Tag Archives: North Georgia Barns

New Echota, Gordon County

In 1819, the Cherokee began meeting at Newtown, Georgia, where the Coosawattee and Conasauga Rivers meet to form the Oostanaula, They changed the name to New Echota in honor of Chota, Tennessee, and established it as the national capital of the Cherokee Nation in 1825. It was the only national capital ever located within the boundaries of present-day Georgia. The capital was moved to Red Clay, Tennessee, in 1832 after Georgia began passing laws to abolish the Cherokee government, against previously established treaties. In 1835, Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot signed the Treaty of New Echota without the support of Principal Chief John Ross, surrendering Cherokee lands for a territory in the west. The Cherokee government protested this decision until 1838, when President Martin Van Buren ordered the army into the Cherokee lands. Thus began the infamous Trail of Tears. Once they were in the Indian Territory, the Ridges and Elias Boudinot were killed by a group of men who had been opposed to removal. Beginning in the 1950s, the state of Georgia began reconstructing the capital as the New Echota State Historic Site. It is also a National Historic Landmark.

Cherokee Nation Council House

The Council House was the center of power in New Echota, essentially the capitol building of the Cherokee Nation. A bicameral legislature was adopted. The National Council (Lower House) met on the first floor of the Council House, with four representatives from the eight districts of the Cherokee Nation. These representatives elected the National Committee (Upper House), which met on the second floor. The National Committee elected the Principal Chief, Vice-Principal Chief, and Treasurer. While the Cherokee were in Georgia John Ross served as Principal Chief.

Cherokee Nation Supreme Courthouse

Beginning in 1823, the three judges of the Cherokee Supreme Court met annually in October to hear cases that had been appealed in the lower courts.

In 1960, this structure, based on a description by Dr. Benjamin Gold, was built to replicate the original court house built in 1829. It also served as the community schoolhouse when court wasn’t in session.

Cherokee Phoenix Print Shop

Sequoyah developed the Cherokee syllabary between 1809-1824. With the help of Samuel Worcester and the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Elias Boudinot obtained a printing press and created a typeface in Sequoyah’s syllabary. On 21 February 1828, the first issue of the Cherokee Phoenix [ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅᎯ] was published at New Echota, with Boudinot as its first editor. It was the first newspaper published in the United States in a Native American language. The Cherokee Phoenix has been revived and is now published electronically.

Georgia realized the power of the newspaper among the Cherokee. As a result, they made new laws against whites working with the Cherokee. The Georgia Guard later attacked the office and destroyed the press.

Samuel Worcester House, 1827

The only structure original to the property at New Echota is the home of Samuel Worcester (19 January 1798-20 April 1859), the missionary who came to the capital with his wife Ann in 1827. The Worcesters established a mission and school and Samuel also served as postmaster and worked with Elias Boudinot on the Cherokee Phoenix. He was a tireless advocated for the Cherokee. His arrest by the state of Georgia in 1831 for failing to obtaining a work permit to work among the Cherokee lead to the historic Worcester v. Georgia (1832) case in the United States Supreme Court, which was decided in his favor, though President Andrew Jackson and Governor George Gilmer ignored the ruling. He was pardoned by Governor Wilson Lumpkin but by 1836 was living in the Indian Territory. Worcester later translated the Bible into Cherokee.

Vann Tavern

Relocated from present-day Forsyth County to New Echota in 1955, this was built on Chief James Vann’s   Chattahoochee Plantation in 1805. Its original location is now under the waters of Lake Lanier. Vann (1765-1809), the son of a Scottish father and Cherokee mother, was granted the right to operate a ferry on the Chattahoochee as part of the Treaty of Tellico and his tavern was the first stop for travelers heading west of the river. It was but one of many of his enterprises; he was among the wealthiest men of the Cherokee Nation who had great influence on the culture in his short lifetime. He was a leader of his people, as well, forming a triumvirate with Major Hicks and Charles R. Hicks.

Cherokee Middle Class Farmstead

Unlike Western tribes, who lived in tipis, the Cherokee originally lived in log roundhouses. Later, as they began to assimilate to the colonists who were encroaching upon their homeland, they employed the common vernacular styles of the era. This re-creation of a middle class Cherokee farmstead looks much like that of the early settlers of North Georgia.

This authentic rough-hewn farmhouse was relocated from elsewhere in Gordon County.

Corn was of great importance to the Cherokee; corn cribs were found on nearly every farm.

Barns and smokehouses were also typical of the common rural architecture of Georgia at the time.

Flower gardens were also a common feature of middle class farms, for their beauty and the abundance of pollinators they supported.

Cherokee Subsistence Farmstead

In the countryside beyond New Echota, large numbers of subsistence farms made up the bulk of the Cherokee Nation. The houses were usually utilitarian and quite small.

A corn crib was nearly always present, but smaller than the one seen on the middle-class farmstead.

This is a recreation of a stable common on subsistence farms.

National Historic Landmark

 

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Filed under --GORDON COUNTY GA--, Calhoun GA

W. E. Johnson Sweet Potato Barn, Carroll County

If you’ve traveled US Highway 27 anywhere near Carrollton, you’ve likely noticed this barn, one of the most-photographed barns in Georgia. It advertises W. E. Johnson’s sweet potato curing and storage business. The Coca-Cola advertising has been tastefully restored.

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Filed under --CARROLL COUNTY GA--

Historic Farmstead, Banks County

This central hallway farmhouse has been expanded over time. A smokehouse (or packhouse) remains on the property.

 

 

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Filed under --BANKS COUNTY GA--

Hay Barn, Cartecay

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Filed under --GILMER COUNTY GA--, Cartecay GA

James Monroe Ellison House, Maysville

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This late-19th-century Victorian farmhouse has been a popular stop for photographers for years. Joe McGrady writes: It was built by James Monroe Ellison (1857-1932). He was married twice, lastly to Lillie Mae Haynes (1874-1967). He had 10 children with his first wife, Gerushia Victoria Cox (1858-1903). He had 3 children with Lillie Mae Haynes: a boy (1906-1906) who was stillborn; James Benson Ellison (1907-1966); and Lillie Mae Ellison (1910-1996). My mother’s mother was Amanda Jane Haynes (1872-1914), who was Lillie Mae’s sister. Amanda was married to William Nathaniel LeMaster…We visited the Ellisons often in the late 1960s… I am not sure who owns the property now…I know that Lillie Mae willed a portion of her property to the church.

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The architecture indicates the house was likely Queen Anne or Folk Victorian in style. Since it’s a couple of miles from the center of Maysville, it was probably a working farm. A smokehouse survives on the property, as well.

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Filed under --JACKSON COUNTY GA--, Maysville GA

Hay Barn, Madison County

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Filed under --MADISON COUNTY GA--

The Elms, Circa 1840, Talbot County

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Robert H. Dixon, a state senator and state representative, owned this land from 1827-1857 and built the main house, seen above, circa 1840. The property was sold to Daniel G. Owen (1830-1892) in 1858, and was held by his heirs until 1967. Owen was a Confederate soldier, taken prisoner by the Union, who came back to a different plantation after the war. He was a model post-bellum farmer. Instead of dwelling on the loss of his slaves, he went about making the property work with one-third the labor of plantations of similar size. (Please note that this is private property. I’m grateful to the property owner for permission to photograph the grounds).

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His waterworks, built in 1886, was considered his greatest modernization and received much attention in the press.  The water tower is the tall feature covered with vegetation.

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Numerous outbuildings survive on the property.

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I cannot identify each outbuilding, but each had its own specific function. Descriptions and a much more detailed chronology of the property can be found on the National Register nomination form.

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Jim Luckey, the present owner of the property, writes: Mary Elisabeth Hargis Luckey, great niece of Collier Vines Mills along with her husband James Milton Luckey jr. Purchased The Elms from Ed and Cheryl Smith in 2005 bringing the property back into the family. Since the time we purchased the mule barn was razed as it was too far gone to restore. However the stacked stone foundation was left in place. We replaced the roof in 2013 and found the underlying heart pine boards to be in perfect condition. In addition crickets were made and installed behind each chimney and flashed with industrial powder coated metal to divert water and all gutter-downspouts and underground drains installed.
One point which needs correction is the structure being called a guest house
(I made a guess that this was a guest house) was indeed either the overseer’s cottage or the cook’s cottage. We think most likely the cooks as the overseer would have been on higher ground and the cook closer to the main house. The Elms is our favorite place and we love being the caretakers of this beautiful piece of history. We are delighted to see the interest this article has created. Any questions we would be pleased to answer contact Luckeyjim@gmail.com

Elaine Kilpatrick Tyler, a former resident, writes: My family and I lived at this farm in the 1950s. We moved there from Talbotton, Georgia. I was in the 11th grade at Talbot County High School in Talbotton. I cherished this farm place with so much history. My childhood dreams of having a horse came true and I ended up with 3 horses. My brothers refinished the floors at the guest house. The lady that owned the place at that time lived in Macon, Ga. (I think) . Anyway I loved all the history of this place, the jail under the house, the milk cellar, the cemetery, and so much more. I hope I can go there and see the place this spring. I see some changes in the front at the entrance…ther eused to be a very large muscadine arbor to the left of the as you went onto the porch.

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National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --TALBOT COUNTY GA--, Talbotton GA