Cedar Hall, 1910, Cochran

Hillcrest House Cochran GA Bleckley County NRHP Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

John Joseph Taylor (1855-1917) was for many years the leading businessman in Cochran. He started with a general store and later became president of the Cochran Banking Company and a cotton mill; he also built Cochran’s opera house. Taylor, who lived in the house next door, built Hillcrest (later known as Cedar Hall) as a present for his daughter Alice when she married John Augustus Walker on 12 January 1910. Walker was also involved in the Cochran Banking Company and served as Postmaster from 1933-1941. The house remained in the family until 1965. Dr. Virlon Griner, pastor of Cochran First Baptist Church, purchased it in 1970 and began a restoration that returned it to a single family dwelling, which it remains today.

The National Register nomination form calls the house “Hillcrest” but also notes it was known as Cedar Hall. After hearing from one of the Taylor granddaughters, Lady N. Hodges, I’m going with Cedar Hall, since that is what the house was known as for most of its history. Apparently, “Hillcrest” was a later name. She also clarifies other facts about the house, in her comments following the post.

National Register of Historic Places


Filed under --BLECKLEY COUNTY GA--, Cochran GA

8 responses to “Cedar Hall, 1910, Cochran

  1. I was going through your historical homes and found this. This picture could’ve been taken from my mothers front yard. She lived right across the street. I lived there until I was 14. Cool picture.

  2. Lady N. Hodges

    Brian, thank you for your interest in historical sites and the stories surrounding them. What a thrill it was for me to see my beloved Grandmother Walker’s home pop up!. I have been prompted to plan a trip for my son and two daughters to Cochran. We have grandchildren who bear the names Taylor and Walker, so they must visit a place which has been described to them!

  3. Diann Rountree

    Beautiful!! An interesting story!

    • Lady N. Hodges

      This home, called “Hillcrest” in the photograph, was my Mother’s childhood home. I stayed there often with her to visit my Grandmother, Alice Taylor Walker for whom the home was built by her father as a wedding gift. I loved being there often, with a wonderful long lawn for playing games with cousins. It had special meaning to our family of course

      During my Grandmother’s lifetime and our family ownership , the home was never converted to apartments for public rental; Grandmother Walker simply had the room and welcomed home to GA a retired brother from the West Coast where his professional career had led him, and also she invited a sister and her husband to stay there as well in his retirement in Atlanta. In those days, often family spent later years this way.

      Also, I do not recall the name “Hillcrest”. This home was named “Cedar Hall”. This posting was most interesting to me and brought back wonderful memories of enchanted childhood evenings, listening to stories and surrounded by generations of family.

      • Thank you, Ms. Hodges! I changed the title for the house. I got my information from the National Register of Historic Places, but I always defer to someone who actually spent time in a house. Apparently, Hillcrest was a name given to the property later. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories.

      • Steve

        Dear Lady N. Hodges — My name is Steve Dykes, originally from Cochran, GA. I saw this photo and it took me back to my early years. My reason for reaching out is that I have a civil war officer’s sword that supposedly my father won in a poker game with a “Will” Taylor who lived in that house (about 1960ish). The sword is engraved “Lt J M T. 1862”. Just wondering if it might be of your lineage, and if so, I’d be happy to return it to you. Please let me know if you’d like to talk. Dykes.steve411@gmail.com

  4. H.A. Hurley

    Brian, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    I so enjoy your photographs and historical information.
    GA is a beautiful state, especially ‘off the beaten path’, and not always seen as beauty.
    Thank you,
    H.A. Hurley

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