Tag Archives: Antebellum South Georgia

James Bell Smith House, Circa 1856, Bellville

In Houses of Heart Pine: A Survey of the Antebellum Architecture of Evans CountyGeorgia (3rd printing, 2014), Pharris DeLoach Johnson notes that this house*, one of the oldest in the county, originated  circa 1856 as a single pen log structure joined by full-dovetail notches. It was later expanded to the Plantation Plain style it now exhibits (probably within a decade of its original construction) and weatherboards were added. The house was lowered slightly during a later renovation which was necessitated by replacement of the original chimneys. The roof and windows were also replaced but the original log walls and interior architectural features remain strongly intact.

James Bell Smith (1823-1891), whose mother Fannie Bell was the namesake of Bellville, purchased this property from Benjamin Brewton in 1851. His family came to Georgia from North Carolina after the Revolutionary War, settling in the 1820s in the section of Tattnall County that later became Evans County.  Upon his death in 1891, the house was inherited by his son, Pulaski Sikes Smith. When Sikes died in 1894, his widow Mary Eliza Tippins Smith continued to reside in the house. Later, Sikes’s daughter Helen Daniel acquired the undivided land holdings of her siblings, including the house. Helen sold the house and surrounding land to her son Walter Emmett Daniel in 1954, and they own the property to this day. It is presently used as a guest house.

*-also known as the Smith-Daniel House

 

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Filed under --EVANS COUNTY GA--, Bellville GA

William Hardwick Byrom House, 1859, Byromville

Byromville, originally known as Friendship, was a stagecoach stop operated by Thomas Swearington. In 1852, Swearington sold the surrounding land to William Hardwick Byrom. Byrom built a large general store, which included a post office, and the name of the community was changed to honor him, in 1853. It was incorporated in 1905. This landmark Greek Revival Georgian Cottage remained in the Byrom family until 1992 and underwent a certified rehabilitation by the new owners thereafter.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --DOOLY COUNTY GA--, Byromville GA

Harris-Ramsey-Norris House, Circa 1860, Quitman

This Greek Revival cottage is said to be the oldest house in Quitman.

Quitman Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--, Quitman GA

Bentley House, Circa 1860, Quitman

Owner Tim Reisenwitz writes: Thank you for posting The Bentley House (c. 1860). I am currently restoring this antebellum and had an architectural historian visit and confirm the time of construction and also that the architect was most likely John Wind (1819-1863). John Wind was most famous for spectacular plantation homes but also designed town cottages such as this one, particularly with the U-shaped configuration. He also designed many area public buildings. 

Quitman Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--, Quitman GA

Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church, Circa 1861, Brooks County

Bethlehem Primitive Baptist church was established in 1834 as the Baptist Church at Christ Bethlehem, just two years after the Primitive sect was formed nationally from a  split with the Missionary Baptists. They formally affiliated with the Primitive Baptists in 1840.

The present church, constructed circa 1861, is one of the few remaining antebellum structures surviving in Brooks County.

To those familiar with the Crawfordite Primitve Baptists of Southeast Georgia, it will look quite familiar, as it is plain, unpainted, and contains multiple entrances.

The congregation disbanded in 1964, had a brief revival between 1981-1984, and has been inactive ever since.

It’s a serene place that will hopefully be preserved far into the future.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--

Ephraim Ponder House, 1856, Thomasville

Built for Ephraim G. Ponder, a slave trader, this house originally featured a square cupola at the center of the roof. Ponder enslaved the Flipper family and one of their children, Henry Ossian Flipper (1856-1940), was the first black cadet to be admitted to the United States Military Academy at West Point, in 1877.

Detail of albumen cabinet card of Lieutenant Henry Flipper by Kennedy of Wilberforce, Ohio, circa 1877.  Courtesy U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on Military Affairs. Public domain.

Flipper earned a commission as a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army. He was also the first black officer to lead the buffalo soldiers of the 10th Cavalry. He went on to serve in the Apache Wars and Victorio’s War but was troubled by rumors that led to his eventual court martial and discharge. He continued to work for the United States, as an assistant to the Secretary of the Interior in Mexico and Central America. Flipper’s family sought and received a complete pardon in 1999. It’s a nice irony that the slave trader is largely forgotten today while Mr. Flipper is honored with an annual award in his name at West Point.

Dawson Street Residential Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --THOMAS COUNTY GA--, Thomasville GA

Seixas House, Circa 1835, Thomasville

The Seixas [pronounced say-shus] family were among the early settlers of Thomasville and this house, now an office, is the oldest one-story house in Thomasville. It was moved to this location by Thomasville Landmarks to prevent demolition.

Dawson Street Residential Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --THOMAS COUNTY GA--, Thomasville GA