Commerce, GA – A Few Favorite Old Homes

Commerce, GA – Jackson County – There’s far more to Commerce than the Tanger Outlet Mall at the exit off I-85! Lots of  history in the city of Commerce – and some great old homes.  Commerce was founded in 1818, and was known as Harmony Grove.  The railroad contributed to the growth of Commerce, and it runs right through the middle of town (literally).  Harmony Grove Mills was started in 1893 and the town continued to grow as a textile center.  The town was the setting for a book, and home to a Georgia Governor.

Commerce is the setting for “Cold Sassy Tree” by Olive Ann Burns

Railroad Tracks through the Center of Town
Railroad Tracks through the Center of Town

Fun Commerce Fact: Home of the first school for girls in Georgia, established 1824

Now, let’s go see some houses! Many of the homes in town reflect the major growth in the city after 1900.  Looking around town, I immediately want to check out this Victorian cottage.

1886 Victorian
1886 Victorian

Love the details on the outside, but enjoy the inside of this house.  Looking at the stained glass, and the woodwork that provides privacy to the staircase from the foyer.  I haven’t seen one like this before!

Victorian Foyer with stained glass
Victorian Foyer with stained glass
Elaborate screen in front of staircase
Elaborate screen in front of staircase

 

Now I always love finding out about big old houses, and this 1897 home below is the Dr. Hardman mansion.  More on Hardman in just a minute.  This house is nearly 7,000 square feet.  8 bedrooms, and a 3rd floor ballroom!  To get an idea of the size of this house, the columns are about 30 feet high.

1893 House
1897 House

The 1870 Daughtry House was one of the finest in town when built.  See the odd placement of windows?  Those are along the staircase going upstairs.  It’s most recently been an event facility.

1870 - Daughtry House
1870 – Daughtry House

I love big white-columned houses, but can sure appreciate a cottage.  Love the detailing on the porch on this one!  And the tin roof!

Cottage
Cottage

This fine home below, I don’t have any information on it!  I just love the look of it, and the neat shape of the porch.

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Now the house below was a wallpaper school for a long time, although now it’s a private residence.  Built around 1900, it’s got some fantastic details inside.  Another really big house – it’s about 6,000 SF.  It’s for sale ($699,000 last I checked).

The "Wallpaper School"
The “Wallpaper School”

 

I love the paint job on this house below!  It’s the Harber House, which has been a Bed and Breakfast in the past. Love the porch!  I posted this picture on Instagram, and turns out someone who saw it used to take ballet lessons there when she was a kid!

Harber House
Harber House

Now remember how I said Commerce was home to a Governor?  Governor L.G. Hardman was a 2 term Governor in the late 1920s.  Imagine being Governor right after all the cotton crop failures due to boll weevil. Then add the stock market crash and Great Depression that began in 1929.  He was 70 years old when re-elected, becoming the oldest Governor elected in the state’s history.

L.G. Hardman Family
L.G. Hardman Family (from New Ga Encyclopedia)
Governor L.G. Hardman
Governor L.G. Hardman (from New Ga Encyclopedia)

Now let’s see the Governor L.G. Hardman House.  It’s sorta Mediterranean and Craftsman all at once, and sits on about 5 acres right in town.  It was built in the early 1920s.  Talk about a house being built strong – the walls are said to be 18 inches thick, and there’s a shelter in the storm cellar.  I heard this house is getting new owners, and can’t wait to see what they do with it.

L.G. Hardman House
L.G. Hardman House

There’s much more to Commerce than the outlet mall!  Thanks so much for reading the blog, I really appreciate it!

Jefferson – A Few Favorite Old Homes

Jackson County, GA – Let’s head out to Jefferson and look at some more great old homes!   It’s hard to pick out a few favorites in each town, and there are a lot of great old homes around town.

Jefferson, the county seat, has had quite a few names over the years.  This is the best recap I’ve found, from the City of Jefferson: “Jefferson was designated the county seat of Jackson County in 1806.  The city was named for President Thomas Jefferson.  It was the site of a previous Indian settlement named Thomoccoggan (my spell check doesn’t understand this name!).  The city was incorporated as Jeffersonville, then changed to Jeffersonton, and finally shortened to it’s current name on June 30, 1824.”

Jefferson Town Square (from Wikipedia)
Jefferson Town Square (from Wikipedia)

Jefferson is the site of an Indian settlement, Thomoccoggan

There’s a lot of houses around the historic districts of Jefferson with one of my favorite thing – big front porches!  Let’s take a look at a few of my favorites around Jefferson.  Looking at this post now, I probably should’ve called it Front Porches of Jefferson!

Built circa 1866
Built circa 1866

The Nibleck-Evans house above is decked out for July 4th.  Built around 1866, this home was the center of a plantation with several thousand acres.  Love the double porches on this one!

 

Now this one, just outside of downtown is looking great to me, would love to go inside and check this house out, though I could hang out on that big porch!

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A couple of famous residents of Jefferson – well, first, country star Brantley Gilbert is from Jefferson.  And Crawford W. Long is the first doctor that used ether as an anesthetic. He was studying medicine in Jefferson when this discovery of anesthesia was discovered. The museum in town is a fun stop right on the square.

From Crawford Long Museum website
From Crawford Long Museum website
Crawford W Long
Crawford W Long

 

Now, let’s get back to seeing some more great old houses!

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The yellow house above stopped me in my tracks – just looks like such an inviting home.

20160702_165811The house above, built around 1900, is for sale!  While I love this one, it’s priced at $500,000….love the details on it. Sigh.  Let’s keep looking around town.

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Another pretty one around town – unusual to see the 4 windows grouped like this.  Looks great to me!

20160702_165342Again, it’s the details that get me with these houses.  Look up at those fancy windows on the attic part of the house.

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Hiding behind all these trees above is the 1906 Wills House.  Mr. Wills’ brother, “Croft”, built this house (along with several in the area).

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This is one of my favorite Craftsman bungalows of all time…built in 1916, it’s the Duck-Randolph House.

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I love the full length windows in the house above!  Reading about old houses, and have found several homes that mention using the windows as a door and this shows how easily people could do this back then.   I just realized I got the top of my car window in this picture!  Well, it was 97 degrees outside so I didn’t walk around town this time!

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Finally,  just one more favorite – look at the detail above the porch!  Thanks so much for taking a look at the blog this week, and hope you’re having a great summer!  I’m also on Instagram, and post house pictures regularly there, @oldgeorgiahomes.  Appreciate you reading the blog!