Tag Archives: South Georgia Architecture

Beall-Dowlen House, 1900s, Fitzgerald

This Eclectic Victorian house was built by the Beall family of Bowen’s Mill circa 1907, then served as the parsonage of the Methodist church from 1912 until 1944. Sam P. and Hazel Evans Dowlen purchased it that year and their daughter, Nan Lee, lovingly maintains it to this day.

Nan is very passionate about the history of the house and notes that it’s essentially in original condition.

South Main Street-South Lee Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--, Fitzgerald GA

Saunderson House, 1900s, Fitzgerald

This was the home of Warren Edgar (Sr.) and Ruby Walker Saunderson. Mr. Saunderson was one of the pioneer settlers of the Old Soldiers’ Colony of Fitzgerald. The form, a Victorian T-Plan gable front house, was popular with immigrants to the colony from Indiana and is one of several remaining examples in Fitzgerald.

It features a patriotic Union shield in the front vent. A few homes of Confederate veterans once featured the same emblem, but turned upside down. I’m not sure if any of those survive outside the Blue & Gray Museum today. I believe the house dates to circa 1905.

Thanks to Jan Stokes for the identification. She grew up down the street and recalls: Mr. Saunderson was tall and thin and very quiet. Mrs. Saunderson was short, round, and jolly.

South Main Street-South Lee Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--, Fitzgerald GA

Central Hallway Cottage, Ideal

Tax records date this house to 1908 but I believe the front section of the house is a much earlier central hallway cottage.

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Filed under --MACON COUNTY GA--, Ideal GA

Union United Methodist Church, 1883, Taylor County

The South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church notes: Before the Civil War, when services were discontinued, the congregation worshiped in a building about one mile north of the present church. Following the war, Rev. James Hayes, a local Methodist preacher, began holding services once monthly in the old Primitive Baptist Church building. The congregation met there until the spring of 1883 when the present church was completed. The old building was used as a school until it burned in 1896. Some of the impetus for the establishment of this church came from the Hays Camp Ground which may have begun holding services as early as 1840. It continued until 1896, building a large tabernacle in 1875…

Apparently, the steeple is a relatively recent addition.

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Filed under --TAYLOR COUNTY GA--, Jarrell GA

Mauk United Methodist Church, Taylor County

Typical of Georgia’s rural churches, Mauk United Methodist derives its beauty from the simplicity of its construction. I haven’t been able to locate any history of the church.

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Filed under --TAYLOR COUNTY GA--, Mauk GA

Elijah Paulk House, 1895, Willacoochee

This Willacoochee landmark is a familiar sight to anyone who has traveled through the town on US Highway 82. It was built by Coffee County pioneer Elijah “Lige” Paulk (1867-1896) for his bride, Laura Corbitt,  in 1895. [Willacoochee was still in Coffee County at the time]. Sadly, Mr. Paulk died the next year. The 31 January 1896 edition of the Douglas Breeze notes in his obituary: Mr. Paulk was about twenty eight years old, and had been married only about three months to Miss Laura Corbett of this county. Although he was young in years he, by correct business methods and close application, had accumulated a nice property, and his home in Willacoochee was one of the best in the county…

Veryl & Lucille Boatright bought the house in 1948 and it remains in their family.

Thanks to Kim Jones for sharing this with Loretta Goff McCranie and Betty Boatwright who filled in the blanks on the history. Some of the information is included in a publication by the Southeast Georgia Area Planning and Development Commission entitled An Inventory of Historical Sites in the Southeast Georgia Area. Its authors note that the house originally had a double veranda, and it retained its wainscoted ceilings and walls, a stained glass transom over the front door, and that that pressed tin roof was original.

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Filed under --ATKINSON COUNTY GA--, Willacoochee GA

Asbury School, 1910s, Wilkinson County

Though it appears at first glance to be a house, this was the Vernon Johnson School. Located across from Asbury Church, on the Wilkinson side of the Wilkinson-Twiggs County line, it is best known locally as Asbury School today. A state educational survey in 1918 recorded 31 students from both counties. Wilkinson County students attended for 5 months and Twiggs County students for 6 1/2 months. One teacher was responsible for all eight grades.

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Filed under --WILKINSON COUNTY GA--

Ludowici Club House, Circa 1904

The Ludowici Roof Tile Company opened a factory in Johnston Station, Georgia in 1904. This large structure was its de facto community center and also provided lodging for traveling executives, salesmen and contractors.

The tiny settlement of Johnston Station was renamed in honor of William Ludowici, who donated most of the money required to build a schoolhouse in the overnight boomtown . The economic impact of the factory was massive and during its ten years in operation, it provided over 2 million square feet of roofing materials for government buildings in the Panama Canal Zone. After Ludowici Roof Tile left town in 1914, the Club House was generally used as residential housing.

John A. Brown, who made this photograph circa 1965 and graciously shared it with me, recalls that his Brown grandparents lived here during World War I, when it was owned by a Lang (Laing?) family. He also remembers a spring-fed pool on the property. His grandfather and a partner were in a cross-tie business known as Kendricks & Brown who had a government contract during World War I. I believe it was used as a boarding house but it may have also been rented to single families. I’m not sure when it was torn down, either, but it was likely not too long after this photograph was made.

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Filed under --LONG COUNTY GA--, Ludowici GA

Mulberry Grove, Circa 1832, Houston County

James Averette Bryan (1801-1847) and his wife Catherine Holloway Rix Bryan (1803-1861) were pioneer settlers of the long forgotten Wilna community. James A. Bryan migrated to Georgia from North Carolina, settling first in Twiggs County, and later in Houston. He was instrumental in the establishment of Houston County and in the layout of Perry [originally Wattsville]. Bryan originally built a log dogtrot house [pictured above] from timbers cut and milled on a site a few miles from Mulberry Grove. The original homestead was later occupied by Bryan’s oldest son, Dr. Robert Campbell Bryan, and his wife Eliza. [It survives but is not accessible to the public]. As his fortunes improved, Bryan constructed a more formal dwelling, known as Mulberry Grove, circa 1832* [pictured below, and in all subsequent photographs]. *-Some sources date the house to 1850, but discussions with two architectural historians and preservationists support the earlier date.

Mulberry Grove later became the home of Bryan’s third son, Abner Council Bryan and his wife, Harriet Taylor Bryan. Their son, John Averette Bryan and his wife, Linda Lee Bryan, eventually inherited it. Many members of the Bryan family are buried in an adjacent private cemetery, alongside the slaves who built and worked the plantation.

The most notable feature of the house is the rain porch (also referred to as a Carolina rain porch). Originally, there were only four stucco-covered posts but at some point two more were added for stability.

Rain porches are a very rare architectural element in Georgia.

The original kitchen is attached to the house by an enclosed breezeway. The addition of modern steps are one of the few overall modifications visible at the rear of the house.

Rear elevation (southeastern perspective)

Southern elevation, with double chimneys

 

PLEASE NOTE: Mulberry Grove is private property and is monitored closely by physical and digital means. I am grateful to have been invited by the new owner to photograph the property. He is very interested in making accurate historical renovations to the house and I believe he will be a good steward.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under --HOUSTON COUNTY GA--, Wilna GA

Beech Springs Methodist Church, 1897, Twiggs County

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Filed under --TWIGGS COUNTY GA--