Tag Archives: Georgia Kitchens

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

Saddlebag House & Kitchen, Siloam

Siloam GA Greene County Vernacular Farmhouse Cabin Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

This utilitarian structure is a nice surviving example of vernacular architecture. The rear wing was used as the kitchen.

Siloam GA Greene County Pioneer Farmhouse Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

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Filed under --GREENE COUNTY GA--, Siloam GA

The Homestead, 1818, Milledgeville

Milledgeville GA Baldwin County The Homestead Landmark Antebellum House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Built for Peter J. Williams, the Homestead was owned for many generations by his descendants, including his great-granddaughters “Miss Sue” Jones, Mrs. David Ferguson, and Betty Ferguson. Frances Lewis is also listed by architectural historian John Linley as an owner of this grand home.

Milledgeville GA Baldwin County The Homestead Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

In The Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area, John Linley shares some fascinating anecdotes about the Homestead: It…has a ghost, who appears as a little old lady dressed in brown and usually seen in the garden about dusk. She…has followed the family from Wales to New England, and thence to Georgia. She also attends to her ghostly duties, though in a rather lackadaisical way. She has been known to appear to members of the family just before they died, or before there were deaths in the family. Mostly, however, she just putters about the garden.

But please don’t come here looking for the ghost or for an invitation into the garden. Be respectful that the house is private property.

More importantly, Linley continues: The Homestead may well be the first house in America to utilize a narrow colossal-type portico with only two columns. Though never widely used, the style became so popular in the Milledgeville area that it is frequently referred to as the Milledgeville-Federal type of architecture.

Milledgeville GA Baldwin County The Homestead Kitchen Cook House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Adjacent to the Homestead is this structure, the brick lower floor of which was originally the kitchen for the estate. It’s likely contemporary to the 1818 date of the main house. The second floor was a later addition which I assume may have housed servants.

Milledgeville GA Baldwin County The Homestead Cook House Kitchen Later Remodeled for Use as a House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Milledgeville Historic District, National Register of Historic Place


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