Tag Archives: North Georgia Victorian Architecture

W. C. Smith House, Circa 1890, Elberton

Anna King O’Neal writes: W. C. Smith was a prominent merchant, arriving in Elberton in 1880. He was also a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He died in 1909. 

Elberton Residential Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --ELBERT COUNTY GA--, Elberton GA

Queen Anne House, Jefferson

Jefferson Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --JACKSON COUNTY GA--, Jefferson GA

Victorian House, Jefferson

Jefferson Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --JACKSON COUNTY GA--, Jefferson GA

Central State Hospital, Milledgeville

Central Building [now known as the Powell Building], Central State Hospital, National Register of Historic Places

The Georgia Lunatic Asylum opened on the outskirts of Milledgeville in 1842, its name only slightly more benign than the original “Lunatic, Idiot and Epileptic Asylum” conjured at its establishment in 1837. The need for such a facility was precipitated by the social reform movements popular in the early 19th century and at first, especially under the guidance of Dr. Thomas A. Green, patients were treated as humanely as possible. Green was responsible for attempting to humanize the plight of the asylum’s population, removing chains and restraints and even taking meals with them. Within its next century, though, the institution occupied over 200 buildings on nearly 2000 acres. At its peak, there were nearly 13,000 souls residing here, making it the largest state mental institution in the nation.

Victorian Building, Central State Hospital

Unfortunately, after the Civil War, the institution experienced rapid growth, as many communities warehoused “undesirable” people from their communities to what was essentially a prison sentence at Milledgeville. This included thousands of veterans whose maladies deemed them impossible to treat in their resource-strained communities. This growth lead to a 100:1 physician to patient ratio that persisted for nearly a hundred years. In 1897, the facility came to be known as the Georgia State Sanitarium. But to most Georgians, it was simply known as “Milledgeville”. It was universally known in the state as a place to avoid. Walking the immense grounds today, one has to feel sorrow for the souls who were put away here, and a sense of anger at the horrible way we treated the mentally ill until the recent past.

Storehouse, Central State Hospital, National Register of Historic Places

By the 1960s, pharmaceutical advances helped reduce the number of patients who were subjected to such horrific treatments as electroshock therapy and lobotomies. For much of the 20th century, the institution was essentially an experimental laboratory of psychology, doing greater damage to its residents than good. The name of the property was changed to Central State Hospital in 1967 and by the 1970s, the population was in rapid decrease.

Auditorium, Central State Hospital

Today, fewer than 200 residents are in treatment here and a goal of phasing out the facility altogether is closer to reality. Most of the buildings are in ruin and while anyone is welcome to walk around the grounds, it’s illegal to enter any of the structures. A round-the-clock security team strictly enforces this mandate.

 

 

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Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Milledgeville GA

Queen Anne Cottage, Eatonton

Eatonton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--, Eatonton GA

Tunison-Paschal-Sammons House, Circa 1855, Eatonton

This house has intrigued me ever since I first “discovered” it on the cover of John Linley’s The Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area many years ago. Linley was able to get a better photograph, as the front yard was less overgrown at the time, but it still looks great.

It was built in the Greek Revival style by Tunis Tunison, who with James Morrison Broadfield built Temperance Hall, the first two-story brick structure in Eatonton, in 1849. Tunison lost the house to William Paschal in a sherrif’s sale around 1860. It’s unclear when the front tower was added, but some sources suggest as early as 1858; others suggest the 1870s. I’m still not even sure as to the provenance of ownership, which varies greatly in sources.

Eatonton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--, Eatonton GA

Victorian Farmhouse, Butts County

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Filed under --BUTTS COUNTY GA--