Tag Archives: National Historic Landmarks

Kolomoki Mounds, 350-750 AD, Early County

kolomoki mounds national historic landmark temple mound photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Located along Kolomoki Creek, a tributary of the nearby Chattahoochee River, Kolomoki Mounds is among the largest Woodland Period burial and temple complexes in the Southeast.  The site dates to 350-750AD/CE and may have been one of the most populous settlements north of Mexico at the time. Most of the mounds are quite small in contrast to the Temple Mound (seen above), which has a base of 325 by 200 feet and a height of 56 feet. It is believed that the Temple Mound was used for religious ceremonies and there is speculation that the chieftain’s house was located on the west side (seen below) of the mound, which is slightly higher than the east side.

kolomoki mounds early county ga temple mound photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Various tribes made this site home, including Weeden Island, Kolomoki, and Lamar Indians.

kolomoki mounds ga view from atop temple mound photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

This view, from atop the Temple Mound, looks out onto a vast plaza. This was a typical layout for Woodland villages. The plaza would have included various houses of wattle and daub construction, roofed with local grasses. In its time, all of this would have been exposed red clay.

kolomoki mounds temple mound stairs photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Looking down the steps to the plaza gives some perspective as to the size of the temple mound.

kolomoki mounds national historic landmark photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

This burial mound, on the plaza, is known simply as Mound D. At 20 feet, it’s one of the largest extant Woodland burial mounds. It was completely excavated in the early 1950s; radiocarbon dating has suggested it was built around 30AD/CE, with a margin of error of 300 years. More information about the site’s smaller mounds and a history of archaeological excavations conducted here over the years can be found at the New Georgia Encyclopedia. Sadly, a theft at the site in 1974 resulted in the loss of numerous pieces of pottery and other artifacts. It’s hoped that an inventory of the stolen items, which are still sought by the park, will eventually lead to some of them being recovered.

kolomoki mounds state historic park gopher tortoise photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

There is much to see at Kolomoki Mounds State Park, including abundant wildlife and flora. This Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), covered in red clay, was crossing the main road in the park. They were likely quite abundant here in the Woodland Period.

National Historic Landmark

 

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Filed under --EARLY COUNTY GA--

New Era School, 1929, Sumter County

New Era School House Sumter County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Beverly Burk writes: This brick building was built in 1929 and was called New Era School. It operated until the early 1970,s and was closed. Grades 1 -9 attended. It was renovated in the late 1980s and is now a beautiful home.

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Filed under --SUMTER COUNTY GA--, New Era GA

Meadow Garden, 1791, Augusta

George Walton Signer of the Declaration of Independence Meadow Garden House Augusta GA 18th Century Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Meadow Garden was the last home of George Walton, one of the youngest signers of the Declaration of Independence. Walton served as a delegate to the Continental Congress, a Colonel in the First Georgia Militia,  Governor of Georgia (1779-80 & 1789-90), U. S. Congressman, Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, and United States Senator.

George Walton Georgia Signer of the Declaration of Independence Meadow Garden House Augusta GA 18th Century Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Thanks to the efforts of the Daughters of the American Revolution, who still maintain the site today this important vestige of our early history was saved from demolition in 1901. It is Georgia’s oldest house museum and one of the top attractions in Augusta.

George Walton Image Public DomainGeorge Walton's Signature Public Domain

National Historic Landmark

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Filed under --RICHMOND COUNTY GA--, Augusta GA

Eagle & Phenix Mills, 1869-1885, Columbus

columbus ga eagle phenix mills photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

Now re-purposed as condominiums, Eagle & Phenix Mills is among the most historic industries in Columbus. Per their website: Cotton milling operations began on this site when William H. Young established the Eagle Mills. In 1860 when Mr. Young absorbed the nearby Howard Factory, Eagle Mills became the second largest mill in Georgia. The Eagle Mills produced material for Confederate uniforms and other critical goods during the Civil War at the site of our present Mill #1. Because of slow communication a land battle was still being fought in our area after the peace treaty had been signed by Lee and Grant to end the war. Federal forces over-whelmed the defenders of Columbus, crossed the river and burned the Eagle Mills buildings. Mill # 1 was rebuilt in 1869.

The present Mill #1 was rebuilt in 1869 and renamed the Eagle & Phenix Mills to symbolize rising from the ashes. Mill #2 followed in 1872 and portions of Mill #1 in 1885. The other historic buildings remaining on the site are the Boiler House (circa 1878), the Administration Building (circa 1878) and the Machine Shop (circa 1886).

During this period of expansion, the Eagle & Phenix quadrupled its size becoming the largest mill in the south by 1878. The mill was distinctive because it produced over 100 varieties of cotton and woolen goods. Eagle & Phenix was known for its technological sophistication and the services it provided its workers. One of these services was the Eagle & Phenix Bank. Unfortunately, this period of rapid expansion was followed by economic hard times brought about by changes in the market. The mill went into receivership and was purchased by G. Gunby Jordan in 1896. One of Mr. Jordan’s investors was W. C. Bradley. G. Gunby Jordan owned the mill from 1896 to 1915 while W. C. Bradley served on the board. From various correspondences, it seems that Mr. Jordan suggested that Mr. Bradley accept the presidency of the mill. W. C. Bradley did accept the presidency and ultimately owned the Eagle & Phenix Mill from 1915 until 1947.

After several different owners in the ensuing years, it was reacquired by the Bradley Company in 2003 and has once again become a symbol of Columbus.

Columbus Historic Riverfront Industrial District, National Historic Landmark

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Filed under --MUSCOGEE COUNTY GA--, Columbus GA

Springer Opera House, 1871, Columbus

springer theatre columbus ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

Built by Francis Joseph Springer, who immigrated from Alsace to Columbus before the Civil War and became prosperous in the grocery business, it was a fulfillment of his dream to have a European-style theatre in his adopted home. Soon after it opened, it gained a reputation as the finest theatre between New York and New Orleans. Among the luminaries to grace its stage were Edwin Booth, Lillie Langtry, John Philip Sousa, Will Rogers, Ethel Barrymore, Ma Rainey and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Springer fell on hard times during the Great Depression, due largely to the rise of motion pictures, and by 1964 was slated for demolition. A group of concerned citizens led by Emily Woodruff acted quickly and saved it. Today, Georgia’s oldest professional theatre is just one of seven in the nation with National Historic Landmark status. It’s no wonder it was designated the official State Theatre of Georgia. For upcoming events, more history, and a nice tour, visit their website.

National Historic Landmark

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Filed under --MUSCOGEE COUNTY GA--, Columbus GA

Lapham-Patterson House, 1885, Thomasville

lapham patterson house thomasville ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

Built by Tudor Rommerdal as a winter resort for Chicago shoe manufacturer C. W. Lapham, this house was sold in 1905 to the James G. Patterson family, who lived here until 1970. After being operated by the state for many years, it’s now in the able hands of the Thomas County Historical Society. It’s available for rentals and tours.

historic lapham patterson house thomasville ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

National Historic Landmark, National Register of Historic Places

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