The original part of this structure was recently revealed when asbestos siding was removed. I’ve driven past it numerous times over the years and always believed it to be “older” than it looked. Thanks to Raven Waters for making me aware of the work being done; I’m unsure if it will be saved.
It has obviously been modified over time, with the higher roof line and chimney being later additions, though the chimney is made of handmade brick, indicating that the changes were made many years ago. It’s possible that the windows and/or door were cut out of the earlier structure. Most surviving houses of this type in Georgia date to the late 19th-early 20th centuries.
An original single-pen [one-room] log farmhouse is evident within the frame of what was apparently a slightly larger structure.
Elaine Huff Knowlton writes: If the log cabin was across the street from Browning Methodist Church (you also shared a photo of the church), then the cabin you’ve shown is one where my mother lived when she was a baby. She and her parents moved into her father’s family home just up the hill to the right of the cabin a few years later…I could tell you more about those houses along those dirt roads. Many Brownings lived there. The piece of land that the cabin and larger house stand on just left the family (sold) within the last five years. The larger house was where my grandfather Herman Browning’s family lived. After my grandfather married my grandmother Mabel Tomlinson, they lived in that cabin you photographed. My mother Irene, who is now in her 93rd year, was born in a house that still exists just back in the woods from the curve of Buie Road, just off Hwy 441. Her maternal grandmother Zenobia Fountain lived in that house at the time (it belonged to the Buies), and Mabel went there because she had trouble with childbirth and the doctor couldn’t get there. Anyway, my mom Irene has great memories of sweeping the floors in that cabin, and running up the hill to her grandmother’s host and hiding under her long skirts so that her mom Mabel “couldn’t find her.”. Herman, Mabel, and Irene eventually moved into the bigger house when her grandmother died, and then to another big house on a nearby dirt road (that one had been burned by arsonists), and then to another very nearby to that one. It still stands today with two wonderful barns and terraced fields remaining out back. We still own it. At the end of the dirt road where this house sits (as you drive away from 441), other Brownings lived. None of the thriving Browning community still remain in the area now.
I have documented several other similar expanded houses, but this one offers a nice glimpse of the original, as the siding of the addition has been removed.
It’s truly an amazing survivor, likely dating to the late 19th century.
As the roofline and fireplace/chimney indicate, the expansion of the house was done relatively early in its history.
This view from the rear gives a better idea of the footprint of the original structure.
Brewton-Parker College maintains a nice collection of historic structures* illustrative of pioneer life in rural Georgia from the late 18th century to the late 19th century. These are publicly accessible and there is no cost to visit. The most important of these is the Cooper-Conner House, built with slave labor for Revolutionary War veteran Richard Cooper (1758-1836) in the Dead River community [about nine miles from its present location]. Thomas Benton Conner bought the house from George Cooper in 1838. It was moved to this site in an effort to preserve it. [Some sources date this to 1779].
*-Most online references locate this on David-Eliza Fountain Circle, which is the front campus, but the Historic Village is actually located on Lakeshore Drive.
Montgomery County Historic Village, Brewton-Parker College