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.
Tag Archives: South Georgia Architecture
Lydia Cook shared this history of the house, via Ramona Hansbrough: The house was built in 1910 by E.E. Hawks, married to my great grandmother, Ina Strickland Hawks. The story goes that he wanted to build a home on high ground in Fitzgerald, Ga. He spared nothing when purchasing materials, even to having the gorgeous wood fireplaces imported from England. E.E. Hawks was from Commerce Ga., and so was Ina Strickland .They married and in 1910 moved into the new home in Fitzgerald. E.E. Hawks passed away in 1939 on a business trip to Atlanta. Ina continued to live in the house and her daughter, Ruby Hawks Mann and her husband lived in the house with her mother. After a few years, in 1957 Mama Hawks passed away, so her daughter Ruby Hawks Mann and her husband E.C. Mann continued to live in the house.
In 1961 the house went from the Mann family to the Cox family. Henry and Lila Cox, my dad’s parents bought the house and lived there until 1982 when both passed away. At that time, my parents Elzie H. Cox and Elaine Mann Cox bought the house from the brothers, Edward Cox and Billy Cox. Elzie passed away in 2001, but Elaine still lived there alone until 2008 when she moved back to Florida to be near her daughters, Ramona and Melanie.
For someone like me who isn’t an architectural historian this house presents yet another challenge. I use “Eclectic” when I feel a house is an amalgamation of different forms. This method of construction became very popular at the turn of the last century and in many cases continues to this day. In this example, what appears to have been Italianate in origin, also features Colonial Revival and Neoclassical elements.
Built for the Bashinski family, this was once among the grandest homes in Tennille. The Bashinkis were Jewish merchants who moved to Tennille after the Civil War and operated a thriving department store for many years. When the family moved out in the 1940s, the house was subdivided into apartments and the front columns and porch removed. It is presently for sale and would make a great preservation project.