Cannonball House, built in 1853

Macon, Ga – Bibb County – Built circa 1853 for the family of Judge Asa Holt, the house is known as Cannonball House – after being struck by a cannonball in 1864 during the Civil War.  I toured this beautiful home a while back and learned more about its very interesting history.

The Holts built this “half house” for $7,000 in the 1850s.  A wealthy family with a large plantation in Jefferson County, this served as a winter home for them.

Findlay Foundry Fence (from 1856)

The decorative wrought iron fence is not original – it was moved from nearby Findlay House before – but its thought to be similar in style to what would have been here in the 1850s.


Cannonball House – damaged in 1864

So how did it get the name Cannonball House?  During the Civil War, a cannonball bounced off the sand sidewalk in front of the house, struck one of the front columns, went through the house above a parlor window and landed in the hallway – unexploded.

Looking for the cannonball damage! It was promprly repaired after hitting a column in 1864.

Judge Asa Holt’s first wife passed away in 1862, and he remarried less than 3 months later.  He was 72.  His second wife, Miss Nora Burke, was 30!

Cannonball House Becomes A House Museum

Descendents of the Holt family lived in this home until 1972.  It was sold to what is now “Friends of the Cannonball House” in the 1960s, with provision the last remaining descendent live upstairs the rest of her life.

circa 1900 photo – the one story office on the right was later moved to the left side of the house (Vanishing Georgia Archives, University System of Georgia)

Entering the foyer, you immediately notice the high ceilings.

Foyer, Cannonball House

Double Parlors are now founders room for 2 of the oldest sororities in the US – Alpha Delta Pi and Phi Mu!  They were founded in the 1850s at nearby Wesleyan college.  I didn’t realize they were the first sororities in the US – they have some amazing furnishings in the parlors!

Front parlor
Formal Dining Room in main house

Heading upstairs, I thought this was a funny story – the last descendent to live in the house had her apartment upstairs.  She would lower the front door key for visitors in a basket from the second floor!

Upstairs – one of the bedrooms

A detached kitchen and servants quarters are behind the house and so interesting to look around!

Kitchen/Eating Area

The great news is this is a house museum, and I highly recommend touring it if you’re in the Macon area.  With many period furnishings, family photographs, the sorority founders parlors, it’s a fascinating home to tour.  More information on house tours is available here.

Historical Marker

Macon has many beautiful antebellum and Victorian homes to admire!  I have written a couple of posts on Macon homes in the past, links available below:

Macon Antebellum Homes, Part 1 

Macon Antebellum Homes, Part 2

Thanks so much for taking this tour and reading the blog – I appreciate it!



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