Tag Archives: Talbotton 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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Blount-McCoy-Maxwell House, 1855, Talbotton

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Built for John Thomas Blount, this Greek Revival cottage was later owned by the McCoy and Maxwell families. It became a focus of statewide attention when, on 5 April 1896, Emma Owen was shot and killed while visiting Jenny McCoy here. A local dentist, Dr. Will Ryder, had become enamored of Ms. Owen and had apparently been stalking her. At the time of the murder, Emma was sitting beside the front window of the home, in the company of her boyfriend, when Ryder fired shots into the parlor.  After committing the act, the doctor fled to his nearby office and attempted suicide, but was rescued by friends. He was later charged with murder but was lynched while awaiting sentencing. Blood stains from the murder are still visible on the wood floorboards and the house is widely believed to be haunted.

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Chapman-Willis-Gordon House, Circa 1850, Talbotton

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This house was built between 1845-50 by Asa W. Chapman.

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Greek Revival Cottage, Talbotton

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This is likely mid-19th century as are many of these wonderful cottages in Talbotton, but I haven’t located any information about it as yet.

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Pew-Hill House, 1852, Talbotton

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This grand home was built by attorney Joseph Pew and later to sold to a Dr. Hill, who was a professor at the LeVert Female College. Walton B. Hill, who was a Chancellor of the University of Georgia, grew up here. It’s presently being restored.

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Carreker-Watkins-Bassett House, 1884, Talbotton

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This eclectic Late Victorian was built by Newton P. Carreker. It’s usually to referred to locally as the “Liberty Bell House” for the cutouts in the gables.

National Register of Historic Places

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Radcliff-Spivey House, Circa 1835, Talbotton

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This photograph dates to 2009 and as of 2016 it’s still standing but very overgrown.  I’ve been trying to identify this Greek Revival cottage, which I knew to be early, for almost a decade. Thanks to Luke Moses, who shared this: According to William Davidson’s A Rockaway in Talbot (Volume I, pp. 86-88), this is the Radcliff-Spivey House, built about 1835. This confirms the early date and makes even more critical the need for its stabilization.

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Straus-LeVert Memorial Hall, 1856, Talbotton

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This beloved landmark was built as the LeVert College for Young Women by Lazrus Straus, a Belgian merchant whose business was the forerunner of the Macy’s chain. This was a Methodist school and merged with Collingsworth Institute in 1879. It closed in 1907 and was used as a public school until 1926. Many years after moving away from Talbotton and founding Macy’s, the Straus family made gifts to ensure the preservation of this important structure. Madame Octavia Walton LeVert, for whom the LeVert Female College was named, was the granddaughter of George Walton, a Georgia Signer of the Declaration of Independence.

LeVert Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Talbotton Baptist Church, 1924

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This lot has been reserved since Talbotton’s founding in 1828 for the Baptist Church. The present structure is an unusual style (Spanish Colonial Revival, stripped-down) for Georgia churches. The church appears so “modern” that I was surprised to learn it’s over 90 years old.

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Talbot County Courthouse, 1892, Talbotton

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Recently restored, this beautiful Queen Anne courthouse was designed by the firm of Bruce & Morgan.

National Register of Historic Places

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