Athens, GA – (Go Dawgs!) While many old homes have been lost to progress, the Phinizy-Hunnicutt house is a local survivor. Owned by a couple of prominent Athens families, this house has seen its share of history!
Built in 1855 by John E Phinizy, the house originally sat much farther back on the lot than what we see today. The iron railings on this house were produced locally by the Athens Foundry. The Athens Foundry produced several iconic Athens pieces, including the famed arch at UGA, and the double-barreled cannon that’s in front of city hall!
The detailed iron work is amazing – I had to get a closer look at it, just look at all the detail! To think, this was done in the 1850s!
The house was sold in 1894 to Dr John A. Hunnicutt and family. As I learned more about Hunnicutt, his accomplishments during his 91 years are just amazing:
- Elected Mayor of Athens in 1889
- Partner in Athens Electric Railroad Company
- Chairmen of the local Board of Education in 1898
- Director of Insurance Company
- Introduced first pure bred cattle in this part of Georgia
- Bank President
- Trustee – Lucy Cobb Institute
- Methodist Church Trustee
The Hunnicutt family, along with several other prominent Athens families (Phinizy, Cobb, Harris, Irwin etc.) bought a hotel at nearby Madison Springs (Madison County). The families made this a private club, and the Hunnicutts would spend a couple of months here each summer. Madison Springs was known for it’s water, known to cure many maladies!
Progress marches on, and the large lot this house sat on was ripe for development. Apartments were built at the back of the lot, and the house was moved forward and renovated.
Today the house has been converted to office use. Amazing to think of this house and the families that called this home – they’d recognize the house, except it’s just been moved much closer to the road from its original position. I’m just glad to see an old house saved!
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