Tag Archives: North Georgia Plantations

Wellborn Plantation, Circa 1795, Warrenton

This is one of Warrenton’s oldest and most historic homes. It was once the center of a large working plantation. In 1858, the owner,  George Washington Hardaway, willed the plantation to his daughter, Frances Markham Hardaway Wellborn (Mrs. Marshall Wellborn).

 

 

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Filed under --WARREN COUNTY GA--, Warrenton GA

Chief James Vann House, 1804, Spring Place

James Vann (1765, or 1768-1809) was the son of a Cherokee mother, Wa-wli, and Scottish father, Clement Vann. By 1800  he became a principal leader of the Cherokee, due to his wealth and influence as a tavern keeper and trading post operator. This home, completed in 1804, served as the seat of his 1000+ acre plantation. Diaries of Moravian missionaries at Spring Place indicate that Byhan and Martin Schneider were instrumental in the construction of the home.  Sometimes described as a “hard drinking business man”, Vann nonetheless encouraged cultural and educational opportunities for the Cherokee, largely through his assistance in the establishment of the Moravian mission and school at Spring Place. Vann was murdered in 1809, presumably as retaliation for killing his brother-in-law in a duel the previous year. His son Joseph later inherited the house, which in 1819, hosted President James Monroe who was traveling from Augusta to Nashville

The Chief Vann House, as it’s commonly known, is a state historic site today, but beware, it has very limited hours and is closed during part of the year.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --MURRAY COUNTY GA--, Spring PLace GA

Chenault House, 1850s, Lincoln County

On the National Register nomination forms, done many years ago, it was suggested that this house was built by Abraham D. Chenault; land in the vicinity had been occupied by his family since the 1820s. It is thought to be the work of John Cunningham, a local carpenter linked to three other prominent houses in the immediate area.

However, recent research by Bob Young confirms that it was actually the home of Abraham’s brother, John Chenault. Abraham’s house was about a mile away and has long-since vanished.  The men’s mother died in 1860, leaving the two brothers with title to the property.  Abraham moved to Banks County in 1867 where he opened a medical practice with a forged diploma.  John stayed in Lincoln County and ran the farm until his death. Mr. Young uncovered much of this information while working on his book, Graball Road: The Story of the Great Lincoln County Gold Train Robbery of 1865. He also has a book about Abraham Chenault, entitled Nish, forthcoming this summer. Notably, Mr. Young discovered that the longtime spelling of Chennault, with two “n”s, is incorrect. The community still bears the fruit of this error on maps and hopefully it will be corrected.

The house has always been linked to an infamous ending chapter of the Civil War. As the Confederate cabinet and other high officials were fleeing Richmond, they carried with them the bulk of the Confederate treasury. Almost all of the assets were dispersed to pay soldiers, before the capture of Jefferson Davis at Irwinville on 10 May 1865. Remaining funds were left in Washington, Georgia.

The New Georgia Encyclopedia notes: A detachment of Union soldiers set out to divert this specie to a railhead in South Carolina. The wagons stopped for the night at the Chennault (sic) Plantation and it was here that on 24 May 24 1865, bandits attacked the wagons and $251,029 was lost. Bank officials eventually recovered some $111,000 of the stolen money. Union General Edward A. Wild led a search of the area for more gold and earned notoriety for the arrest and torture of the Chennault (sic) family, who Wild believed were hiding gold but who turned out to be innocent. As a consequence, Union General Ulysses S. Grant removed Wild from his command.

Mr. Young also notes that the celebrated robbery occurred on the farm of David Moss, about a mile away. The robbers are believed to have camped on the Chenault Plantation, where they returned and remained several days after the heist.

In the century-and-a-half since the end of the Civil War, historians and fortune-seekers alike have sought the lost Confederate gold. Where it is or whether it even remains will always be Georgia legend.

National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --LINCOLN COUNTY GA--, Chennault GA

The Elms, Circa 1840, Talbot County

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Robert H. Dixon, a state senator and state representative, owned this land from 1827-1857 and built the main house, seen above, circa 1840. The property was sold to Daniel G. Owen (1830-1892) in 1858, and was held by his heirs until 1967. Owen was a Confederate soldier, taken prisoner by the Union, who came back to a different plantation after the war. He was a model post-bellum farmer. Instead of dwelling on the loss of his slaves, he went about making the property work with one-third the labor of plantations of similar size. (Please note that this is private property. I’m grateful to the property owner for permission to photograph the grounds).

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His waterworks, built in 1886, was considered his greatest modernization and received much attention in the press.  The water tower is the tall feature covered with vegetation.

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Numerous outbuildings survive on the property.

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I cannot identify each outbuilding, but each had its own specific function. Descriptions and a much more detailed chronology of the property can be found on the National Register nomination form.

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Jim Luckey, the present owner of the property, writes: Mary Elisabeth Hargis Luckey, great niece of Collier Vines Mills along with her husband James Milton Luckey jr. Purchased The Elms from Ed and Cheryl Smith in 2005 bringing the property back into the family. Since the time we purchased the mule barn was razed as it was too far gone to restore. However the stacked stone foundation was left in place. We replaced the roof in 2013 and found the underlying heart pine boards to be in perfect condition. In addition crickets were made and installed behind each chimney and flashed with industrial powder coated metal to divert water and all gutter-downspouts and underground drains installed.
One point which needs correction is the structure being called a guest house
(I made a guess that this was a guest house) was indeed either the overseer’s cottage or the cook’s cottage. We think most likely the cooks as the overseer would have been on higher ground and the cook closer to the main house. The Elms is our favorite place and we love being the caretakers of this beautiful piece of history. We are delighted to see the interest this article has created. Any questions we would be pleased to answer contact Luckeyjim@gmail.com

Elaine Kilpatrick Tyler, a former resident, writes: My family and I lived at this farm in the 1950s. We moved there from Talbotton, Georgia. I was in the 11th grade at Talbot County High School in Talbotton. I cherished this farm place with so much history. My childhood dreams of having a horse came true and I ended up with 3 horses. My brothers refinished the floors at the guest house. The lady that owned the place at that time lived in Macon, Ga. (I think) . Anyway I loved all the history of this place, the jail under the house, the milk cellar, the cemetery, and so much more. I hope I can go there and see the place this spring. I see some changes in the front at the entrance…ther eused to be a very large muscadine arbor to the left of the as you went onto the porch.

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National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --TALBOT COUNTY GA--, Talbotton GA

James Render House, Circa 1832, Greenville

greenville ga render family homestead photograph copyright brian brown vanishing north georgia usa 2016

This house, begun on a much smaller scale in the Plantation Plain (I-House) style, is the focal point of the Render Homestead National Register property. James Render (1777-1854) came to Meriwether County in 1832 and established a large cotton plantation from this house. He served as a justice of the Inferior Court of Meriwether County. He migrated from Wilkes County, where he had served several terms in the General Assembly. By 1850, he owned 1900 acres and owned 76 slaves. One reason for his success was his diversification. Besides cotton he raised potatoes, sweet potatoes, Indian corn, wheat, rye and oats. He had eleven children and among his descendants were Governor James M. Terrell of Georgia and Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice James Render Dowdell.  Render’s son, Joshua (1818-1867) inherited the house and continued the successful farming operations of his father. Forty-two of the plantation’s freedmen remained as contract laborers after the Civil War. Upon the death of Mrs. Joshua Render in 1902, James L. Render (1863-1932) became the owner of the property. It was during James L. Render’s ownership that the house was expanded to its present Neoclassical appearance, thought to have been the work of prominent Georgia architect T. F. Lockwood. There have been at least four owners since the death of Sarah McGehee Render in 1960. It is beautifully maintained to this day but not open to the public. More information about the property in historical context can be found here.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --MERIWETHER COUNTY GA--, Greenville GA

Glen Mary Plantation, 1848, Hancock County

Theothilus J. Smith built this plantation house in in 1848 and named it Glen Mary for his wife, Mary Gonder Smith. Due to financial losses incurred during the Civil War, the plantation was sold to General Ethan Allen Hitchcock. Hitchcock was the Vermont-born grandson of Revolutionary War hero General Ethan Allen. Albany-born architect Edward Vason Jones was responsible for restorations done to the home in the 1960s. Today, this Georgia gem is owned by Preservation America Trust. Visit the Glen Mary Facebook page for updates and more information.

Glen Mary Plantation Hancock County GA National Register of Historic Places Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--

Dr. David Lane Kendall, Pioneer Georgia Physician

David M Kendall Family Cemetery Georgia Pioneer Doctor Physician Near Yatesville GA Upson County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Driving into Yatesville, this headstone caught my attention, but I figured it would be like so many others I’ve found: a small family plot long forgotten by the passage of time. And though that was true to some extent, what I learned about the man who was buried here was quite fascinating. It turns out that this was the cemetery of Bellwood Hall, an early plantation owned by one of Georgia’s earliest rural physicians, Dr. David Lane Kendall, Sr. (17 January 1790-28 July 1860) Dr. Kendall was born in Washington County in 1790 and moved to Upson County in 1830 where he built Bellwood, a grand plantation house complete with formal gardens. It was destroyed by fire sometime in the late 1800s, but thanks to the foresight of his daughter, Loula, much of its history survives in special collections at Emory University.

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Filed under --UPSON COUNTY GA--