Waynesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Tag Archives: South Georgia Restorations
Oral tradition suggests that this Plantation Plain farmhouse was built for Jonathan Bacon Brewton (1827-1897) by Amos Hearn, the builder of the nearby A. D. Eason House. Brewton was the son of one of the area’s earliest settlers, Benjamin Brewton, who came to Tattnall County (now Evans) in 1794 from Warren County. He married Margaret Everett in 1848 and one of their sons, John Carter Brewton, was a co-founder and the first president of Brewton-Parker College.
Jonathan served as Clerk of the Superior Court of Tattnall County and two terms in the Georgia House of Representatives . From late 1862 until early 1864 he was active in the 5th Georgia Cavalry but returned before war’s end upon his election as clerk of the court. In 1865 a foraging party of Union troops passed through the area and ransacked the house. After the war, Brewton continued his enterprises and also operated a general store and post office. The community around the house and store was known as Haw Pond at the time. Brewton also owned a gristmill, lumber mill and cotton gin. Brewton’s heirs sold the house to one of their former sharecroppers, James A. Hendrix, in 1936. The Willcox family has owned it since 1990.
Source: Pharris DeLoach Johnson, Houses of Heart Pine: A Survey of the Antebellum Architecture of Evans County, Georgia.
Abraham Darlington Eason (1816-1887) was the youngest son of William Eason, who founded the first Methodist church (Mt. Carmel) in Tattnall County after migrating from Colleton County, South Carolina. Abraham married Susan Tillman (1827-1907) in 1843. The young coupled settled near the Tillman ferry operation on the Canoochee River, in what is now the community of Undine. They first built a log house. Abraham was very industrious and deeply involved in the community, serving in the state house, as justice of the Inferior Court and tax collector and receiver. In just a few years he had acquired over 5500 acres, which he doubled with the purchase of his father-in-law’s estate in 1851. (This historical background comes from the excellent work of Pharris DeLoach Johnson, Houses of Heart Pine: A Survey of the Antebellum Architecture of Evans County, Georgia).
In 1854, Eason began acquiring materials for the construction of a permanent home to replace the log cabin and in 1856 hired Amos Hearn, a local carpenter, to complete the project. As with nearly all large Southern houses of the era, slaves were likely integral to the construction process. The family still owns many of the detailed ledgers A. D. kept during construction of the house.
Meticulous attention is being afforded the restoration of the house. I spoke at great length with the present owner’s (Paul Eason) son, Joey McCullough, about the process and the family is very committed to maintaining the integrity of this important landmark.
A tobacco barn built in the 1930s remains on the property.
A log corn crib is present, as well, but the only thing holding it up are the trees that have grown up beside it.
The Morven Rosenwald Alumni Association, with the cooperation of the Georgia Historical Society and the Brooks County Board of Commissioners restored this important resource in 2013. The marker placed at the site reads: Barney Colored Elementary School was part of the Rosenwald school building program that matched funds from philanthropist Julius Rosenwald with community donations to build rural Southern schools during the era of segregation. An example of a “community school plan,” it included large banks of windows, an industrial room, and sliding partition doors to accommodate larger school and community gatherings. This combined a Progressive-era design emphasis on lighting and ventilation with educator Booker T. Washington’s focus on community development and industrial training for rural African Americans. The school operated from 1933 to 1959, serving first through sixth grade students. One of six Rosenwald projects in Brooks County, Barney served as a feeder school to the Morven Rosenwald School. In 2006, the Morven Rosenwald Alumni Association, Inc. acquired the building and preserved it for community use.
A marker placed by the Morven School Alumni Association in 2002 gives insight to the institution’s history: Home schooling prevailed in Morven District among early families. After 1865, small academies were supported by private means, with limited public funds. Morven Academy, founded by Dr. Robert Hitch, had local and boarding students for twenty years. Other small schools were merged with it to from the Morven School about 1900, located about two hundred yards to the east on Mill Pond Creek. It was replaced by the two-story brick building in 1914-15, financed by a bond issue. The north wing was added about 1923…In 1935-36 a one-story brick building to the south was erected…The high school closed in 1959…Alumni have worked to restore and adapt the buildings to community uses since 1995.
It has been nicely restored and now houses City Hall and government offices.
This historic store was built in the 1840s and after a renovation, is now home to the White Oak Pastures General Store. Its last owner, Herman Bass, ceased operations in the 1960s. It’s at the forefront of the Harris family’s efforts to bring Bluffton back to life. They eventually plan to move their wonderful farm-to-table restaurant from the farm, just over the line in Early County, to downtown Bluffton.