Tag Archives: North Georgia Institutional Architecture

Jackson County Courthouse, 1879, Jefferson

Designed in the Italianate style, the old Jackson County Courthouse was modified to its present appearance by the addition of the portico and Neoclassical clock tower in 1908. Sitting on a high point visible over much of downtown Jefferson, it occupies a commanding position in the identity of the place. Though a modern courthouse just outside town replaced it in 2004, it now houses the Welcome Center and Historical Archives.

It should be noted that Jackson County is named for James Jackson (1757-1806), the “colossus” of 18th century Georgia politics. Born in England, he was sent to read law in Savannah in 1772. During his studies, the American Revolution intervened and Jackson distinguished himself in the unsuccessful defense of Savannah (1778), the Battle of Cowpens (1781), and the recoveries of Augusta (1781) and Savannah (1782).

He was elected to the First Congress where he was a prominent opponent of Federalism. This aligned him with the growing Jeffersonian faction. In his 1791 bid for re-election, he was defeated by his former commander Anthony Wayne in a race marked by voter fraud. After being elected to the state legislature, Jackson influenced the removal of Wayne’s campaign manager from a state judgeship.

By 1793, he was serving in the U. S. Senate but resigned in 1795 to return to the state legislature to help oversee the dissolution of the Yazoo Act, a land fraud perpetrated with the approval of Governor George Matthews. After being elected Governor in 1798, Jackson made sure anti-Yazoo language was included in the Constitution of 1799. His exposure of the Federalist involvement in the Yazoo fraud helped drive Georgia’s support for Jefferson. When his term as governor ended in 1801, he was again elected to the United States Senate, where he served until his death in 1806,

National Register of Historic Places


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Filed under --JACKSON COUNTY GA--, Jefferson GA

Martin Institute Mural, Jefferson

This mural in downtown Jefferson commemorates the Martin Institute, a coeducational center of learning first established as the Jackson County Academy in 1818. The name was changed around 1860 upon the bequest of a large monetary gift by the late Inferior Court Judge William Duncan Martin. The original home of the institute was burned in 1883 and replaced by the structured depicted here in 1886. The school’s reputation reached far beyond Jefferson; U. S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Rucker Lamar was but one of its distinguished alumni. The Institute served the community until 1942, when it was the victim of an arsonist who turned out to be the son of the Jefferson Police Chief.

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Filed under --JACKSON COUNTY GA--, Jefferson GA

Old City Hall & Fire Station, 1910, Griffin

Griffin’s old combination city hall and fire department is presently being restored.

Griffin Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


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Filed under --SPALDING COUNTY GA--, Griffin GA

Butts County Courthouse, 1898, Jackson

Butts County was formed in 1825, with Jackson becoming the first and only county seat. Three or four (the history is unclear) courthouses served the county before the Civil War, when the courthouse at the time was burned by Union forces during Sherman’s March to the Sea. The present structure was built in 1897-98.

National Register of Historic Places


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Filed under --BUTTS COUNTY GA--, Jackson GA

American Legion Post 110, 1942, Monticello

The American Legion was chartered in Monticello in 1931 with a small group of World War I veterans. Local Commander Ray M. Persons was instrumental in having the legion house constructed. Though not as active as it was in the past, the Legion still meets here.

Monticello Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --JASPER COUNTY GA--, Monticello GA

Oconee County Courthouse, 1939, Watkinsville

Two courthouses in Watkinsville served as the government center of Clarke County. The first was built in 1806 and the second in 1849. When Oconee County was created in 1875, a new courthouse was built; it was replaced by the present structure in 1939, a project of the WPA.

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Filed under --OCONEE COUNTY GA--, Watkinsville GA

Old Columbia County Jail, 1934, Appling

This early Federal Works Project was designed by Augusta architect A. Brian Merry. R. A. Bowen was the contractor. It is now home to the Columbia County Historical Society.

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Filed under --COLUMBIA COUNTY GA--, Appling GA