Tag Archives: Slave Construction in Georgia

Old Brick Mill, 1830s, Lindale

The Old Brick Mill at Lindale is the only surviving antebellum brick grist mill in Northwest Georgia and one of just a handful of surviving antebellum mills of any construction in Georgia. It was built of bricks made on site by enslaved people. Located on Silver Creek just across the road from the entrance to the Lindale Manufacturing Company, it is a favorite spot for photographers. Though it ceased operation as a grist mill in the late 1890s, it remained an important community landmark, serving as home to a local Garden Club, Boy Scout troop, and Masonic lodge at various times throughout the 20th century. The Lindale paper, The Georgia Free Lance, was also printed here around 1909.

The landmark, believed to have been built for Larkin Barnett in the 1830s, has seen various changes over time, including the loss of the mill race, the original wheel, and steps, but retains much of its structural integrity. Subsequent private owners and operators were William Cabe of Alabama [Silver Creek Mills], Jacob Henry Hoss [millwright], Joseph Fulcher, William Hemphill Jones, and Mary Jane & Sarah Elizabeth Jones. It ceased operation when it was purchased by the Massachusetts Mills. It was restored by the Lindale Garden Club, who won a National Award for Historic Preservation for their efforts, in 1975.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --FLOYD COUNTY GA--, Lindale GA

Whitesville United Methodist Church, 1854 & 1900, Harris County

The Whitesville Methodist Episcopal Church, South, as it was originally known, traces its origins to circuit riders and meetings at the nearby home of Reuben R. Mobley in 1828. A congregation was formally established in the 1830s and by 1837 a church building was erected for services. This was the same year the town of Whitesville was incorporated; it was a thriving community at the time, bolstered by its status as a main stagecoach stop on the Columbus-to-Rome route. Many early members were slave owners and the slaves attended afternoon services until the Civil War. [Evidence continues to suggest that most homes that survive from the antebellum were built by enslaved people and I’m doing my  best to label them as such as I publish them across my websites. It is also presumed that churches and other public buildings were their handiwork, as well].

Use of the original structure was discontinued in 1854 when the present structure was completed. The church was significantly remodeled in 1900, with the addition of the larger steeple and the incorporation of Victorian details, including shingle siding on the steeple.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --HARRIS COUNTY GA--, Whitesville GA

General Elias Beall House, 1847, Hamilton

This Greek Revival landmark was originally the home of General Elias H. Beall, who established a trading post at what is now Columbus for Governor John Forsyth. After the Civil War, the house was purchased by James Monroe Mobley. It is also known as the Beall-Mobley-Williams House.

Curiously, a portion of the house is used today as a Subway restaurant. An architect was used to do the modification and I presume he was sensitive to preserving the historical importance of the house.

 

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Filed under --HARRIS COUNTY GA--, Hamilton GA

Switzer-Ingram-Hudson House, 1830s, Hamilton

This marvelous structure originated as a Federal I-House and was likely begun much earlier than the given date of circa 1830. Some have suggested that it was the second house ever built in Hamilton, but that needs further substantiation. Its earliest known owner was Williamson Switzer, Judge of the Inferior Court of Harris County from 1833-37. Switzer was among the most prominent citizens of Harris County in his day and was instrumental in the establishment of the poor asylum in the county in 1835. Later owners were Porter Ingram and William Irby Hudson, a Georgia state legislator and senator.

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Filed under --HARRIS COUNTY GA--, Hamilton GA

Governor George W. Towns House, 1828, Talbotton

According to the 1973 nomination form which added this property to the National Register of Historic Places: Construction of the house began in 1828. It is an amalgamation of two two-story…houses to which was added a mid-19th century portico and several 2oth century rooms…[the house] is an example of what happened to vernacular architecture in Georgia as a family and its needs and stylistic wants grew and changed…

The house is also known as the Towns-Persons-Page House. After Towns left the governorship and moved to Macon [circa 1852], the house was sold to the Persons family, who occupied it until 1968, when it was purchased by the Gary Page family.

George Washington Bonaparte Towns (1801-1854) was born in Wilkes County, though his family soon moved to Greene County, and then on to Morgan County. He moved to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1821, and operated a pub while studying law. He was admitted to the bar in 1824. He also briefly owned a newspaper, the Alabama Journal. His first marriage, to Margaret Jane Campbell in 1826, ended tragically. His bride, who had been in poor health, died just a few days after the ceremony. [He married Margaret Winston Jones of Virginia in 1838].

Towns moved to Talbotton in 1828 and served as one of its first commissioners. He was also one of the first attorneys in the new town, owning a very successful practice. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1829 and 1830. He served in the state senate from 1832-1834. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1835 but resigned in 1836 over concerns that the legislature might be forced to pick a Whig as President in the upcoming election. Instead, a Whig won Towns’s seat, but he successfully won re-election to the seat in 1837 and served until 1839. He continued to practice law and served one more term in Congress, in 1846, but lost re-election to John W. Jones, a Whig.

In 1847, Towns was elected governor of Georgia in a highly contested race against the Whig candidate, Duncan L. Clinch. He served until 1851 and died in Macon in 1854.

National Register of Historic Places

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

John S. Jackson House, Circa 1850, Hancock County

This imposing Greek Revival plantation home, situated on a high point overlooking acres of gently rolling hills and pristine farmland, was built by William Jackson for his son, John Swinney Jackson and his first wife, Artemesia Hall. The elder Jackson acquired the property from William Knowles in 1832. John Jackson, who had lived all of his life in Hancock and Greene Counties developed the property, through slave labor, into a thriving agricultural operation. At the outset of the Civil War, Jackson owned over 1000 acres and 38 enslaved Africans. Like most Georgians, Jackson served the Confederate cause and the futile effort ended in his loss of the plantation. It was purchased by Robert M. Grimes in 1870 who sold it to James M. Harris in 1874. Grimes reacquired it in 1880, but after a lawsuit over debts sold it back to Harris in 1881. Harris sold it to Henry Thomas Lewis in 1900. Lewis was an Associate Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court who lived in Greensboro and Siloam, keeping the plantation as a country retreat. After Lewis’s death, his widow sold the plantation to Jeff W. N. Lanier, whose family owned neighboring lands. Subsequent owners were D. B. Taylor and Dorsey L. Campbell. Campbell’s daughter, Alice Hartley, deeded the house back to the Lanier family in 1982.

The property is known today as Shoulderbone Plantation, for the historical Shoulderbone Creek which runs nearby.

National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--

James & Cunningham Daniel House, 1810s, Wilkes County

One of the great landmarks of Federal architecture in Georgia, this highly stylized brick I-house may be unique in the state. This house type is much more common in Virginia and, to a lesser extent, North Carolina but this is the only one I’ve encountered in my travels in rural Georgia. The dedication of family members and later guardians to preserve the house has been central to its continued survival.

James Allen Daniel, Jr., (1740-1821) was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia. With brothers John, William, and David, James migrated through the Carolinas and served as a dragoon in the American Revolution during this time. James was one of three Daniel brothers who married three Cunningham sisters of Amelia County, Virginia [James married Elizabeth Cunningham (1749-1819) in 1767]. In 1791 he was among the early settlers of Wilkes County and one of the fathers of the Presbyterian church in the eastern Piedmont region. Family records indicate that James built the home for his son Cunningham (1768-1839) but may have occupied the property until his death. From Cunningham the home passed to his son James Ewing Daniel; from James Ewing Daniel to his daughter Frances Daniel Dillard; and finally to Frances Dillard’s son, Roy Dillard, who was the last Daniel descendant to occupy the house (1954). The house was unoccupied until 1967 when Roy Dillard’s heirs sold it to the David and Diana Blackburn, who subsequently named it “Kettle Creek Manor” for the three branches of Kettle Creek which run through the property and the nearby Revolutionary War battle site of the same name.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --WILKES COUNTY GA--

Maddux-Flournoy House, Circa 1840, Jasper County

Jasper County 19th Century Farmhouse Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

This house appears to empty, but in good shape. Like many I-Houses (Plantation Plain), it’s been modified and expanded over time. My friend Andrew Wood writes: “The original log cabin (which appears as the middle section in your photo) was built in the 1810’s or 20’s by John Brewer with the front section built in the 1830’s (though i think 1840’s at least) and the rear kitchen wing probably in the 1850’s”.

As of November 2017, I’ve learned that this house is imminently endangered and faces a very uncertain future. I hope it can be saved.

Update: As of 2019 this house has reportedly been moved.

 

 

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Filed under --JASPER COUNTY GA--