Tag Archives: Antebellum South Georgia

Union Church, 1856, Irwinton

After both the Methodist and Baptist churches in Irwinton burned in 1854, congregants came together to form a common house of worship. The result is the wonderful structure you see here, first known as the Irwinton Free Church. Though Sherman’s forces burned the courthouse, the church was somehow spared. Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians shared Union well into the 20th century but by 1960, the Presbyterians were gone and the Methodists and Baptists were settled into their own churches. During that decade, Joseph T. Maddox came forward to restore the building and prevent its deterioration. Perched on a hill on the edge of Irwinton, it stands today as an enduring symbol of cooperation and common faith.

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Filed under --WILKINSON COUNTY GA--, Irwinton GA

Wescoloski-Bryan House, Circa 1850, Riddleville

Built by an early Jewish merchant in Washington County, this house was sold to Stephen T. Jordan in 1867; subsequent owners were descendants of Jordan, including Lurian Jordan Fulgham, William Henry Fulgham, and Mr. & Mrs. John Y. Bryan. It remains largely unchanged from its original appearance.

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Filed under --WASHINGTON COUNTY GA--, Riddleville GA

Plantation Plain Farmhouse, Wayne County

A historic preservationist has suggested to me that he believes this to be one of the oldest surviving houses in lower Southeast Georgia, perhaps dating to the 1830s. Definitely antebellum and likely built within the first three decades of settlement in Wayne County, it features a recessed chimney and original log attached kitchen.

 

 

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Filed under --WAYNE COUNTY GA--

Pope Hill, Circa 1830, Wrens

The community of Pope Hill was the area around which present-day Wrens was established, around the time of the American Revolution.  It’s sometimes referred to as Pope’s Crossroads.

Though I haven’t been able to locate much information about the Popes, I assume they were the first settlers of the area. I’ve also yet to establish a connection to this house, but I’ve learned that it was built sometime around 1830. Double chimneys flank both ends of the house. I’ll update as I learn more.

A curious stone marker, placed by Carrie in memory of A. J. & Nancy Williams, stands in the front yard.

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Filed under --JEFFERSON COUNTY GA--, Wrens GA

Ruins of Bowen’s Mill, Ben Hill County

Having grown up swimming and exploring House Creek, I always wondered about the history of Bowen’s Mill. A few days ago, I got a message from Mike Hudson that a new bridge over House Creek was about to be constructed and he expressed concern that these ruins would likely be swept up in the debris of the construction project. Mike Carlok of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Office of Environmental Services notes:  these ruins will not be swept up from GDOT construction. Our Office of Environmental Services (OES) has taken extraordinary steps to make sure that this history will not be erased by our projects. This site has been recommended Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places…and it deserves that recommendation…and I myself will be there to monitor construction…

A large grist mill was constructed here by R. V. Bowen, Sr., in 1836 and was in operation here into the 20th century. A water-powered sawmill was also part of the operation. This was one of the first industrial sites in this section of the state.

A wooden dam, which contained a 100-acre lake, failed at some point in the 1940s and swept away most of the mill.

 

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Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--, Bowens Mill GA

Currie House, 1850s, Laurens County

This well-maintained landmark is located just north of the Wheeler County line. Cherrie Currie Smith writes: This farm and home belonged to my grandparents, Elmer and Anne Lou Currie. The home was built before the Civil War.

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Filed under --LAURENS COUNTY GA--

Brooks County Courthouse, 1864, Quitman

brooks-county-courthouse-quitman-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2017

Though the Brooks County Courthouse is generally noted as having been built in 1859, that date is misleading. Construction began that year, but due to the Civil War and the death of contractor Charles H. Remington in 1862, the courthouse was not completed until 1864. It was extensively remodeled in 1892 by the firm of Bruce & Morgan, in the Italian Renaissance Revival style.

National Register of Historic Places

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