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!


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.


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!

6 Replies to “Commerce, GA – A Few Favorite Old Homes”

  1. Hi there! We bought the Governor Hardman house in commerce about 2 years ago. Actually we closed on the house and 5 acres on September 2016- right after you published this article. We are fully restoring the house and grounds. We would love to have you do a feature on the house after we have completed th restorations.
    The house is amazing original condition and was in tact with only the bathrooms and kitchen updated in the 1950s. There was severe termite damage over the years that we have been correcting and stablizing the structure. The interior rooms are very grand and tue house has signature interior beveled french doors throughout.
    A few fun facts about this house that Governor Hardman added when he built it..
    He had a 1919 Interior central vacuum system put in the house and the original openings are mostly still in tact in each rooms base boards. It had a broiler the size of a small car in the basement level. It also has a fully cement room in the basement under the kitchen that was Governor Hardmans storm room – we heard he was terrified of tornados. There is an amazing rare green house that is in the basement off the back. It is all still in tact only needing a new roof which we plan on putting on. There is a Tiffany stain glass in the formal stairwell landing.. so much more we could share! We are so honored to have gotten the house to restore it!

    1. Thanks for stopping by the blog, and WOW love learning more about the house! Enjoying watching the house as it undergoes restoration. I’d love to do a feature on it when it’s complete!

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