Tag Archives: North Georgia Pioneers

Lowry Grist Mill Ruins, Euharlee

Euharlee was originally known as Burge’s  Mill, for the grist mill Nathaniel Burge operated on Euharlee Creek. The earlier mill burned around 1880 and was rebuilt by Daniel Lowry. Sections of the foundation are likely remnants of the original antebellum mill. A plan to rebuild the mill has been proposed, but I’m unsure of its status at this time.

 

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Filed under --BARTOW COUNTY GA--, Euharlee GA

William S. Simmons Plantation, 1840s, Cave Spring

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

 

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Filed under --FLOYD COUNTY GA--, Cave Spring GA

Willcoxon House, Circa 1860, Sargent

Colonel John B. Willcoxon built this house around the time he opened a grist mill near Wahoo Creek in the Lodi community. The grist mill opened in 1861 and remained in operation for five years. In 1866, with partners H. J. and George Sargent of Massachusetts, Colonel Willcoxon established the Willcoxon Manufacturing Company to produce cotton rope. The large four-story factory attracted many rural families to the area and primarily employed women and children. This was long before child labor laws prohibited such employment.

In 1888, H. C. Arnall, Sr., and T. G. Farmer purchased the enterprise and renamed it the Wahoo Manufacturing Company. The name of the town was officially changed to Sargent in 1892.

Sargent Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --COWETA COUNTY GA--, Sargent GA

Wick’s Tavern, Circa 1830, Villa Rica

Built within a few years of the establishment of Villa Rica, Wick’s Tavern is the oldest commercial structure in Carroll County and among the oldest in Northwest Georgia. The structure has had roof damage and needs stabilization.

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Filed under --CARROLL COUNTY GA--, Villa Rica GA

Bowen Family Cemetery, 1830s, Carroll County

This fascinating cemetery is located in the McIntosh Reserve Park, a property associated with Chief William McIntosh and maintained as a public park by Carroll County.

The Bowen family were pioneers in this area and likely had some connection to Chief McIntosh, perhaps as traders or through some other association.

The earliest discernible burial in the cemetery dates to 1830.

Though many names have been lost over time, this cemetery is important not only for its historical connection to early settlers but for its limestone slab (or other local stone?) tombs, which are quite rare today.

It’s a well-preserved example of a family burying ground utilizing materials on hand and offers a fascinating glimpse into the funerary practices of early-19th century rural Georgia

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Filed under --CARROLL COUNTY GA--

Traylor House, Circa 1832, Long Cane

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

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Filed under --TROUP COUNTY GA--, Long Cane GA

Whitesville United Methodist Church, 1854 & 1900, Harris County

The Whitesville Methodist Episcopal Church, South, as it was originally known, traces its origins to circuit riders and meetings at the nearby home of Reuben R. Mobley in 1828. A congregation was formally established in the 1830s and by 1837 a church building was erected for services. This was the same year the town of Whitesville was incorporated; it was a thriving community at the time, bolstered by its status as a main stagecoach stop on the Columbus-to-Rome route. Many early members were slave owners and the slaves attended afternoon services until the Civil War. [Evidence continues to suggest that most homes that survive from the antebellum were built by enslaved people and I’m doing my  best to label them as such as I publish them across my websites. It is also presumed that churches and other public buildings were their handiwork, as well].

Use of the original structure was discontinued in 1854 when the present structure was completed. The church was significantly remodeled in 1900, with the addition of the larger steeple and the incorporation of Victorian details, including shingle siding on the steeple.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --HARRIS COUNTY GA--, Whitesville GA

Shady Grove Baptist Church, 1907, Harris County

Founded by Harris County pioneer settlers in 1832, the congregation of Shady Grove has survived for nearly two centuries. After loss of members and years of inactivity, the church has been given new life with a new membership and regular services. The present structure replaced an earlier church building that burned in 1907.

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Filed under --HARRIS COUNTY GA--

Switzer-Ingram-Hudson House, 1830s, Hamilton

This marvelous structure originated as a Federal I-House and was likely begun much earlier than the given date of circa 1830. Some have suggested that it was the second house ever built in Hamilton, but that needs further substantiation. Its earliest known owner was Williamson Switzer, Judge of the Inferior Court of Harris County from 1833-37. Switzer was among the most prominent citizens of Harris County in his day and was instrumental in the establishment of the poor asylum in the county in 1835. Later owners were Porter Ingram and William Irby Hudson, a Georgia state legislator and senator.

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Filed under --HARRIS COUNTY GA--, Hamilton GA

Saltbox House, 1810s, Putnam County

Anne Chamlee writes: This may have been the house of Richmond Terrell, built before 1820… She also notes that she was unable to get a better photograph as there were renters in the house at the time and she didn’t feel it was safe to spend more time there. Anne was particularly interested in this house as her mother was a Terrell, from a branch of the family that first came to Wilkes County in 1784 and spread out over the state afterward. I’ve assigned it a date of the 1810s, but it may be earlier. Its present status is unknown.

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--