Sandersville, GA – Washington County – As with so many old towns, there are more great homes than I can include in one post! I concentrated my visit this time on the North Harris Street district of Sandersville. aka Silk Stocking Street. More about Silk Stocking Street below. Sandersville has been the county seat of Washington County since 1796, and has a population of around 6,100. Home to a one time governor, prominent architect, and many other interesting folks, there’s a great history here.
My first stop in Sandersville was The Brown House Museum, operated by the Washington County Historical Society. Interesting house with so much history, I posted a separate inside tour of the house here. This house was built around 1850, and if you’re ever in the area it’s a great house tour.
The Washington County Courthouse was built in 1869, on the site of the former courthouse that was burned in 1864. The Farmers Market was just wrapping up as I arrived here.
The Paris House, below, has an interesting history. This is where author Rachel Theresa Paris grew up. She wrote the book Silk Stocking Street, published in 1970. This book was her recollection of stories growing up on here. It’s called Silk Stocking Street because people in this wealthy area were able to buy silk stockings to wear to church on Sundays.
The Paris House above is one of several that are attributed to a well-known architect, Charles E Choate. He was active throughout many towns in Georgia, with a large concentration here. Interestingly, his niece was one of the first female architects and practiced in Macon.
The Holt-Sullivan house below is considered a Beaux Arts house and was built around 1916 for banker Lewis Holt. The round porch is one of only a couple I’ve seen in my travels so far. The upstairs balcony is a reverse circle.
The Mark Newman House below predates the Civil War, built around 1855. It’s actually a 2 level house – there are a foyer and two large rooms, and then a step down to four original rooms.
I always love the folk cottages that I see in so many towns, and the example below caught my eye.
The house below, the Cohen-Tarbutton House, has quite an interesting history. Built around 1904 it is a design of Charles E. Choate. There have been several owners to this house, including Thomas W. Hardwick, who was at one time Governor of Georgia.
I did a bit of reading on Governor Hardwick, and his many years in politics. He was the Prosecutor of Washington County for a while, before going to the state House of Representatives, then to the U.S. House of Representatives, then to the U.S. Senate, then to Governor of Georgia (1921-23).
As Governor, he appointed Georgia’s only female U.S. Senator in 1922! Rebecca Ann Latimer Felton was sworn in as the first female U.S. Senator in November 1922. Oh, and even more impressive, she was 87 years old at that time and thus not only first female senator, but oldest freshman senator until that time. Politics is politics, even back in 1922 and there had been a special election, so she only served for 24 hours.
Governor Hardwick, his Sandersville house above, appointed the first female U.S. Senator in 1922!
Researching these old homes digs up so many interesting stories, huh? The Holt -Slade House below is also attributed to Charles E. Choate. The original owner, Lake B. Holt was a banker and businessman. Joe Slade who later lived here was a former mayor.
The house above, I don’t have any information on it – but look at how fantastic it is! Hope to learn more about this one soon. It stopped me in my tracks as soon as I saw it.
Now below is a Victorian sheriff’s home which is combined with the county jail! Built circa 1891, this housed the sheriff’s family in the front, and you can see on the very back the jail cells. This was in use until 1975. It’s now a museum and genealogy center. I didn’t have a chance to go inside, but I heard it’s rumored to be haunted by the spirit of “Essie”. I’ll have to go back and check this place out too!
Sandersville is one amazing town – so much history, and a great downtown square to check out. The farmer’s market on Saturday mornings is fantastic. As always, appreciate you taking the time to read the blog! Thank you!