slaves. A thriving livestock operation also remained. Ansley was an ancestor of President Jimmy Carter, whose Revolutionary War-era novel The Hornet’s Nest takes place around Wrightsboro.

Rock House Thomas Ansley Fieldstone Wrightsboro Quaker Settlement McDuffie County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

The house was occupied until 1950. Soon after, vandals ruined much of the interior woodwork and rock walls. This led to the creation of the Wrighstboro Quaker Community Foundation, which from what I can gather from online sources, is still the owner of the property.

Rock House Thomas Ansley Interior Renovation Wrightsboro Quaker Settlement McDuffie County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

Part of the joy of this house, to me, was the fact that it feels “right” as to the interior details but not forced, like many house museums. There is a gate around the property with a small opening, but people in the neighborhood keep a very close eye on this landmark. I encountered some while there and told them I was photographing. Online sources like Explore Georgia and McDuffie County Chamber note the address and that it’s a free attraction; however, I feel reassured to know that in such a remote location, there is neighborhood concern and diligence.

Rock House Thomas Ansley Interior Wrightsboro Quaker Settlement McDuffie County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

National Register of Historic Places

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Grey House, Circa 1790, Wilkes County

Callaway Plantation Historic Site Wilkes County GA Jacob Callaway Grey House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Built by Job Callaway to replace the family’s first dwelling (akin to the log cabin seen in previous post), this Federal Plain-style house was home to the Callaway family until 1869, when the larger plantation house was constructed. Originally located across the highway on the site of the Washington-Wilkes County Airport, it was moved here in the 1960s. It’s decorated in period antiques today.

Callaway Plantation Historic Site Wilkes County GA Jacob Callaway Grey House Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --WILKES COUNTY GA--, Washington GA

Heard Cabin, Circa 1785, Wilkes County

Callaway Plantation Historic Site Wilkes County GA Mark Heard Circa 1785 Cabin Relocation Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Originally located on Mark Heard’s land between Sandtown and Danburg, this cabin was removed to the Callaway Plantation to replace the original Callaway cabin of the same era that burned down while in use as a kitchen for the Grey House. It’s typical of late-18th-century pioneer housing on the Georgia frontier.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --WILKES COUNTY GA--, Washington GA

Smith-Turner House, Lexington

Lexington GA Oglethorpe County 18th Century Architecture Smith Turner House Critically Endangered Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Construction on this iconic house began in 1798. The I-House (Plantation Plain) with rear kitchen seen today is a later antebellum expansion of a pioneer log cabin. The kitchen and dining room (right) are later additions, as well.The loss of houses like this is the loss not just of architecture but of the memories of the men who built them and those who went about their lives in them. These places are our monuments. They define us, for better and worse.

In its listing of the property, presently for sale, The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation notes: “The cabin, originally a 425 square foot structure built over a basement, was expanded over the years and is now an approximately 2,500 sqft nine-room house with three bedrooms and one bathroom. The house’s porch retains decorative carved brackets, and historic interior elements include wide pine board floors, chair rails, wainscoting, hand planed board walls, horsehair plaster, and Federal period mantels.”

Lexington GA Smith Turner House Endangered In Need of Immediate Stabilization Front View Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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