Category Archives: –EARLY COUNTY GA–
This is quite small, even for a shotgun house, so I initially thought it might be an old office building, but there’s another one on the property (which I was unable to photograph due to vegetation) which led me to believe it might be a tenant house. Pete Tyson clarifies: That was the first aid/hospital of Cedar Springs that Mrs. S. A. Wright told me about. It was moved there in the 1960’s from the little dirt road behind Johnny Golden’s store. It was a barber shop (drinking spot) that was run by Bill Adams and he later moved his shop to Columbia, Alabama, to the old Orr’s Gun Shop on Highway 52. The other was a beauty shop run by May Megahee.
Though it’s obviously best remembered as a barber shop, I’m identifying it by its original purpose.
There are many significant aspects to this house, not least of which is its original ownership by a woman, independent of her husband’s assets. It’s a wonderful example of a Plantation Plain converted to the vernacular Greek Revival. In consideration of resources available to me, there is some confusion as to the date of construction. While a sign on the property dates the house to 1840 and names it Echodell, the National Register nomination form (which was written over 30 years ago; new information have come from subsequent research), the property wasn’t even purchased until 1842, by Jane Donalson Harrell’s brother, Ruben Donalson. The majority of the property was later secured by his brother but four acres on the southwest section were set aside for his sister, Jane, in 1855. She and her husband, Dempsey Harrell, operated a cotton plantation here. Jane’s marriage contract stipulated that she would retain ownership of this property, a relatively uncommon arrangement in antebellum Georgia.
Around 1870 the house was inherited by a daughter’s husband, Dr. Augustus D. Shewmake. Dr. Shewmake kept a medical office and infirmary in a wing he added to the house (since removed). Also significant, he hired a governess to teach both black and white children on the plantation. This was relatively uncommon in the years following the Civil War. I hope to clarify the history as this is one of the nicest antebellum homes in this section of Georgia.
National Register of Historic Places