Tag Archives: South Georgia Architecture

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.

 

 

 

 

10 Comments

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

Beech Springs Methodist Church, 1897, Twiggs County

Leave a comment

Filed under --TWIGGS COUNTY GA--

Friendship Baptist Church, Twiggs County

Leave a comment

Filed under --TWIGGS COUNTY GA--

Unidentified Greek Revival Building, Twiggs County

This relatively well-preserved structure is a bit of a mystery. I first thought it to be a general store, but it is possible it was a church. Resource surveys date it to 1870 but I believe it could be antebellum.

1 Comment

Filed under --TWIGGS COUNTY GA--

Eclectic Victorian House, Circa 1910, Jeffersonville

Leave a comment

Filed under --TWIGGS COUNTY GA--, Jeffersonville GA

Sugar Creek Plantation, 1937, Telfair County

Upon its completion in 1937, this Colonial Revival house became both home and refuge for Eugene Talmadge and his wife, Mattie Thurmond Peterson Talmadge, known to all as Miss Mit. Talmadge had just lost the governor’s race after serving two terms and this country estate provided  him a place to revitalize and plan his political comeback. At the time, Telfair County was still seen as the seat of the Talmadge family and the rural anchorage was important, as Talmadge fancied himself a champion of the common man. The same voters who had rejected him for his lack of cooperation with FDR’s New Deal programs in 1937 returned him to the governor’s office in 1941. By now, Talmadge was relying on his unapologetic brand of racism to reach voters, and it succeeded; his well-attended rallies stoked racist fears among poor whites throughout Georgia.

Eugene Talmadge addressing supporters at Fitzgerald, Georgia, 1940. Photograph by Frances Trammell McCormick. Collection of Brian Brown. Copyright Vanishing South Georgia.

After another absence from office, Talmadge ran again in 1946, and became only the second man in Georgia history to be elected to a fourth term (Joseph E. Brown, the Civil War governor, was the other). He died on 21 December 1946, before he could serve his fourth term. The so-called Three Governors Controversy followed, and soon Talmadge’s son Herman became governor. He later served four terms in the United States Senate.

The family seemed to have little interest in maintaining the house, as they lived their lives far away from Telfair County for the most part, and it fell into a state of neglect. For many years, the fate of Sugar Creek Plantation was uncertain. It had long been in disrepair when former Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Jim Wooten, a Telfair County native himself, purchased and restored the house and grounds in 2011.

Please note: It is now a private residence and security-monitored.

 

2 Comments

Filed under --TELFAIR COUNTY GA--

Jones-Peterson House, Circa 1893, Marshallville

Situated on an imposing knoll just west of Marshallville, this Neoclassical Revival landmark was built by Anson Ball Slappey for his daughter Alma and her husband, J. Leonard Jones, as the center of the 800-acre Alma Fruit Farm. The Roy Peterson family were also longtime owners, and many still refer to the property as the Peterson Farm.

Louise Frederick Hays, author of History of Macon County, also resided here for a time.

Thanks to Lori Kelley Adams for help with the identification. I made these photos about 10 years ago and for some reason had never been able to identify the house.

National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --MACON COUNTY GA--, Marshallville GA

Walker House, 1927, Montezuma

Montezuma Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

2 Comments

Filed under --MACON COUNTY GA--, Montezuma GA

Craftsman Bungalow, Montezuma

Montezuma Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --MACON COUNTY GA--, Montezuma GA

McKenzie-Easterlin House, 1902, Montezuma

William Lee McKenzie came to Montezuma in 1844. He and his wife, Annie Harrison McKenzie, had five children. Mr. McKenzie was involved in the timber industry and hand-selected the boards for this house, which he built in 1902. Upon his death in 1937, the house was purchased (1939) by his daughter, Leah McKenzie. Miss McKenzie married Jasper Bennett Easterlin, Jr., and the family has remained in the home for over a century.

Montezuma Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

1 Comment

Filed under --MACON COUNTY GA--, Montezuma GA