Roswell, GA – Fulton County – Situated along the Chattahoochee River, Roswell has antebellum mansions and ties to 3 U.S. Presidents. We’ll look at several mansions and learn more of the history here. Now one of the largest cities in Georgia (population over 90,000), Roswell was part of Cobb County until 1932 when annexed by Fulton County.
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!
Sandersville and Tennille, GA – Washington County – Last weekend I had the opportunity to go on a Tour of Homes in Washington County. We toured part of Sandersville last year on the blog, which you can visit here. Sandersville was named the county seat of Washington County in 1796. Originally it was called “Saunders Crossroads” as it was at the crossing of two Indian trails.
I really liked Sandersville and the amazing volunteers at the Washington Historical Society, so when I saw the Tour of Homes, I put this on the calendar. The tour benefited the Sandersville School, built in 1939 as a Works Progress Administration building. Generations have attended the school when it was a High school, and later and elementary school.
It’s a bit over a 2 hourdrive from Atlanta to Sandersville. Unless you’re me, who loves the backroads – and decided that I saw a straighter route than my navigation system gave me…and I ended up on an 800 mile dirt road in Hancock County.
There’s a great Saturday farmers market in the middle of Sandersville that I wanted to stop at while in town. That mission accomplished, I set off on the tour. There were 12 amazing old homes on the tour, let’s take a look at a few of them.
The Albea-Boatwright-Smith House, built 1898 was originally built as a one story home. About 3 years after it was built, the second story was added. The contractor, M.W. Schwall was a ship builder from Germany. He fell in love with a local girl and his family became major builders in the area. Interestingly, he used ship building techniques when remodeling the home in 1901.
Built in 1900, the Shelnutt-Wylly-Hodges house has a witch’s hat porch! It’s considered Queen Anne Victorian. Originally the house had a wood shingle roof, that was replaced in 1925 with painted metal tile. This tile was popular throughout the 1920s and you can find it on many older homes from the era.
Forest Grove was built in 1844. This home is unique – it has 4 front doors! And it’s lived in by descendants of the original owner! Lyle Lansdell, the homeowner, was such a gracious hostess! I had the best time touring the home with her and learning the history of the home, and items that have been in the family for over 150 years. I could have spent the day visiting with her, she has the gift of being able to bring history to life. I hope to visit this home again.
The Greek Revival home below was originally built in 1855. Before the Civil War, major remodeling was completed – two rooms were added to the front of the house – so you step down from the front of the house to the original part of the house in the back.
The Wilcher-Etheridge House was originally built around 1840. When the Etheridges bought this home in 1979, it was in pretty rough condition. The home was actually moved from Glascock County to it’s current location. The house was cut into 3 parts and moved! Originally built as a 2 room log cabin, rooms were added on over the years. One room still has the exposed logs on them. I was amazed at all the work the homeowners tackled over the years.
Riding through town, there are so many great old homes – loved the big wraparound porch and fall décor on this one!
Tennille (say it like a local….it rhymes with “fennel”) is just south of Sandersville, with a population of around 1500. The town grew up around the railroad. The Wrightsville & Tennille Railroad Building, designed by architect Charles E. Choate is on the National Register of Historic Places. There are so many curves on the railroad line around here, that it was known as the “Wiggle & Twist”. This elaborate building is considered the Beaux Arts style. It was converted to a home at one point, I’m not sure of the current status of it.
Looking around downtown Tennille shops.
The Kelley-McCoy house was so much fun to tour. The 14 foot ceilings in this house are amazing in their own right. It’s only been in 2 families throughout its 100+ year history. Again, I was probably the slowest tourist they had here, I just enjoyed chatting with the homeowner and volunteer – learning about how the house evolved over the years. The master bedroom has a bed with the tallest headboard I’ve ever seen, it is actually 3 separate pieces. It looks perfect in this home with the very high ceilings. The deep porches that wrap around this house are so inviting.
There’s an event barn behind the house as well. I can tell you, it’s set up just perfectly to host an event!
The fall décor at the barn really impressed me. So creative!
Oaklodg (there is no “e” on the end, really!) was originally built in 1873. This house has evolved over the years! Originally more of a Craftsman style, Thomas Cook Wylly came to Tennille in 1910 to sell his mother’s home. He ended up staying here for almost 70 years, and the house had a major renovation in 1928. The bottom floor of the house was raised, and another bottom floor was added. Remodeled again in 1940, that’s when the front columns were added to this beautiful home. Eric and Jennifer Tillirson purchased the home in 2011, and are such gracious hosts. Some people have the knack to immediately make you feel welcome in their home!
Riding around Tennille, you see many great old cottages and bungalows. Just a couple of more photos….
Big thanks to the homeowners and volunteers on this tour of homes, and for their patience with me as a slow home tourist! Sandersville and Tennille are really interesting towns, and well worth a visit. And I sure appreciate you reading this week’s blog post!
Columbus, GA – Muscogee County – We recently looked at several of the oldest homes in Columbus here, and this week we’ll be visiting homes built after 1870, lots of Victorian and Classic Revival style homes.
I love this shotgun cottage! Just looks so welcoming – built circa 1880-1890s, there are several of these original tiny homes. All the Victorian detailing makes this stand out, and to me nothing is more southern than ferns hanging on the front porch during the summer!
Columbus has grown a lot over the years, but it’s encouraging to see how preservation-minded folks can continue to save old homes from progress. There are several homes that have been moved and restored, let’s take a look at a before and after.
The James A Walton house was built in 1890. The old photo above shows additions on the house – and below you can see just how amazing this home looks today after its move and renovation.
The Blackmar-Ellis House was originally built as a Victorian home in 1884 for John Blackmar. It was redesigned by Henrietta Dozier in 1912 – she was the first female architect in Georgia and the first woman in the south to receive formal architectural training!
When I posted this house picture on Instagram, it was a treat to hear from some of the descendants of the Blackmar-Ellis family. At one time there was an antiques store in the house, and it’s now a pediatrics office! John Blackmar’s daughter, Susie Blackmar Ellis, her husband John T. Ellis and family lived here until her death in 1981.
Another Victorian home that was moved is the William P. Hunt House. Here you can see the “before” photo of the house.
And after the move, this 1880 home is a Victorian showplace!
The Garrett-Bullock House is a feast of details for the eyes – there are details on nearly every single inch of this beautiful home. It was built in the early 1880s by Col. Joseph Simpson Garrett, who was postmaster as well as a prominent businessman. The house remained a private residence until the 1980s.
The Shepherd-Feimster House sits way off the road…as I read up on the house, I found out that the house was originally located a lot closer to the road. It was moved back 100 feet on the lot and enlarged around 1910. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to move a house without all the machinery we have today?
The Henry Lindsay Woodruff House stayed in the family for a while. Their son James Waldo Woodruff and his wife, the former Ethel Illges lived here. A radio station (WRBL 1420AM) once called this home!
Built 1887-1890, the Bullard-Hart-Sampson House is one of the most extravagant in Columbus. The house was built for prominent physician Dr. William L. Bullard, who was a pioneer in Ear, Nose and Throat specialization. This is a house with history – Franklin D Roosevelt announced his plans to reenter politics from the parlor of this house (he was being treated in nearby Warm Springs, where the FDR’s Little White House is located).
The current owners, Dr and Mrs Lloyd B Sampson have owned the home since 1978. While stationed at Ft Benning in 1972, Gloria Sampson fell in love with the Victorian homes in the area. She was sketching this house when she met the current owner and toured the house. Several years later, while living in California, they got a call that the house would be for sale and had three days to respond!
Here’s a look inside the house – the entry hall is 30 feet high – look at all the woodwork and detailing in this house. There’s so many textures going on – the house even has Lincrusti Walton wallpaper – the very heavy, embossed/textured wallpaper that became very popular during the late Victorian era.
Rankin House was started around 1860, but not completed for another decade due to the Civil War. This is now home to the Historic Columbus Foundation. The iron grillwork on this house is just amazing. Interestingly, back in 1898 the house was valued at $18,500 – the highest of any house in the city!
This one caught my eye with the many different angles and colors on it. And I love the porch!
This shotgun house stopped me in my tracks. With all the Victorian details you forget it’s a tiny house!
The home above was built in 1912 for John Paul Illges and his family. It remained in the family until around 1942. Mr. Illges had many financial and business interests around Columbus, including being Chief Executive of Golden’s Foundry and Machine Company. Golden’s is still in business and still held by the descendents of the 3 original founders!
Columbus has a rich history, and many beautiful homes around town. I can’t wait to visit again! Thanks so much for reading the blog, I really appreciate it!
Thomasville – Thomas County – We finally took a road trip to Southwest Georgia last month and spent a few days in Thomasville. Several people suggested a visit to Thomasville, and I’m so glad they did! Loved the charming downtown shops and restaurants. There are so many great old homes here, with many from the late Victorian era when the town was known as a winter resort.
Leroy enjoyed walks around Thomasville – and got him to stand still for more than 5 seconds to take a picture in front of one of the many great old homes in town.
Also undergoing some renovation is the Herberner House, built in 1857 and enlarged around 1820. This home was the vacation home of Baron and Baroness Vicco von Stralendorff. They hosted the famous sculptor Elisabet Ney and her husband Edmund Montgomery in their home.
The Dr T.E. Blackshear house stopped me and Leroy in our tracks on one of his walks. Well, that and we stop every 5-10 feet anyway…just loved the look of this home, and wanted to hang out on that front porch!
The antebellum home below is the Ransom Reid House – what a beautiful home!
The Lapham-Patterson House below is open as a house museum – what an interesting place! Built in the 1880s for a cost of $4,500 this 19 room Victorian was one of the first winter cottages. Charles Lapham, a shoe manufacturer from Chicago, had a fear of fires. And his fear of being trapped in a house fire led to the house having 45 doors! Over the years it was sold to James Patterson, whose daughter deeded it to the city, who transferred it to the state, etc. It’s one amazing Victorian home to explore, and well worth a tour!
The James Watt house originally had a large central tower. Watt is believed to be the first owner of a chain of hardware stores in the state of Georgia.
All Saints Episcopal Church is the oldest original church in Thomasville. The church was moved from it’s original location. Jacqueline Kennedy retreated to Thomasville for privacy after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and she attended mass at All Saints.
One of the oldest houses in its area, the Judge Augustin Hansell House was designed by famed local architect John Wind. He designed several of the large plantation houses that surround Thomasville. Interestingly, this house stayed in the Hansell family for 120 years.
The Ainsworth House is in the midst of a restoration. This Italianate home was built for livery stable owner H.B. Ainsworth
Balfour House was a favorite of mine. Built in 1904, I loved the double porches on this house! It’s said the interior wood for this house was hand picked.
Originally painted barn red, Burbank Cottage was built for Mrs. Evelyn Burbank of Wisconsin. The house is currently for sale, click here to see this home. There’s an orangery that’s used as a sunroom now. Really interesting looking home!
The Pittman House, circa 1888 was another favorite as we walked around Thomasville. Love the wraparound porch! The Pittman House has been in the family for 5 generations.
Leroy and I both really liked the Jerger House below. Built by Mrs. Cornelia Bird, a widow. Over the years the house was sold to the publisher of the local paper, and the Jerger family lived in the home from 1925 to 1995.
That’s our quick tour of a few of the beautiful old homes around Thomasville. For a look at visiting Thomasville, you can get great ideas here. We took lots of photos, so I will have another post in the future visiting more homes in Thomasville. Thanks so much for reading the blog, we sure do appreciate it!