Tag Archives: North Georgia Pioneers

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.



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

Montpelier United Methodist Church, Baldwin County

Montpelier is the oldest congregation in Baldwin County. I’m unsure as to the date of construction of the present church, but records of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist church indicate (in a document from 1972) that the structure was built before 1843. That appears to be a good possibility. Slaves attended the church with their owners in the antebellum era. The historical marker placed by the Georgia Historical Commission in 1996 gives more insight to the history of the community than it does the church itself: This church is named Montpelier after Fort Montpelier of 1794, 1/2 mi. below here down the Oconee. This fort and others were built during the Creek Indian troubles. Captain Jonas Fouche was ordered to guard the Georgia frontier from the mouth of the Tugaloo to Fort Fidius on the Oconee. 200 militia cavalry and infantry raised under Governor Telfair were placed under the command of Major Gaither, Federal commandant. A note on Fouche’s map reads: “As it is 40 mi .from Fort Twiggs to Mount Pelah where Maj. Gaither laid in garrison, it is recommended that a public station might be created by the Government (at Cedar Shoals)´

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Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--

Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church, Pine Ridge

This historic congregation was established in 1833.

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Filed under --JONES COUNTY GA--, Pine Ridge GA

Concord United Methodist Church, Putnam County

William B. Pritchard and Thomas Johnston built a log church known as Victory in 1810, on the Milledgeville-Athens stagecoach road. The congregation changed its name to Concord in 1812. It was the first Methodist church west of the Oconee River. I have been unable to locate a date for the construction of the present structure.

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--

Barnes House, 1850s, Senoia

Senoia Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --COWETA COUNTY GA--, Senoia GA

Hardy-Phillips House, Circa 1885, Senoia

This house was built by Joseph Hardy, a grandson of Aquilla Hardy. Aquilla Hardy is reputed to have been the first white settler of what is now Coweta County, having rented land from the Native Americans who then occupied the area.

Senoia Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --COWETA COUNTY GA--, Senoia GA