This Art Deco movie house was built in 1937; the building may date to 1920 with an earlier use and appearance. It has recently been restored and is now known as the Habersham Community Theater.
Tag Archives: North Georgia Restorations
A very small historic downtown remains in Demorest and the existing structures have been nicely restored and are in use. The building on the right, the Starkweather Building or “Brick Block”, is the oldest, built in 1890. The other two-story building is the Chrisler Building, constructed in 1916. It is now home to Piedmont College’s Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art. Sweet Breads restaurant is just beyond it.
Demorest Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Completely surrounded today by the beautiful campus of Piedmont College, this Queen Anne house, built by C. R. Pyle, is one of the last surviving relics of a planned prohibition community that never completely materialized. In 1889, a corporation called the Demorest Home, Mining and Improvement Company acquired the vast estate of Henry A. Rosignol for the purpose of creating a model town free from alcohol and vice. The community was to be named Demorest, for prominent prohibitionist and philanthropist William Jennings Demorest of New York. A depression in the 1890s eventually led to the bankruptcy of the corporation but the town grew in spite of it.
After C. R. Pyle sold the house to L. H. Laughton in 1899, a procession of owners followed until it was purchased by Ross Davis in 1939. As early as 1896, during the Pyle’s ownership, rooms were rented in the house by students and faculty at the Demorest Normal School and the J. S. Green Collegiate Institute (now Piedmont College). This tradition continued into the late 20th century. The Davis family always made the house a welcoming space to students and to the community for a host of events and it remains one of the most beloved landmarks in Demorest.
National Register of Historic Places
The wonderful old Mount Airy School has been restored and now houses the offices of the Mount Airy Police Department and the Georgia Crime Information Center. An auditorium on the upper level served as the entertainment center for the area and hosted traveling shows, including many early stars of the Grand Ole Opry. The school closed in 1955.
A restoration in the 1970s essentially “modernized” the interior of the Lavnoia Depot, dropping ceilings and obscuring important structural details. An historically accurate second restoration, completed in 2012, returned the depot to its rightful place as the anchor of the historic downtown. It now houses a welcome center and offices.
Lavonia Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
The Elberton Air-Line Railroad first built a line through Royston in the late 1870s. After a series of mergers the line became property of the Southern Railway, who built this depot in 1904. The city now owns and rents the depot for public use.
Royston Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places