Tag Archives: Antebellum North Georgia

Western and Atlantic Railroad Depot, 1854, Cartersville

One of just a handful of surviving Western and Atlantic Railroad depots, the Cartersville depot now serves as the town’s Welcome Center. That it has survived at all is a bit of a miracle, considering it was in the direct path of Sherman’s forces as they headed into Atlanta. On 20 May 1864, Confederate forces occupied the depot in an effort to protect it, knocking out sections of the wall for use as gun ports. Due to other concerns, Sherman, let the depot stand, but there were light skirmishes between the Confederate and Union forces at the site. About six months later, when Sherman returned to Cartersville, a Union soldier cut the telegraph line from the depot, isolating Cartersville from the outside world, and the March to the Sea was underway.

Cartersville Downtown Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BARTOW COUNTY GA--, Cartersville GA

Lowry Grist Mill Ruins, Euharlee

Euharlee was originally known as Burge’s  Mill, for the grist mill Nathaniel Burge operated on Euharlee Creek. The earlier mill burned around 1880 and was rebuilt by Daniel Lowry. Sections of the foundation are likely remnants of the original antebellum mill. A plan to rebuild the mill has been proposed, but I’m unsure of its status at this time.

 

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Filed under --BARTOW COUNTY GA--, Euharlee GA

Old Brick Mill, 1830s, Lindale

The Old Brick Mill at Lindale is the only surviving antebellum brick grist mill in Northwest Georgia and one of just a handful of surviving antebellum mills of any construction in Georgia. It was built of bricks made on site by enslaved people. Located on Silver Creek just across the road from the entrance to the Lindale Manufacturing Company, it is a favorite spot for photographers. Though it ceased operation as a grist mill in the late 1890s, it remained an important community landmark, serving as home to a local Garden Club, Boy Scout troop, and Masonic lodge at various times throughout the 20th century. The Lindale paper, The Georgia Free Lance, was also printed here around 1909.

The landmark, believed to have been built for Larkin Barnett in the 1830s, has seen various changes over time, including the loss of the mill race, the original wheel, and steps, but retains much of its structural integrity. Subsequent private owners and operators were William Cabe of Alabama [Silver Creek Mills], Jacob Henry Hoss [millwright], Joseph Fulcher, William Hemphill Jones, and Mary Jane & Sarah Elizabeth Jones. It ceased operation when it was purchased by the Massachusetts Mills. It was restored by the Lindale Garden Club, who won a National Award for Historic Preservation for their efforts, in 1975.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --FLOYD COUNTY GA--, Lindale GA

Cave Spring Baptist Church, 1851

Cave Spring Baptist Church [presently First Baptist Church of Cave Spring] was constituted on 24 September 1836 and is third oldest Baptist congregation in Northwest Georgia. Before this elegantly simple Greek Revival structure was built in 1851, they met in a general store and a dormitory of the Hearn School. Early members were instrumental in the establishment of the Georgia School for the Deaf.

As the congregation grew in the early 20th century, they decided to build a new church home, selling this structure in 1931 to Dr. Joseph Rolater for inclusion in a community park. It remains a beloved reminder of simpler times.

Rolater Park Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --FLOYD COUNTY GA--, Cave Spring GA

Avery Vann Cabin, 1810, Cave Spring

This hand-hewn cabin was built by Avery Vann, Jr., (1770-1845). Vann, a Scottish trader who married a Cherokee woman, was the brother of Cherokee Chief James Vann and his prominence in the area led to its designation as Vann’s Valley.

For many years, the structure was hidden within the walls of the old Webster-Green Hotel in downtown Cave Spring. When the hotel faced eminent demolition in 2009, the Cave Spring Historical Society led the effort to save the cabin and their work revealed this important aspect of Georgia history. After extensive research and careful restoration, the cabin was opened to the public in 2016. It is believed to be the second oldest extant Native American two-story residential structure.

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

 

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Filed under --FLOYD COUNTY GA--, Cave Spring GA

Neoclassical Revival House, Cave Spring

Recent real estate listings state that this house is “pre-Civil War”.  The Neoclassical remodeling dates around 1900.

Cave Spring Residential Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --FLOYD COUNTY GA--, Cave Spring GA

Antebellum House, Cave Spring

Cave Spring Residential Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --FLOYD COUNTY GA--, Cave Spring GA

William S. Simmons Plantation, 1840s, Cave Spring

The vernacular Greek Revival main house of the William S. Simmons Plantation, along with the adjacent Vann cookhouse, are two of the oldest extant brick structures in Floyd County. I was invited to photograph them earlier this year by owner Kristi Reed and am so glad I finally got to experience the charms of this important property, which continues to be a working farm. Kristi is very passionate about the Simmons Plantation and much of the following history is taken from her research. [PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY AND IT IS CLOSELY MONITORED FOR TRESPASSING]

Hidden in plain sight at the edge of downtown Cave Spring, the circa 1845-1847 landmark is built of handmade brick [18″ exterior walls/14″interior walls] and contains nine rooms, some of which retain hand-painted frescoes original to the house. It has also been known as the Montgomery Farm or Montgomery House, for subsequent owners.

As historically important as the main house, the double-pen brick cookhouse behind it was likely built no later than the mid-1820s by David Vann. Its initial use is not known, but considering that Vann was a wealthy planter who owned as many as 13 slaves, it is possible that it served as a slave dwelling before being relegated to use as a kitchen upon construction of the Simmons House. Vann, who was born at Cave Spring [Vann’s Valley] in 1800, was a member of one of the most prominent families of the Cherokee Nation and had a plantation house here preceding the Simmons house. [An interesting aside: Vann was the great-uncle of American humorist Will Rogers].

David Vann was a Cherokee sub-chief and after emigrating to the Indian Terriotry [present-day Oklahoma] in the mid-1830s, later served as Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation. He was murdered by a group of “Pin Indians” at Salina, Indian Territory, on 23 December 1863 and was buried at Haner Cemetery in Murphy. According to the Encylopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture, the derogatory term “Pin Indians” was applied by Treaty Party Cherokees to hostile, pro-Union Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole during the Civil War. The Pins were identified by cross pins worn on their coat lapels or calico shirts. They were disproportionately full bloods, wore turbans, adhered to the long-house culture, and were politically opposed to the frock-coated mixed-bloods who adhered to Southern white cultural norms and belonged to the Knights of the Golden Circle.

National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --FLOYD COUNTY GA--, Cave Spring GA

Willcoxon House, Circa 1860, Sargent

Colonel John B. Willcoxon built this house around the time he opened a grist mill near Wahoo Creek in the Lodi community. The grist mill opened in 1861 and remained in operation for five years. In 1866, with partners H. J. and George Sargent of Massachusetts, Colonel Willcoxon established the Willcoxon Manufacturing Company to produce cotton rope. The large four-story factory attracted many rural families to the area and primarily employed women and children. This was long before child labor laws prohibited such employment.

In 1888, H. C. Arnall, Sr., and T. G. Farmer purchased the enterprise and renamed it the Wahoo Manufacturing Company. The name of the town was officially changed to Sargent in 1892.

Sargent Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --COWETA COUNTY GA--, Sargent GA

Central Hallway Cottages, Villa Rica

These “twin” cottages are among the oldest residential structures near the commercial center of Villa Rica and judging by the nearly identical entryways, are likely the work of the same builder. I presume them to be antebellum, but they could possibly date to the early 1870s. I will update when I know more.

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Filed under --CARROLL COUNTY GA--, Villa Rica GA