The Elms – Columbus, Ga

Columbus, Ga – Muscogee County – As soon as I saw The Elms and a historical marker in front of the house, I couldn’t wait to find out more about it – and those 2 hexagonal wings!

The house was built for Lambert Spencer (the marker says 1844, so we’ll go with that).  Originally it was a simpler Greek Revival cottage – basically the center portion of the house we see today.

Historical Marker

The house was sold in 1862 to the Bowers family – and it stayed in the Bowers family for 104 more years!

Historical marker, part 2

The Bowers made several changes to the home after the Civil War.  In 1868, the two hexagonal wings were added to the house – and Lloyd Guyton Bowers hired an itinerant painter to paint ceiling frescoes, which took 6 months to complete.

The two wings originally had black and white marble square floors.  Bet those were beautiful!

The 1868 hexagonal addition

Sarah Bartlett Bowers had the formal garden in front of the house added in the shape of a butterfly.

Butterfly shaped garden in front of house

I was able to find some Historic American Buildings Survey photos, which offer a couple of views of the house in 1934.  Notice here how they are such small plantings compared to what we see over 80 years later.

HABS Photo, 1934, Library of Congress

In the back of the house, originally there were separate outbuildings, i.e. a separate kitchen, etc.  There was a covered porch added to reach them much later.

In 1966, the house was purchased and became the home of a radio station, WDAK.  The back portion of the house became the sound area etc.  Quite a change after having been in the Bowers family for 3 generations!

While I don’t have any recent information on the house, it is listed for sale, and there are some interior photos – from what I could tell it looked like one of the additions was now a master bathroom.  Really interesting house and history!

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