Tag Archives: American Revolution in Georgia

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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Filed under --McDUFFIE COUNTY GA--

Black Patriots Monument, Washington

Black Patriots Revolutionary War Monument Memorial Washington GA Town Square Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Sharing the Washington town square with the Confederate monument is this unique memorial to the African-American veterans of the Revolutionary War, dedicated in 2012. It’s estimated that over 5,000 black patriots served in the Continental army and though efforts have been made to place a similar remembrance in Washington, D.C., this is thought to be the only such work of this scale and prominent placement in the country. The bust is meant to represent the best known black patriot of Georgia, Austin Dabney. Dabney and his master, Richard Aycock moved from North Carolina to Wilkes County in the late 1770s and to avoid service himself, Aycock sent Dabney to serve in his stead. He was present at the Battle of Kettle Creek on 14 February 1779, among Georgia’s most important engagements in the war. Dabney was granted his freedom, as well as land in Wilkes County and a pension in reward for his service. As there is no contemporary image of Dabney, sculptor Kinzey Branham used an image of James Armistead Lafayette, a better-known African-American patriot who also gained his freedom after the war.

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