Tag Archives: Athens GA

Cheney House, Circa 1895, Athens

Often cited as Athens’ nicest surviving Queen Anne, the Cheney House is now a commercial property at the corner of Milledge and Hill. It was the home of the eccentric Cheney sisters, who feature in James K. Reap’s Athens: A Pictorial History (Walsworth Publishing Comapny, 1985): “Two sisters, Frances and Maud Cheney, were living in the house when a neighbor’s cat came over to have her kittens. Maud cared for them and loved them, and when the cat went home, Maud kept the kittens in spite of the neighbor’s demand for their return. The dispute finally went to court, where the judge ruled against Miss Cheney. When she still refused to return the kittens, and cursed the judge, she was sentenced to jail for contempt of court. Whether she actually served her sentence, no one knows, but it is said that she sat on the steps of the jail denouncing the sheriff who told her to spend her sentence at home.

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S. J. Boley House, Circa 1918, Athens

Besides the Boley, Hodges, Sill, and Carson families, this “modern” Greek Revival has also been home to the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Cobbham Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Horton’s Drug Store, Athens

Horton’s, across from the Georgia Theatre, has been a downtown Athens institution since W. P. “Doc” Horton, Sr., purchased it from the Reid brothers in 1947, but there has been a corner drugstore at this location since the early 1910s. And in case you were wondering, the neon sign still works.

Downtown Athens Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Haygood Building, Circa 1885, Athens

The highlight of this section of East Clayton Street is the circa 1885 Haygood Building. The red brick three-story Victorian storefront retains much of its original character.

Downtown Athens Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Wuxtry Records, 1976, Athens

Named one of the 25 best record stores in America by Rolling Stone in 2010, Wuxtry Records is an unusual landmark, but for some it’s the downtown Athens landmark. REM’s Peter Buck even worked here for a time. (For those of you who thought record stores had gone the way of fanny packs and leg warmers, you’d be surprised at just how serious vinyl collectors can be).  Though I can’t recall specifically, I believe I first entered these doors in the spring of 1989. I didn’t buy a record because I was all about cassettes in those days, but I bought a poster and perhaps a t-shirt. The vibe of the place has always been eclectic, with hardcore musicians and collectors mingling with curious onlookers.

Downtown Athens Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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The Arch, Circa 1857, Athens

Thought to have been cast by the Athens Foundry and replicating the Great Seal of Georgia, the Arch is supported by three columns (pillars) which represent the state’s motto, “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation”. Serving a functional rather than monumental or commemorative purpose, it originally included two doors which connected the columns. The University website notes that until the early 20th century, it was known as “the gate”. The gate and adjacent iron fence, also installed circa 1857, was the boundary of the historic Old North Campus of the University of Georgia. Today, besides serving as the logo of the University, the Arch is a beloved icon of both Athens and Georgia.

Old North Campus- University of Georgia, National Register of Historic Places

 

 

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Mayflower Restaurant, 1948, Athens

These days, it’s’ hard to find any Athens landmark in its original location. Even the Varsity, in its second incarnation since the 1960s at the corner of Milledge and Broad, is about to pack up and move. And while purists and locals bemoan the proliferation of chains, especially downtown, the Mayflower is a standout. As its menus proudly proclaim, it’s been “Putting the South in Your Mouth” “Across from the Arch” since 1948. If you’re looking for healthy or trendy, forget about it, but if you crave a good old fashioned diner breakfast or lunch, stop by the Mayflower. The staff are friendly, even if you’re not a regular, and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

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Phinizy-Hunnicutt House, 1855, Athens

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Built by John E. Phinizy with iron railings from the Athens Foundry, this house was sold in 1894 to John A. Hunnicutt, a founder of the Athens Electric Railroad Company.

Cobbham Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Lucy Cobb Institute, 1858, Athens

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Laura Cobb Rutherford was perhaps the first advocate for the education of women in Athens and through her efforts and the financial backing of her brother, T. R. R. Cobb, the Lucy Cobb Institute (named for Cobb’s daughter who had died at the age of 13 from scarlet fever) was constructed in 1858 and held its first classes in 1859. W. W. Thomas was the architect.

National Register of Historic Places

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Seney-Stovall Chapel, 1885, Athens

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W. W. Thomas began construction of this Athens icon in 1882, after Miss Nellie Stovall wrote a letter to New York philanthropist George I. Seney asking for a chapel for the adjacent Lucy Cobb Institute. It was dedicated in 1885 and is considered the only authentic Elizabethan theatre in the Southeast. It served as a lecture hall, theatre and auditorium for the Institute.

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National Register of Historic Places

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