Though it has been moved from its original location, the home of Revolutionary War veteran Jacob Burkhalter is the oldest in Warrenton. In March 1825 the Marquis de Lafayette stayed at the Burkhalter House while traveling by stagecoach from Augusta to Milledgeville on the Southern leg of his American tour. Dan Muller, the present owner, has done a lot of sensitive restoration and stabilization work on the house.
Tag Archives: 18th-Century Georgia
This historic stagecoach inn would have seen lots of business after it was built on the old Milledgeville-Augusta route in the 1780s. I’ve found very little history for such an important survivor, and what I have found seems apocryphal, but as always will update when I learn more. It has been stabilized and restored by its present owners and is now known as the Stagecoach House Events Venue.
The appearance of this landmark, one of the most iconic houses in Washington, has been altered considerably since the original section was completed by Anthony Poullain circa 1793. It was purchased in 1803 by Savannah merchant John Bolton, who significantly enlarged it for use as a summer retreat. Robert Sims added the Victorian details responsible for its present appearance in 1883. It is currently for sale and was recently listed by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation as a Place in Peril.
National Register of Historic Places
This house, said to be the oldest in Sparta, has grown up around an original log structure, through tasteful additions over the centuries. Built for Dr. Timothy Rossiter, it was purchased by Elias Boyer in 1812. It is sometimes referred to as the Rossiter-Little House, as the Little family owned it from the 1830s until the late 20th century.
In The Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area, (University of Georgia Press, Athens, 1972) John Linley identifies the lattice work on the front of the house as “sheaf of wheat” and notes that it is a light and delicate but unexpectedly sturdy type lattice which seems particularly suitable to the South. [It is] too generally underappreciated and a rapidly disappearing feature of many antebellum homes. It is present on a few houses in Hancock and Baldwin counties.
Sparta Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
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)´
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.
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.
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.
The stone enclosure pictured above is a relatively common construction in cemeteries of this age in the Piedmont.
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.
If you ever find yourself in the area, take the time to visit Locust Grove. You won’t be disappointed.
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 here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
National Register of Historic Places