Thomson, Ga – McDuffie County – Usry House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, interested me as soon as I read about it. The house is one that grew over the years to meet the needs of the Usry family. Originally the house was a one or two room cabin. Usry House has had distinguished visitors, and a railroad was created in its parlor. Lots of interesting history here!
William Usry built this as a one or two room cabin around 1795-1805. A planter with large land holdings, the family also owned a lumber mill or grist mill a few miles away. Over the years, the house grew to become a Plantation Plain style (2 rooms over 2 rooms).
I mentioned this house has had distinguished visitors. This house was the center of antebellum society in the area. Marquis de Lafayette toured all 24 states in the US (yep, there were only 24 states at this time) during 1824 and 1825. He spent a couple of weeks in Georgia, and is said to have visited here. Imagine the honor of entertaining this Revolutionary War Hero at your home! General Lafayette was the last living French general that had participated in the Revolutionary War. Travel was slow, there were no railroads yet, so it was all via horse carriages.
The Usry family owned a lot of land, and as their wealth increased the Usry House continued to grow. This National Register of Historic Places photo gives us a peek inside the house.
I mentioned the family owned a lumber mill – and needed to haul the lumber quickly. They built a 7 mile railroad to transport lumber to Dearing, Ga. This connected to Augusta and Atlanta. The Goodrich-Usry railroad operated in the 1870s and 1880s. It’s said the railroad was created in the parlor of this house!
Interesting to think of how long this house has remained in the family, and the history here! One last look at Usry House, sitting pretty on a side street in Thomson.
There are amazing homes around Thomson, and much more to explore. The oldest rock house in Georgia is located nearby, and I wrote an article on it a while back:
Thanks so much for reading the blog and learning about the interesting history of Usry House, I appreciate it!