Sandersville, Georgia – The Brown House (originally called Woodlawn Terrace), circa 1850, is operated as a house museum by the Washington County Historical Society. I visited Washington County a couple of weeks ago and took a tour of the Brown House. This is one of those houses that has a lot of history! OK, I will mention now that the chimney recently collapsed at this home back when we were having all that rain around the holidays. Then again, at 165 years old, these things happen. This house stayed in the Brown Family for 125 years, which is just amazing.
I read about this house quite some time ago in on of my favorite old books, White Columns in Georgia, by Medora Field Perkerson. Published in 1952, she wrote the history of many antebellum homes throughout Georgia, and how General Sherman stayed here and used this as his headquarters on his march to the sea in 1864.
William Gainer Brown was a merchant and planter. He and his wife, Miriah Mitchell Brown had their portraits painted in the 1850s. These have recently been restored and hang in the entrance hall of the Brown House.
The view below is looking towards the front door. This is a large house, big rooms, and a very high ceiling. It’s been altered throughout the years and has a couple of Victorian renovations still present.
The large front parlor makes quite a first impression on guests to the home. The desk on the left of the room is very similar to one that was in the home and used by General Sherman when this was his HQ.
The house has changed quite a bit throughout the years. The two sketches below show the house with two different looks. The lower sketch shows the house as it appeared when built. The upper sketch shows the house as it appears today, with a couple of Victorian additions including bay windows on the side.
See the plates below? I learned that these are the official Georgia historical plates, first produced in 1933 to celebrate Georgia’s bicentennial. The more I learn about Sandersville, I’m just amazed by all the history here! Interesting story about the plates, I’ve attached their website here.
The silver below is significant. It was hidden during the Civil War and not found for many years. The story about it is great, but I don’t want to give a spoiler alert before you visit the Brown House. Buried silver, found many many years later.
Now as I mentioned, this was Sherman’s HQ in Sandersville for a night. There are almost as many Sherman slept here places as George Washington slept here places! They slept a lot? Just kidding. This home really did host him in 1864, no question.
This is the couch that he slept on when he was here, of course it’s been recovered since then! In the photo above there’s a painting of him resting in here.
The upstairs was closed on my visit due to all the work going on with the chimneys, but I look forward to coming back here and visiting the Brown House again!
The Brown House in Sandersville, circa 1850