Rome, GA – Beautiful Old Homes

Rome, GA – Floyd County – We finally had a day without rain this summer, so we headed up to Rome – the largest city in Northwest Georgia.  This is where the Etowah and Oostanaula Rivers meet to form the Coosa River, making Rome an ideal crossroads and trading spot.

“Chieftains” is actually a 1792 log cabin at its core.  The home of prominent Cherokee Nation leader Major Ridge grew from a log cabin to the late 1820s to what we see today. It’s an interesting museum, and well worth a visit.

“Chieftains”

In the 1920s there were quite a few renovations to Chieftains – looks nearly the same now, looks like the upstairs shutters were removed, and some railing on the front steps.  The Junior League of Rome owned the home for many years.

Late 1920s view of “Chieftains” after renovations (Vanishing Georgia Archives, University of Georgia)

Rome’s name was literally pulled out of a hat!

“The Columns” is a mansion that commands it’s hilltop perch!  Built in 1910 for prominent businessman and Mayor T.W. Lipscomb, this home is fresh off a multi-year restoration.  Over the years it had been converted into 11 apartments (it’s said they didn’t even have heat, and used their ovens for heat!).  Interestingly, after renovation it was purchased by a former Mayor of Rome.  Funny to think 2 Mayors owned this home, 100 years apart.

“The Columns” – built 1910

“Rose Hill”, built in 1909 for Mary Lee Hight got its name from the extensive gardens that were there.  It is built on the site of a prior home that burned (interestingly, this is where General Sherman stayed, not sure if house was burned when he left or if that happened later).

“Rose Hill”, built 1909

Rose Hill is said to have been based on the 1840s Gordon-Lee mansion in Chickamauga – which we toured a couple of years ago.  To check out the home, click here.

Gordon-Lee Mansion (Built 1840s in Chickamauga)

The cute house below was once home to Dr. Henry Halsey Battey.  He was the son of a famous surgeon, Dr. Robert Battey.

Battey House

Rome was a major river port.  As I did some research, found there was a lot of trade between Rome and Gadsden, AL as well as other towns.  The steamboat below has bales of cotton dockside.

Steamboat, 1870 – the rivers make Rome an ideal trading site (Vanishing Georgia Collection, UGA)

Printup House has some great stories.  Built in 1905 for Maybeth Sullivan Graham as a wedding gift and starter home, it was sold in the 1930s to the Printup Sisters for $10!  Miss Alida Printup and her widowed sister Mrs. Ava P Harris lived here.  They later sold the home with one stipulation – that they continue to live upstairs!  They lived here until their deaths in the 1950s.

Printup House, Built 1905

Berry College founder Martha Berry’s family home, Oak Hill, is an antebellum mansion. It’s now a museum – well worth a visit if you’re in the area.  Does this house look familiar?  Maybe from a movie?  Yes – Oak Hill was featured in Reese Witherspoon’s  “Sweet Home Alabama” as the Carmichael Plantation.

Oak Hill, family home of Martha Berry (from website)

Remember how many towns used to have a locally owned department store?  Fahy’s was one of those department stores in Rome, along with a few others.  Tom & Sarah Fahy had 11 children (!) – daughter Agnes was a close friend of Gone With The Wind author Margaret Mitchell, who spent many weekends here.

Fahy House has a connection to famous author Margaret Mitchell

Built in 1832, Alhambra was home to one of Rome’s founders.  Interestingly, when naming the new town – they literally drew names from a hat.  Rome could have ended up named Warsaw, Hamburg, Pittsburg, or Hillsboro.

Alhambra, or Home On The Hill (from website)

The 8,000 SF Victorian mansion below is called Claremont.  Completed in 1882 after 3 years of construction for Hamilton and Florence Yancey, it is truly a showplace.  They built a tiny cottage in the back and lived there throughout construction.  Mrs. Yancey named in Claremont in honor of her favorite cousin, Clare.  It stayed in the Yancey family for 3 generations.   No expense was spared and this house has unique features – such as an antique safe built into the stairwell, a stage for their children’s at home productions, and even an antique urinal!

Claremont, built 1879-1882.

There are many more beautiful old homes in Rome, and I can’t wait to visit again.  As always, really appreciate you taking time to read the blog!

 

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