Tag Archives: Antebellum North 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)´

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--

Alexander-Brown-Coleman House, 1850s, Forsyth

Dr. L. B. Alexander and family were the first occupants of this house, later owned by the Tison-Brown and Coleman families. It’s among the oldest in Forsyth. Thanks to Stefanie Coleman Anthony for the identification.

Leave a comment

Filed under --MONROE COUNTY GA--, Forsyth GA

William J. Clark House, Circa 1856, Elberton

William J. Clark was a merchant and one of the leading citizens of Elbert County when he built this home, which may have originated as a Plantation Plain with Greek Revival elements added later. Clark was killed in the Civil War. Thanks to Anna King O’Neal for the identification.

Elberton Residential Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --ELBERT COUNTY GA--, Elberton GA

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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.

 

Leave a comment

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

2 Comments

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