Tag Archives: Antebellum North Georgia

Crawford W. Long Museum, Jefferson

2017 marked the 175th anniversary of Dr. Crawford W. Long‘s first use of ether as a surgical anesthetic in Jefferson (30 March 1842). Long first apprenticed under Dr. Grant in Jefferson in the mid-1830s before moving to Philadelphia and New York to complete his medical training. In 1841, Dr. Long was an astute observer of one of the social trends of the day, known as “ether frolics”, in which the participants enjoyed recreational use of the substance. Noting that they felt no pain, he theorized ether could be used as a surgical anesthetic and made his first test case removing a cyst from the neck of James Venable. Three witnesses confirmed the success of the operation and the absence of pain in Venable.

The circa 1858 Pendergrass Store building was transformed into an 1840s doctor’s office and apothecary to better interpret Long’s discovery, which paved the way for modern medicine. It serves as the Crawford W. Long Museum. After making my way from the courthouse to the museum to pick up a historic walking tour brochure, I had a nice visit. And better, I purchased a “got ether?” t-shirt, one of the coolest of its kind to be found in Georgia.

Jefferson Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --JACKSON COUNTY GA--, Jefferson GA

Presbyterian Church, Circa 1858, Jefferson

Built just before the Civil War, the Presbyterian Church is the oldest church building in Jefferson. It originally featured a steeple which was lost to a storm in 1943. The Presbyterians shared the church with the Baptists until they built their first permanent home in 1887. A former private residence adjacent to the church now serves as the congregational office.

Jefferson Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --JACKSON COUNTY GA--, Jefferson GA

Magnolia Manor, Circa 1859, Milledgeville

Built for Lewis Kenan, Magnolia Manor was the longtime home of Dr. Gustav Lawrence and later, the maiden sisters Lucetta and Roberta Lawrence.

 

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Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Milledgeville GA

Rockwell, Circa 1838, Milledgeville

This house is perhaps the most enigmatic in Milledgeville, due largely to its present derelict appearance. [It’s apparently more stable than the grounds would suggest]. Built by Joseph Lane for Samuel Rockwell (1788-1842), the house has also been known over time as Beauvoir and the Governor Johnson House. Rockwell, a native of Albany, New York, first practiced law in Savannah before establishing a practice in Milledgeville around 1828. He served as Inspector of the 3rd Division during the Creek Indian War of 1836.

Closely related, stylistically, to the Milledgeville Federal houses, Rockwell is more highly realized in form.

Among numerous owners throughout the history of the property, Governor Herschel Vespasian Johnson was perhaps its best known resident. As the commemorative slab of Georgia granite placed by the WPA and the UDC in 1936 notes, it was his summer home. Governor Johnson was notably the state’s most vocal opponent to secession but eventually came around, as borne out by the acquiescent quote, no doubt chosen by the UDC: “To Georgia, in my judgement, I owe primary allegiance.”

The house was documented by photographer L. D. Andrew for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) in 1936, owned by the Ennis family at the time. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

Thanks to Michael Massey for bringing this house to my attention.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Milledgeville GA

Wilkins-Cooper-Jenkins House, Circa 1817 & 1885, Eatonton

This house has an ornamented tower which is obscured by the trees on the right, but otherwise, its wonderful Victorian Gothic details are visible here. According to the National Register of Historic Places, it was built as a four-room central hallway house and expanded over the years as it passed from family to family. The Victorian triple gables and tower were added around 1885.

Eatonton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--, Eatonton GA

Slade Hall, Circa 1853, Eatonton

As John Linley wrote in The Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area, “Greek Revival architecture seems to have reached a certain perfection in [this] house.” Originally thought to have been built circa 1836, research now indicates that construction took place between 1852-1854. It was built for Daniel & Elizabeth Trippe Slade. Slade came to Eatonton from Litchfield, Connecticut, around 1828 and after a brief teaching career operated a successful mercantile business for many years. The house was sold to a local judge, named Wingfield, around the turn of the last century and his family remained there until 1975.

Eatonton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--, Eatonton GA

Tunison-Paschal-Sammons House, Circa 1855, Eatonton

This house has intrigued me ever since I first “discovered” it on the cover of John Linley’s The Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area many years ago. Linley was able to get a better photograph, as the front yard was less overgrown at the time, but it still looks great.

It was built in the Greek Revival style by Tunis Tunison, who with James Morrison Broadfield built Temperance Hall, the first two-story brick structure in Eatonton, in 1849. Tunison lost the house to William Paschal in a sherrif’s sale around 1860. It’s unclear when the front tower was added, but some sources suggest as early as 1858; others suggest the 1870s. I’m still not even sure as to the provenance of ownership, which varies greatly in sources.

Eatonton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--, Eatonton GA