Tag Archives: Homes of Civil War Veterans

West End, 1870, & The Hardman Farm, Sautee-Nacoochee

West End, one of the finest Italianate houses in Georgia, was built by Colonel James Hall Nichols (1834-1897) upon his arrival in the Nacoochee Valley from Milledgeville in 1870. Nichols, who married Kate Latimer of Summerville, South Carolina, in 1856, served in the Confederate Army and was elected captain of the Governor’s Horse Guard in 1862, eventually attaining the rank of colonel. When he returned to Middle Georgia after the war, weak and in declining health, he learned that his wife Kate S. Latimer Nichols had been raped by two Union soldiers. This would affect her mental state for the rest of her life. While convalescing at the White Sulphur Springs Resort near Gainesville, Colonel Nichols became enamored of the Nacoochee Valley and began purchasing large tracts of land in the area. He named the property and house West End, for its location in the valley. Nichols was primarily a gentleman farmer by this time and owned several businesses, including Nora Mill. The mentally incapacitated Kate was lived out her days in an upstairs room, unwilling to face the outside world. Anna Ruby, the only child of the Nichols to live to adulthood and namesake of the nearby Anna Ruby Falls, told friends her mother was dead, as to deny her existence and her mental illness. Colonel Nichols had her committed to the State Lunatic Asylum in the early 1890s and she remained there until her death.

Original section of the Unicoi Turnpike, located near the main house

The property was sold to Atlanta entrepreneur Calvin Welborn Hunnicutt (1827-1915) in 1893. Hunnicutt, also a Confederate veteran (organized the Fulton Dragoons) and Fulton County commissioner, was a very successful businessman in postwar Atlanta, owning a plumbing business and stove works. The family never lived in West End but kept it as a retreat and vacation home. The Atlanta Constitution called him Atlanta’s oldest pioneer citizen upon his death. He had been in the city since 1847, when it was still a small village known as Marthasville.

Game lounge

The final owner of the West End property was Dr. Lamartine Griffin Hardman (1856-1937) who purchased it in 1903 and renamed it Elizabeth on the Chattahoochee, in honor of his mother. Hardman was the the son of a physician and a longtime physician himself who was also involved in numerous successful businesses. He joined his father’s practice in 1890 after study in New York, Pennsylvania, and London. He came to the Nacoochee Valley from Harmony Grove (present-day Commerce) and within a few years married the much younger Emma Griffin of Valdosta, whom he had courted for many years. He served in the Georgia House for eight years and sponsored a bill that created the State Board of Health. He also served for a year in the Georgia Senate and then made two unsuccessful runs for governor. He was finally elected to the state’s highest office in 1927 and served two terms.

Greenhouse

Spring House

Gas House

Servants’ quarters and smokehouse

Carriage House

Dairy Barn, built 1910 as the centerpiece of Dr. Hardman’s Nacoochee Dairy

Corn Crib No. 1, built in the 1870s

Corn Crib No. 2

Gear House, where riding gear was kept for convenience. A covered 8-foot-deep cistern was discovered during renovation, and was probably originally used to collect water for the farm’s horses.

General Store

Caretaker’s House (Minish Family Home)

Nacoochee Valley Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under --WHITE COUNTY GA--, Helen GA, Sautee-Nacoochee GA

Lawton Place, Circa 1884, Mount Airy

Alexander Robert Lawton built this as a summer home (Seventh Heaven) between 1884-1885 and his boosterism helped make Mt. Airy a popular resort area. Lawton was a Confederate general and attorney who later served as president of the Augusta & Savannah Railroad. Upon General Lawton’s death in 1898, the family’s holdings in Mt. Airy were sold and the house came into the possession of Caroline Thompson, who owned it until 1911. Mrs. Gene Keen-Knight of Vicksburg, Mississippi, who apparently didn’t live in the house but maintained it as a rental property. It was during her ownership that baseball Ty Cobb lived here. He was having a house built on a large piece of property nearby and called the Lawton place home for a few years, in the 1950s. After Mrs. Keen-Knight’s death the house was sold yet again and several owners have followed. Most recently, it served as an event space known as Lawton Place Manor.

National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --HABERSHAM COUNTY GA--, Mount Airy 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

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

Captain W. D. Linch House, Circa 1888, Senoia

Captain W. D. Linch saw Civil War service at Manassas and Gettysburg and was present at Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

Senoia Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --COWETA COUNTY GA--, Senoia GA

T. R. R. Cobb House, Circa 1834 & 1852, Athens

The T. R. R. Cobb House is one of Georgia’s great preservation success stories. It is thought that Thomas H. McKinley built the original section as a Plantation Plain circa 1834. Georgia’s first Chief Justice, Joseph Henry Lumpkin, bought it from McKinley in 1842 and gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter Marion and son-in-law Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb in 1844. The portico and octagonal wings were added in 1852.

Cobb served as reporter of the State Supreme Court from 1849-1857, founded the Lucy Cobb Institute in 1858, and with his father-in-law and William H. Hull founded the School of Law at the University of Georgia in 1859. One of the leading advocates of slavery and secession, he was killed at Fredericksburg in 1862. Marion lived in the house until 1873. It was later a rental property, fraternity house, and boarding house. In 1962, it was purchased by the Archdiocese of Atlanta for the use of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Threatened with demolition in the 1980s, it was moved to Stone Mountain Park in 1985. It was never restored or used by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association due to budgetary constraints. Thanks to efforts of the Watson-Brown Foundation, Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation, and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, the landmark was returned to Athens in 2005. The Watson-Brown Foundation oversaw restoration of the house, which is now a museum.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --CLARKE COUNTY GA--, Athens GA

Cobb-Bucknell-Leathers House, Circa 1849, Athens

One of the most prominent politicians of 19th-century Georgia, Howell Cobb (1815-1868) lived here while Governor of Georgia, a member of the U. S. House of Representatives, Secretary of the Treasury, and Confederate General. It was here that the Articles of Confederation were read to a crowd of onlookers in 1861 and where federal troops arrested Cobb.

Cobbham Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --CLARKE COUNTY GA--, Athens GA

Beall-Jordan-Dunlap House, 1860, Macon

When built for plantation owner Nathan Beall, this house was a large but simple Victorian. He later sold it Leonadius H. Jordan, owner of the Academy of Music (today’s Grand Opera House). Jordan died in 1899 and in 1900 it was restored by Confederate Captain Samuel S. Dunlap, the most significant change being the addition of 18 Corinthian columns. During World War II, it was a boarding house and tea room operated by Mrs. Robert Lasseter. A photo of The Allman Brothers standing on the front porch of the house, looking a bit worse for wear, graces the cover of their eponymous debut album in 1969. In the 1970s and 1980s it was one of Macon’s most popular restaurants, known as Beall’s 1860. In 2001 it was restored by Gus Bell and donated to Mercer University in 2008. Today, it’s home to Mercer University’s Robert McDuffie Center for Strings.

Macon Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BIBB COUNTY GA--, Macon GA