Bartow, Georgia – Jefferson County – Bartow has been on my list to visit for a long time, and the weather finally cooperated for a visit. With a population of about 300, this tiny town has big history. The inventor of the Jeep, which was used in World War 2, grew up here! There’s a great variety of houses to see here.
My first stop in town? An antebellum house, of course! The Johnson-Jordan House, completed in 1860. It has that “old south” look. It’s served as a bed and breakfast.
Heading just down the street, I love this 1895 Victorian cottage. The bay window, wraparound porch, etc – just perfect!
Heading into downtown, the 1859 train depot now serves as a local museum. The land in this area was purchased by James Speir in 1815. He gave a right of way to the railroad connecting Atlanta to Savannah. The town became known as “Speir’s Turnout”, because there was a second set of rails here (think of it as a passing lane on the highway, but for trains).
The Cedars had been planned to be a much grander home than we see today. Construction started around 1860 on this home, but the Civil War brought things to a halt. The house was unfinished in 1864 when General Sherman’s troops passed by – literally on the road in front of the house.
Construction continued after the Civil War, but times were tough. Children would look under the frame of the house and find any nails that could be used to complete the house. It’s a really beautiful setting with the old cedar trees.
Bartow was known as “Speir’s Turnout”
Walking around, I enjoyed looking at a variety of homes.
The Smith-Evans house is one that stops you in your tracks! This grand home looks much older, it was built in 1916.
There’s a good website about Bartow here
Quick video view of the Johnson Jordan House, 1860
That’s a quick tour of the tiny town of Bartow – always fun learning about the history of a tiny town with so many great old homes. Thanks so much for reading the blog, I appreciate it!