Tag Archives: North Georgia Greek Revival Architecture
Old Clinton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Stilesboro was incorporated in 1866 and retained that distinction until 1995. It was named for Savannah attorney William Henry Stiles, who served in Congress and the Georgia House of Representatives.
A high school was established here in the late 1850s and the community raised funds and completed the present structure in 1859. It was the center of the community and during the Civil War was used for sewing Confederate uniforms. Though it is likely apocryphal, a legend persists that in May 1864 Sherman spared the Academy due to an interior inscription: Deo ac Patriae [God and Country]. [I say it’s likely apocryphal because there’s a story like this for nearly every surviving antebellum building in the South].
The Stilesboro Improvement Club, a woman’s benevolent society, lobbied to save the old Academy when a new school was built nearby, and has owned the building since the school closed in 1939-1940. Formed in 1910, the club, at the suggestion of Miss Campie Hawkins, began holding an annual chrysanthemum show in 1912. The Stilesboro Chrysanthemum Show continues to be a popular event, 108 years later. It has taken place every year, except during the Great Influenza (1918) and World War II (1942).
The Etowah Valley Historical Society notes that research on the history of the Academy is incomplete.
Cave Spring Baptist Church [presently First Baptist Church of Cave Spring] was constituted on 24 September 1836 and is third oldest Baptist congregation in Northwest Georgia. Before this elegantly simple Greek Revival structure was built in 1851, they met in a general store and a dormitory of the Hearn School. Early members were instrumental in the establishment of the Georgia School for the Deaf.
As the congregation grew in the early 20th century, they decided to build a new church home, selling this structure in 1931 to Dr. Joseph Rolater for inclusion in a community park. It remains a beloved reminder of simpler times.
Rolater Park Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
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
This is one of the oldest surviving houses in the Long Cane community, which was settled around the time of the 1827 land lottery. I believe it was built by George Hamilton Traylor and was subsequently the home of his son, John Thomas Traylor.
The dominant architectural style of the house is Federal, but as 1832 is relatively late in the Federal period, the transition to the Greek Revival is evident. It is beautifully proportioned example, anchored by a large tetrastyle portico.
Thanks to Kaye Minchew for her assistance in helping me locate the house via the Troup County Archives.
Long Cane Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
The oldest non-residential structure in LaGrange, this Greek Revival church was built by Benjamin H. Cameron for the local Presbyterian congregation in 1844. It served as a Confederate hospital from 1863-1865. The Reverend Dr. James Woodrow, uncle of Woodrow Wilson, was tried here by the Presbyterian Synod for teaching evolution in 1885. It later featured a steeple built by George and John King, sons of the great bridge builder, Horace King, but it was removed when the congregation relocated in 1919. The structure has subsequently served as a public library, funeral home, athletic club, and as home to another congregation.
Phillip Hunter Greene took three years to select the timbers for this house, which an 1883 LaGrange Reporter article declared “…the best built framed house in LaGrange…”. Greene was a successful inventor of improvements in sawmills, plows, and fencing. Grover Cleaveland purchased the home for his sister Etta Dodd in 1914. It was the boyhood home of Lamar Dodd, perhaps Georgia’s most accomplished artist of the 20th century.
Vernon Road Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
This Greek Revival cottage was built by Sylvanus Bates, who was principal of LaGrange High School at the time. The school was located across the street and the central hallway of the residence was used for academic assemblies. Colonel John L. Stephens, brother of Confederate vice-president Alexander H. Stephens was a later resident, as were the Jarrell brothers. Admiral Albert E. Jarrell helped negotiate the end of the Korean War. His brother, Captain Henry Jarrell, was the American attache to Chiang Ki Shek and Francisco Franco. From 1958-1989, the house was used for services the Christian Science Society. It is presently a gift shop.*
*-Much of the information on homes in LaGrange and Troup County comes from the excellent book, Travels through Troup County: A Guide to its Architecture and History (Troup County Historical Society, 1996). John Lawrence’s excellent photographs combined with Julie Turner’s research make for a great local architectural survey. Every county should be so lucky as to have such a guide at their disposal. The very affordable book can be purchased from the Troup County Archives.
National Register of Historic Places
This Greek Revival landmark was originally the home of General Elias H. Beall, who established a trading post at what is now Columbus for Governor John Forsyth. After the Civil War, the house was purchased by James Monroe Mobley. It is also known as the Beall-Mobley-Williams House.
Curiously, a portion of the house is used today as a Subway restaurant. An architect was used to do the modification and I presume he was sensitive to preserving the historical importance of the house.