Sparta, Ga – Hancock County – The Harris-Middlebrooks House was originally built as a dormitory around 1832. The Sparta Female Model School (no, not modeling – this was a private school teaching arts and sciences) had several buildings, only a couple survive today.
In antebellum days, Sparta was a very prosperous town and many old homes remain today. About $40,000 was invested in the school when it was built. Later converted to a private residence, you can see the detached kitchen building to the left.
Colonel Benjamin Harris occupied the home in the mid 1800s. He was a major planter in Hancock County and served on the Governor’s staff. The house was noted for its rose garden in the front.
The Harris family hosted writer Eliza Frances Andrews, a famous author, at the end of the Civil War. She and her sister were en route to their family home in Washington, Georgia. She wrote of the hospitality of the Harris family.
There is another dormitory that still exists, a twin of this one. It is in a much different condition, as seen below.
After the Harris family, the home was owned by the Middlebrooks family for many years. Back in the 1930s the house had an elliptical walkway and large cedar trees. Today we can see one large cedar, and the trunk of another one.
The Harris-Middlebrooks House, now 187 years old, has seen a lot of history on Maiden Lane in Sparta.