Tag Archives: Endangered Places in North Georgia

Lexington Presbyterian Church, 1893, Oglethorpe County

The present home of the Lexington Presbyterian Church dates to 1893, but the congregation is one of Georgia’s most historic, originating with a group of Pennsylvania missionaries who came to the area in 1785 to witness to Native Americans. The early church was formally established on 20 December 1785 about three miles south of the present location by John Newton and was named Beth-Salem.

The congregation has dwindled to just a few members today and upkeep of the church has been difficult as a result. Hopefully, this treasure will be preserved.

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Lexington GA, Uncategorized

Henry Strickland House, Circa 1790, Madison County

This familiar landmark in Danielsville was purportedly built by Revolutionary War veteran Henry Peter Strickland circa 1790, predating the creation of Madison County. Strickland and his wife Mary had eight children.

Additions to the house, prominently the front porch and posts, have led some to surmise the house to have been built later than its stated construction date of 1790, but local tradition suggests that it may in fact be of late-18th-century vintage. The Preservation Committee for the Madison County Heritage Foundation has shared these details, from an architectural survey: The interior of the building features 16-inch boards, no longer available, and the wood used upstairs has never been painted or stained. A set of ”dog leg” stairs leading to the upper floor has weakened with time. And although it is the only access to the top level, the stairs now remain unused for lack of repair.

Whatever its history, it is an important local landmark and will hopefully be preserved. I understand that the county has strongly advocated for the preservation of the house, but do not know details of its current status.

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Filed under --MADISON COUNTY GA--, Danielsville GA

Gabled-Ell Farmhouse, Morgan County

This simple Folk Victorian farmhouse represents one of the most common forms of late-19th and early-20th century architecture in Georgia.

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Filed under --MORGAN COUNTY GA--

General Putnam Restaurant, Eatonton

Since a fire destroyed the General Putnam Motel in 2018, the restaurant is all that remains, and it probably won’t be around much longer. This was a popular location for tourists on US 441 in the pre-interstate days and beyond, but is best known as one of the set locations for the movie My Cousin Vinny. It’s just north of Eatonton, but I believe a recent expansion of the municipal boundary places it within the city limits today. It likely dates to the late 1940s or early 1950s.

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--

Board-and-Batten Shed, Hancock County

This is located near Old St. Galilee Church.

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Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--

Randolph Cemetery, Harrisburg

Randolph Cemetery, set on a precipitous hillside southwest of Milledgeville, has the appearance of a typical early-20th-century African-American burying ground, with many handmade headstones and grave markers sourced from local materials. This monumental folk art arch makes it anything but a typical cemetery. [It might also be of interest that it is believed that a descendant of one of George Washington’s slaves is buried here].

The top of the arch contains relief carvings of oak leaves, plus some possible clues about the builder. Below a random series of letters and numbers [K PL47, perhaps designating Knights of Pythias Lodge 47?] and the phrase “He Watches Over Me” is what appears to be the date 1923 and the initials F B and ARB. It’s possible that the B is for Brown, as there are several Browns in this cemetery, but that is only a guess.

On both sides of the arch, there are relief depictions of traditional miners’ tools.
Considering that mining activity has persisted for the better part of two centuries in this area, it’s possible the builder was involved in the industry in some way. I even believe he may have used rock from his job in the construction of the arch. The shovel on the right (above) also has initials ending with the letter “B”.
Nearly as fascinating as the arch is this adjacent headstone for Cora Randolph (31 December 1875?-26 July 1924). If you look closely at the top of the marker you will see a handprint to the left. I’m grateful to my friend Cynthia Jennings, who has documented cemeteries in all 159 Georgia counties and has a particular interest in African-American cemeteries, for suggesting I find this place. It immediately became one of my favorite African-American cemeteries and I hope to learn more about the arch. It’s among the most important vernacular funerary monuments in Georgia.

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Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Harrisburg GA

Sterchi’s Sign Barn, Jones County

This landmark, visible on Georgia Highway 22 between Gray and Haddock, is an amazing survivor from a time when the roofs of rural barns were used to advertise myriad businesses and attractions. The “See Rock City” barns have become icons, but many other businesses were promoted in this way. This example advertises Knoxville-based Sterchi* Brothers Furniture Company [It Costs Less at Sterchi’s], which was the largest furniture store chain in the nation in the early 20th century, with over 650 stores in the Southeast. There are only a few of these Sterchi barns documented, to my knowledge, and most are in Tennessee. It is believed that most are at least 80 years old. [Several commenters have suggested to me that the roof was painted over at times, most recently with a Georgia Bulldog; I applaud the owners for saving this historic sign and am amazed that the paint (lead, no doubt) has survived all these years].

*- Pronounced stir-keys

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Filed under --JONES COUNTY GA--

Baptist Church, Meansville

I have heard from a couple of sources that this was the old location of the Meansville Baptist Church. It’s on the edge of town and was apparently last used as a private residence. I would appreciate any corrections or further information.

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Filed under --PIKE COUNTY GA--, Meansville GA

Queen Anne House, 1910, Taylorsville

This massive house commands a prominent position in downtown Taylorsville and looks like it’s awaiting a new life.

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Filed under --BARTOW COUNTY GA--, Taylorsville GA

Industrial Ruins, Stilesboro

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Filed under --BARTOW COUNTY GA--, Stilesboro GA