Nevils Creek is the oldest church in Bulloch County and one of the oldest Primitive Baptist churches in Georgia. It was constituted in 1790. A single headstone is located beside the church: John Neville served in the 2nd South Carolina Regiment during the Revolutionary War. He may have been the founder of the congregation.
Tag Archives: Georgia Pioneers
In 1790, a Methodist society that became Union church was organized in the home of Joshua Hodges, Sr. Hodges was a Revolutionary War veteran who had recently moved his family, including four sons, to the area. Members of the Methodist society set aside a tract of land west of the Hodges house, known on early land records as “Meeting House Reserve” and a log meeting house was constructed by 1792. The trustees were Joshua Hodges, Sr., Joseph Jackson, Jarvis Jackson, Catherine Hodges, Griffin Mizell, and Samuel Williams.
In 1834, the second church was built to replace the log structure. It was built of planks and sat on log pillars. It was replaced by the present structure in 1884, incorporating materials from its predecessor in the altar rails and some of the pews. The altar rail was crafted by Robert W. Stringer.
Situated in a grove of old Georgia pines, Campground is the oldest congregation in Bacon County and one of the earliest Methodist churches in the interior of South Georgia. Legend maintains that Bishop Asbury, “Prophet of the Long Road”, hitched his horse here around 1800. A granite marker placed in 1942 is the source of this information. That’s likely the date the present church was constructed. L. E. Pierce was the pastor at the time.
Prefab housing of the 19th century? This house was built for Colonel Virgil H. Walker by Nathaniel Peters and is believed to have been fabricated offsite, then constructed at this location. Thought to be the oldest house in the original city limits of Columbus, it was likely a town house for Colonel Walker’s large family, who were prominent landowners in neighboring Harris County. Colonel Walker sold the house and lot in 1836 to Mrs. Dicey Peters. In 1849, Mrs. Peter’s daughter Frances, who had married Will Langdon, obtained the house. Members of the Langdon family occupied the house for over a hundred years. Today, the property is owned by the Historic Columbus Foundation. It’s open for tours, but only by appointment.
National Register of Historic Places
When Colonel William Wynn built this stately mansion, it was called Oakview. Colonel Wynn, for whom the Wynnton area of Columbus is named, was an early settler of the Lower Chattahoochee Valley. Henry Hurt bought the house in 1852 but never lived in it, selling it to Hines Holt in 1855. Holt was a prominent attorney, as well as a member of t he U. S. House of Representatives. In 1905, Tom Cooper purchased the house and moved it closer to Wynnton Road so the property could be subdivided for other development. In 1932 the S. C. Butler family bought and completely restored the house. The Christian Fellowship Association moved into this landmark in 1958. Today it’s operated as a membership-oriented event and entertainment space.
National Register of Historic Places
This vernacular Greek Revival house is the centerpiece of what is today known as the Teel-Crawford-Gaston Plantation or, more practically, the Gaston farm. The historical background that follows (in italics) comes from the 2004 National Register of Historic Places registration form. The farm represents two major periods in the history of Georgia agriculture, the plantation system and the the tenant farming system. John Teel purchased the property in 1836 and built the main house by 1840. He established a plantation where, by 1850, he lived with his wife, nine children, and 16 slaves. In 1852, Teel sold the plantation to Shadrack and Lucina Crawford, who after the Civil War turned the property from a plantation based on slave labor to a farm based on the tenant system.
The Crawfords sold the farm to Robert B. Gaston in 1918, who farmed there until his death in 1925. Gaston worked the land with mules and relied on the labor of tenant farmers. Gaston built the existing outbuilding complex to support the operation, most of which survives. James Monroe Gaston, Jr., Robert’s grandson, continues to farm the property to this day.
National Register of Historic Places
I’ve photographed this house dozens of times over the last six years and recently learned that it is being deconstructed and the lumber salvaged for use in a new structure. The longtime owners of this landmark spent many years maintaining it and without their commitment to its history, it would have been long gone by now. I’m grateful for being allowed unlimited access to photograph and document it in its final days.
I believe the house originated as a Plantation Plain, or I-House, the common vernacular style of wealthier farmers and planters in 19th-century Georgia. The porches were likely a later addition, giving it its present French Colonial appearance.
The first floor foyer is dominated by a narrow stairwell. To the right of the stairs is a re-paneled bedroom. One of the two main rooms downstairs would have originally served as a parlor and the other may have been a bedroom or dining room.
A “modern” kitchen is evidence that this home has served many generations, though the appliances and design attest to how long it’s been empty.
The upstairs bedrooms are largely unchanged.
As closets were not in use in the mid-19th-century, this one, with a simple closure, was added later.
The mantels are being removed and will be reused. The bricks in the fireplaces were made locally and are one of the best indicators of the age of the house.
In one bedroom, some of the wall boards have already been removed, revealing the beautiful rough-hewn local lumber that frames the house.
The second floor foyer is brightened by sidelights, replicating the appearance of the main entryway.
The foyer leads to a porch with louvered ends to maximize air circulation.
When the house is viewed from the rear, it seems possible that the hallway at the rear of the second floor was once a breezeway, especially when considering the larger windows in the middle.
Here’s the hallway.
It appears to be wasted space in the present form, and people in mid-19th-century rural Georgia didn’t waste space. Still, it’s a nice feature today. More of the original rough-hewn walls have been exposed by the deconstruction.
There are small rear corner rooms on each end of the second floor.
Corner posts are reinforced by buttresses and wooden pegs.
Here’s the view from the top of the landing back down to the first floor entryway.
And here’s a view of the roof of the kitchen/packhouse addition.
And another rear view of the house, showing the size of the kitchen/packhouse.
Unlike most detached kitchens which have been connected to a main house, this one only has outside access. The original kitchen is really a complex of three rooms. The first section likely served as a dining and storage area.
The second room was where the work of the kitchen was done, featuring a large hearth.
A small room at the end of the complex was likely used as a packhouse/root cellar.
I feel fortunate to have been able to experience this house. It’s a real gem.