Americus – Beautiful Old Homes

Americus, Ga – Sumter County – Americus has quite a history, and a variety of beautiful old homes.  Americus was known as the “Metropolis of Southwest Georgia” due to its being a cotton distribution center for the area – and at one time this was the 8th largest city in Georgia!  Established in 1832, the town’s growth really started with the arrival of the railroad in 1854.  There’s so much history around Americus, I’m already planning another visit!

The 1881 Victorian cottage below caught my eye immediately.  Lots of unique detail on this house.  It was built by John R. Shaw, a haberdasher as a gift to his bride, Kate Felder.  It later became home to Samuel Heys, Clerk of the Superior Court.  It’s not a huge house by any means, but lavish details everywhere!

 

Heys House, built 1881

I found a photo of the house circa 1900 – had to look at it a couple of times to see it’s the same house!  Some of the Victorian gingerbread trim has been removed, and of course the landscaping is much different 117 years later.  Look closely and you can see the family standing in front of the house.

Samuel Heys House, circa 1900! (State Archives, University of Georgia, Vanishing Georgia Collection)

The big Queen Anne home below has porches galore!  Built in 1905, just love all the shapes you see looking at this home.

Built 1905

The Greek Revival Cottage was a popular style and this one was built around 1850.  Very little change to this beautiful cottage over the years – the brackets and spindle frieze around the portico are the only alterations I can see.

Greek Revival Cottage, circa 1850

The antebellum home stopped me in my tracks!  This is the Herschel Smith homeplace, built late 1850s.  Sitting far back from the street, I was taking in all the details – loves those extremely tall windows on the lower floor – they’re taller than the front door!

Herschel Smith Homeplace, Built 1856-1859

This is considered one of the finest antebellum homes in the city.  I found this circa 1860 photo of the house, very little has changed except the landscaping!

circa 1860 view of the home – the biggest change? Just the landscaping. (Also from UGA Archives)

The variety of homes around Americus is fantastic – all the major styles over the years are here.  The bungalow below just looked so inviting as I walked by.

Along Taylor Street in Americus

The Speaker Crisp house has a really interesting story.  This home was built as the home of Charles F Crisp, who was Speaker of the U.S.  House of Representatives from 1891-1895.

Speaker Crisp House, Built 1893

As I read up on the Crisp family, found a really interesting story – his wife’s parents, who were very wealthy, did not think he was ambitious enough – or amount to much –  when he asked for their daughter’s hand in marriage, and turned him down.  3 times!  Persistence paid off, and he married Clara Bell Burton.

Charles F. Crisp (New Ga Encyclopedia)

The 1917 brick home below is actually an older home that was expanded by prominent architect T.F. Lockwood of Columbus.  For many years it was the home of Carr S. Glover, a prominent wholesale grocer.

Glover House, built 1917

I kept finding great homes down every street in the historic district!

Great Victorian on W. College Street

This Gothic Revival Cottage was another one of those houses that stopped me in my tracks.  It was built around 1853 for the first newspaper publisher in Americus.  The porch was originally only over the center part of the house, and was expanded across the entire front of the house in the 1890s.

Gothic Revival Cottage

This grand home has changed a lot since being built in the 1850s.  Originally an Italianate style (very popular at the time), it was remodeled to it’s current look in 1906-07.  This home was home to Mayor John B. Felder, and his wife Lucy – interestingly, he served as mayor of Americus for 20 years!

Originally built in 1850s, remodeled 1906-1907

This grand 1909 home is considered Classic Revival architecture.

built 1909

There’s so much more to see and do in Americus, and around Sumter County.  The more I’ve learned, the more I am looking forward to making a return visit!  A great resource if you are in the area is Visit Americus .  As always, really appreciate you reading the blog.

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