This transitional antebellum house is among the oldest standing in Houston County.
Tag Archives: Antebellum South Georgia
This sandstone enclosure is the de facto memorial to one of early Georgia’s best known politicians, Governor George Michael* Troup (8 September 1780-26 April 1856). The obelisk was placed in 1848 upon the death of Troup’s brother, Robert Lachlan Troup (1784-1848). The enclosure was built by slaves from sandstone quarried nearby at Berry Hill Bluff of the Oconee River.
*- Some sources assert that Troup’s middle name was actually McIntosh. This is due to the fact that Troup’s mother was a McIntosh and he was born at McIntosh’s Bluff on Alabama’s Tombigbee River, which was part of Georgia at the time of the governor’s birth.
Governor Troup spent most of his time after his 1833 retirement at Val d’ Osta, his home in Dublin. He died while visiting Rosemont Plantation, one of numerous properties he owned in Laurens and Montgomery counties. A man of his time, Troup was a fierce supporter of slavery, owning around 400 human beings during his lifetime. It is also suggested that, like many slave owners, he fathered children with some of his female slaves.
Troup served as a state representative, member of the House of Representatives, United States senator, and two-term governor of Georgia (1823-1827). Georgia’s best-known politician of the era, William Harris Crawford, encouraged Troup to run for governor. His first run was unsuccessful, due largely to the deep divide between the aristocratic planter class (by now known as Troupites) and the common farmers and frontier settlers (known as Clarkites, for John Clark) that had dominated state politics since the late 18th century. The state largely favored the Clarkites, but when Clark chose not to run in 1823, Troup was elected as an alternative. As a Democratic-Republican governor he ensured the removal of the Creek peoples from Georgia, a dubious achievement from a modern perspective. His endorsement of the Treaty of Indian Springs was met with an amended version from President John Quincy Adams, who favored allowing the Creeks slightly more land, but Troup ordered the militia to enforce his version. President Adams capitulated, not wanting to go to “war” with Troup over the Indian issue. He eventually became a strong Jacksonian Democrat and was nationally recognized for being a champion of states’ rights.
The ornamental iron gate was designed by Savannah blacksmiths D. & W. Rose.
Governor Troup was the namesake of Troup County, and Troupville, the first permanent county seat of Lowndes County. The present county seat of Lowndes County, Valdosta, is named for his plantation, Val d’ Osta.
Situated behind the iconic Woodland plantation house is this amazing survivor, an enclosed dogtrot thought to have been built by the first McArthur family member to settle here; their ownership of the land dates to 1827. It is possibly the oldest house in Wheeler County. After use as a storage shed for many years, it was restored in 1993.
A medical camp was established at this site in September 1820 by Dr. Thomas Lawson, surgeon of the 7th U. S. Infantry (and future Surgeon General), to care for soldiers suffering from malaria at nearby Fort Scott, a frontier outpost on the Flint River. It was thought that the higher elevation of the camp, away from the mosquito-infested swamps surrounding the fort would lead to the soldiers’ recovery, but around 40 died nonetheless, due to heavy rains followed by a period of cold weather. The campsite was abandoned by November 1820. Graves are unmarked but the site was first memorialized in 1882. In 1971, N. L. Sellars erected this gate to identify the site.
From the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church: In the late 1850s, Dr. Ayer from Rome came to the community to visit his daughter, Mrs. Anderson P. Longstreet, who lived in the community. There was no Methodist church in the area at this time and so Dr. Ayer contributed financially to funding a church. Lewis Grovenstein, Benjamin C. Porter, and A. P. Longstreet was selected to organize the new sanctuary and four acres were selected from property owned by George W. Best. The new structure was a frame building measuring thirty-five feet by fifty feet by thirteen feet and was completed in December 1859. On March 18, 1860, the church was organized with twenty females and twenty males on the roll. This church was served by two pastors, Rev. B. F. Breedlove and Rev. L. L. Strange. The first quarterly conference was held in September 1866, under the pastorate of Rev. N. D. Morehouse. In 1885, money was collected to “remodel, repair and paint” the church and, in 1886, the roof was extended in the front and pews were built…In August 1945, electricity was installed at Mizpah… Also in the 1940s, the inside of the sanctuary was remodeled so that the separate entrances and seating for men and women were changed to one double door and one center aisle. In 1953, the wood burning stove was replaced with a gas heater…
This home was built by John Gindrat Morel (1808-1871) and surely took its name from the nearby Uchee Indian settlement and English trading post known as Mt. Pleasant, on a high bluff of the Savannah River. One of Georgia’s earliest forts was located at Mt. Pleasant, under the command of Captain Thomas Wiggin, an Indian trader. Morel was a relative of Pierre Morel, whose descendants owned Ossabaw Island for more than a century, beginning in 1760. He was married to Elizabeth Kennedy, a great-granddaughter of John Adam Treutlen (1733-1782), Georgia’s first popularly elected governor. Thanks to Kenneth Dixon for background and genealogical information.
I’m grateful to Kenneth Dixon for sharing the history of this home: The Mingledorff Farmhouse was built in 1858 by Norman Mingledorff (1830-1864). “DG 1858” is carved into a brick near the top of the chimney, the initials most likely being those of Georgia Ann Dasher, Norman’s wife. The house has stayed in the Mingledorff family since it was built, and a descendant of Norman and Georgia is slowly trying to restore the house.
Dan Frawley writes: Norman was our great-great grandfather… we have been told through the family that the house was built in 1855. Also told that when a chimney was added back in the day, it was customary for the brick mason to add his initials and the year of completion …
This amazing survivor was built as a single-pen log residence in the 1850s by area pioneer David Reddish (1824-1902). Thanks to Mr. Reddish’s great-great granddaughter, Amanda Farmery, for bringing this highly endangered pioneer home to my attention. Mr. Reddish lived in the house until his death in 1902.
The hearth was located on the end pictured above and has collapsed and some of the brick was salvaged or removed.
This view of the interior illustrates the condition of the house, which is so compromised that I wouldn’t even step inside.
Typical of construction of this era in Georgia, the logs are held in place by dovetail joinery.
A rear view of the original section of the house illustrates just how utilitarian structures of this type tended to be in early rural Georgia.
At some point, a board-and-batten addition was made to the house. It’s possible that this was done after Mr. Reddish’s death. Amanda Farmery notes that a well on the property displays a date of 1912, suggesting it continued to be used a residence for some time.
This view from the board-and-batten addition looks toward the original single-pen log section.
Though there is likely no hope for saving the structure, it is wonderful that the family has allowed to stand all these years. I am very grateful to Amanda Farmery for not only recognizing its importance to her family history but her desire for documenting it and sharing it for posterity’s sake.