Tag Archives: North Georgia Pioneers

Carroll’s Methodist Church, Circa 1835, Franklin County

William Carroll established this congregation in 1797. The present structure was built around 1835 and remodeled in 1952. Bishop Francis Asbury preached at the location on 21 November 1799. The entry from his diary reads: We drove 16 miles to Carroll’s Meeting House, a new log cabin in the woods. Some of the people of the congregation are from the east and west parts of Maryland. I felt the Lord was with them. We have the kitchen, house, and chamber all in one and no closet but the woods…

An early cemetery adjoins the property and many unknown graves are marked with crosses.

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Filed under --FRANKLIN COUNTY GA--

Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 1905, Wilkes County

According to records held by the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, little is known of the early history of this church, but it is accepted that it grew out of the disbanded congregation of Grant’s Meeting House, the oldest Methodist church in Georgia which was organized in Wilkes County in 1787. The original location was three miles from the site of the present church. The first known structure was built here circa 1851 on land deeded by Daniel Fouche and was replaced by the present structure in 1905.

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Filed under --WILKES COUNTY GA--

Independence United Methodist Church, 1871, Tignall

From the historical marker placed in 1978: Old Independence Church, built for all denominations, was situated near the campground across the road from its present site. The Methodists organized a membership and claimed the church. The matter was carried to the courts. A young lawyer, Robert Toombs, defended the Methodists and won the case. The beginning of the Old Independence was around 1783, and it became a Methodist Church in the 1830s. In 1840, Thomas L. Wooten deeded the lot on which the Old Church building stood to the trustees. In 1870, this church building was sold to the black people who moved it to land given them to them in Tignall. A new church building was erected, and in 1871 Bishop George F. Pierce preached the dedication sermon. A Sunday school celebration was held in 1879 with almost 1,000 attending. Dr. A. G. Haygood, President of Emory College delivered the address. The church has been remodeled many times. In 1930 the Church School Annex was added and a Fellowship Hall was built in 1974. Many prominent families in the county have been identified as members of this church. Several have been licensed to preach at her altars, the more prominent being, Reverend J.W. Hinton, D.D., a preacher and writer of national fame.

It is known that enslaved persons attended services here, as well.

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Filed under --WILKES COUNTY GA--, Tignall GA

Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church, 1896, Oglethorpe County

Settlers from Virginia and North Carolina first came to the area around Mt. Pleasant church in the late 1700s. Robert Smith, known as Uncle Robert, began holding irregular services in a brush arbor near here around 1812-1814 and in 1820 established the first Methodist congregation in a log church at this location. The first Methodist Sunday School north of Savannah was organized here in 1826, with William G. Andrews as superintendent. In 1844, a small frame church was built and the log church was put into use as a school house. When the frame church was sealed and windows added in 1873, some of the congregation’s more conservative members thought it “sacrilegious to have so much finery in God’s house”. (North Georgia Conference UMC Local Church Histories, Pitts Theology Library, Emory University)

In recent years the congregation dwindled to an unsustainable number and the church became Mt. Pleasant Community Church, which it is known as today.

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Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--

Fountain Campground,1822, Warren County

In her thesis From Spirit to Structure: A Study of Georgia’s Historic Camp Meeting Grounds Claudia H. Deviney outlines the proliferation of camp meeting grounds throughout the state as a result of the Second Great Awakening and focuses as well on the importance of their architecture. Central to all of Georgia’s historic camp meeting grounds are the arbors, sometimes referred to as tabernacles (especially in relation to singing conventions, which came later). These replicate the original place in a grove of trees where fervent settlers came together to share and spread the gospel in harsh and often unsettled lands. Local tradition suggests that pioneers were gathering at the Fountain site as early as the late 1700s, though officially its organization is noted as 1822. Ultimately, Fountain Campground is an excellent example of an intact and “active” historic camp meeting site and is one of the treasures of Warren County. Many families have been coming here for generations and have obviously taken great pride and care in its preservation for future worshipers. I sincerely hope that an effort will be made to list this campground on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Tents” encircle the arbor, providing a place for attendees to sleep and socialize. Originally, actual tents were used, but as the camp meetings grew, more permanent structures were built.

There are few modern conveniences in the tents, though many have refrigerators and electricity for fans and other slightly modern “conveniences”.

Many of the tents feature open breezeways, and sawdust covered “floors” are common in many sites, as well.

Tents of Fountain Campground

This is not a complete inventory, but rather a sample of the varieties present.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under --WARREN COUNTY GA--

Smyrna United Methodist Church, Hancock County

The only history I can locate regarding this historic church was written by Sarah Waller McCleskey circa 1951. She did note that since the records of the congregation have been lost or misplaced over time she was unable to authenticate dates. What follows is abridged from her history.

A congregation first met here in a brush arbor and then a church known as Piney Grove Meeting House. Upon construction of the present structure in 1790, it became known as Smyrna Methodist Church. It is believed to be the second oldest Methodist congregation in Georgia. Bishop Francis Asbury reportedly preached here while the church was under construction. [Mrs. McCleskey’s account states that the construction date of 1790 “is attested by the foundation, which is constructed of hewn sills joined with wooden pegs”. Though it is an indicator of an era of construction, it is not a definitive way to accurately date the structure, which I believe to be of 19th century origin.]

While Mrs. McCleskey wrote that some gravesites “show the marks of time to such an extent that that the names on the markers are scarcely legible”, I only saw memorials from the late 19th and the 20th centuries. I wish I’d had time to explore further because it is a delightful spot.

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Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--

Rossiter House, Circa 1797, Sparta

This house, said to be the oldest in Sparta, has grown up around an original log structure, through tasteful additions over the centuries. Built for Dr. Timothy Rossiter, it was purchased by Elias Boyer in 1812. It is sometimes referred to as the Rossiter-Little House, as the Little family owned it from the 1830s until the late 20th century.

In The Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area, (University of Georgia Press, Athens, 1972) John Linley identifies the lattice work on the front of the house as “sheaf of wheat” and notes that it is a light and delicate but unexpectedly sturdy type lattice which seems particularly suitable to the South. [It is] too generally underappreciated and a rapidly disappearing feature of many antebellum homes. It is present on a few houses in Hancock and Baldwin counties.

Sparta Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

 

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Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--, Sparta GA