Tag Archives: South Georgia Restorations

Theophilus Nichols House, Bulloch County

This has been identified as the home of Theophilus (1808-1881) and Rebecca Crumpton Nichols (1818-1869). According to Findagrave, Theophilus Nichols was born out of wedlock on 16 January 1808 in either North Carolina (probable) or Virginia. His father’s surname is said to have been Mann, and his mother, probably surnamed Nichols, is believed to have died in childbirth or very shortly thereafter. Theophilus told his grandchildren that his grandfather, who lived in Rappahannock County, Virginia, during the American Revolution, had four sons who served in the Continental Army. I’m most grateful to Anna Hubner for inviting me to photograph it. Anna and her husband are slowly restoring the home and surrounding acreage.

The home likely dates to the 1840s or 1850s, but that hasn’t been confirmed. An amazing anecdote regarding Nichols and the house: Theophilus left home…at age 12 and ended up as a young man in Bulloch County, Georgia, where he married Rebecca Crumpton, had 10 children, built a large home, a farm of more than 1600 acres, and was known as a master carpenter and a most respectable citizen. His house was protected from being burned by Sherman’s troops in 1864 when local blacks surrounded the house and protested to the soldiers that Theophilus had never owned slaves and was adamantly opposed to that institution. [Nichols is absent from the 1850 and the 1860 Slave Schedules of the U. S. Census, and this is also true of his neighboring Crumpton in-laws. This would place Mr. Nichols in a rare position in the antebellum South and the story bears further research. ].

A friendly menagerie resides on the property, but the Asian Water Buffalo were my favorites.

Some of the herd are rescues from petting zoos, and they’re quite friendly.

As to the house, it was covered with vinyl siding, which caused serious damage to the exterior boards. Anna and her husband have already replaced some of them. Many believe that vinyl preserves houses as an interim measure, but as this case proves, it can actually do more damage than good. And aesthetically, it’s just not very appealing.

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Filed under --BULLOCH COUNTY GA--

Craftsman Bungalow, 1910, Perry

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Filed under --HOUSTON COUNTY GA--, Perry GA

Big Chief Grist Mill, Marion County

This location on Lanahassee Creek has been home to a grist mill since the mid-1800s, according to an oral history conducted by Mia Harris in 2016 [Columbus State University Archives: Marion County Heritage Tour, April 2016]. Located near two historic communities (Church Hill and Pineville), the mill has been operated by three generations of the Upton family.

It ceased regular operations in 1950 but was revived in for a few years beginning in 1980. The late Billy E. Powell, son of Myrtice Evelyn Upton Powell, rebuilt the mill in 1994 and the sluice gate was rebuilt more recently.

The pond is known as Powell’s Mill Pond. It is one of the most beautiful locations in all of Marion County.’

 

 

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Filed under --MARION COUNTY GA--

William & Anna Jordan Homeplace, Marion County

The descendants of William Norris & Anna Singleton Jordan have nicely restored their family’s historic homestead. This is a great example of how a little attention can go a long way in preserving local history.

A well house and historic barn have also been restored.

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Filed under --MARION COUNTY GA--

DeLamar Hardware Company Murals, Hawkinsville

The Chero-Cola mural, as well as the Dutch Boy Paints and store murals have been nicely restored on this commercial block in downtown Hawkinsville. It is presently home to Batts Drug Company.

 

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Filed under --PULASKI COUNTY GA--, Hawkinsville GA

Berry C. Thompson House, Late 19th Century, Mount Vernon

This was the home of Littleberry “Berry” Columbus Thompson, Jr. (1846-1911) and his wife Mary Julia McKay Thompson (1843-1916). It was moved here from rural Montgomery County.

Montgomery County Historic Village, Brewton-Parker College

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Filed under --MONTGOMERY COUNTY GA--, Mount Vernon GA

Conner Stable, Circa 1900, Mount Vernon

This hay and stock barn was built by Franklin Conner and was moved to this site and restored.

Montgomery County Historic Village, Brewton-Parker College

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Filed under --MONTGOMERY COUNTY GA--, Mount Vernon GA

Cooper-Conner House, Circa 1798, Mount Vernon

Brewton-Parker College maintains a nice collection of historic structures* illustrative of pioneer life in rural Georgia from the late 18th century to the late 19th century. These are publicly accessible and there is no cost to visit. The most important of these is the Cooper-Conner House, built with slave labor for Revolutionary War veteran Richard Cooper (1758-1836) in the Dead River community [about nine miles from its present location]. Thomas Benton Conner bought the house from George Cooper in 1838. It was moved to this site in an effort to preserve it. [Some sources date this to 1779].

*-Most online references locate this on David-Eliza Fountain Circle, which is the front campus, but the Historic Village is actually located on Lakeshore Drive.

Montgomery County Historic Village, Brewton-Parker College

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Filed under --MONTGOMERY COUNTY GA--, Mount Vernon 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.

 

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Filed under --TELFAIR COUNTY GA--

Bailey House, 1904, Summertown

This has been tentatively identified as the Wallace Bailey House. If this is incorrect, I’ll update.

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Filed under --EMANUEL COUNTY GA--, Summertown GA