This classic Italianate cottage was built for Nicholas Lewis. During the Civil War, it was occupied by refugees from various Southern states. A prominent local physician, Dr. Henry Hamilton Cary, purchased the home in 1869.
Tag Archives: North Georgia Medical History
Ambrose Chapman built this transitional Federal Style house circa 1840 and less than three weeks after its completion, sold it to U. S. congressman Henry G. Lamar. In 1846, Lamar sold the house to Judge Abner Powers who owned it until 1858, when it was purchased by Dr. James Mercer Green (1815-1881), Dr. Green, who served as Surgeon at various appointments in the Confederate States, was also responsible for overseeing the care of scores of wounded Confederate soldiers at locations around Macon during the Civil War.
Macon Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
[Publisher’s Note]: We are introducing the tag Vanishing Middle Georgia with this post, to recognize the strong sense of regional identity embraced by Middle Georgians.
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.
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.
Servants’ quarters and smokehouse
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.
Caretaker’s House (Minish Family Home)
Nacoochee Valley Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Doctor’s offices of this style were quite common from the 1950s to the early 1970s. I’m not sure why it was such a popular choice, but they seemed to get the job done. This was named in memory of Dr. Stewart Dixon Brown, Sr. (1881-1952), and operated by his son, also a physician. The senior Dr. Brown was a beloved physician in Royston. A historical marker in front of the clinic notes that Dr. Brown served the people for 40 years, performing 35,000 operations. Since Royston had no hospital, he traveled from house to house in his early practice. He then opened a small hospital. It was the only such facility in the area until Dr. Brown’s childhood friend, Ty Cobb, gave money for the construction of Cobb Memorial in 1950. Dr. Brown was the first superintendent of Cobb Memorial.
2017 marked the 175th anniversary of Dr. Crawford W. Long‘s first use of ether as a surgical anesthetic in Jefferson (30 March 1842). Long first apprenticed under Dr. Grant in Jefferson in the mid-1830s before moving to Philadelphia and New York to complete his medical training. In 1841, Dr. Long was an astute observer of one of the social trends of the day, known as “ether frolics”, in which the participants enjoyed recreational use of the substance. Noting that they felt no pain, he theorized ether could be used as a surgical anesthetic and made his first test case removing a cyst from the neck of James Venable. Three witnesses confirmed the success of the operation and the absence of pain in Venable.
The circa 1858 Pendergrass Store building was transformed into an 1840s doctor’s office and apothecary to better interpret Long’s discovery, which paved the way for modern medicine. It serves as the Crawford W. Long Museum. After making my way from the courthouse to the museum to pick up a historic walking tour brochure, I had a nice visit. And better, I purchased a “got ether?” t-shirt, one of the coolest of its kind to be found in Georgia.
Jefferson Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
While photographing Moreland, we had the good luck of running into Carol Chancey. Carol, a member of the Moreland Cultural Arts Association, is very enthusiastic about the history of this place. We talked a lot about Lewis Grizzard and Erskine Caldwell and plans for preserving what is left of Moreland. She also identified the buildings seen here. Besides the Cureton & Cole store on the left, she notes that the middle building was a doctor’s office and the one on the right was the old post office.