Touring The Brown House, Sandersville

The Brown House, Sandersville, GA

Sandersville, Georgia – The Brown House (originally called Woodlawn Terrace), circa 1850, is operated as a house museum by the Washington County Historical Society.  I visited Washington County a couple of weeks ago and took a tour of the Brown House.  This is one of those houses that has a lot of history!  OK, I will mention now that the chimney recently collapsed at this home back when we were having all that rain around the holidays.  Then again, at 165 years old, these things happen.  This house stayed in the Brown Family for 125 years, which is just amazing.

I read about this house quite some time ago in on of my favorite old books, White Columns in Georgia, by Medora Field Perkerson.  Published in 1952, she wrote the history of many antebellum homes throughout Georgia, and how General Sherman stayed here and used this as his headquarters on his march to the sea in 1864.

William Gainer Brown was a merchant and planter.  He and his wife, Miriah Mitchell Brown had their portraits painted in the 1850s.  These have recently been restored and hang in the entrance hall of the Brown House.

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The view below is looking towards the front door.  This is a large house, big rooms, and a very high ceiling.  It’s been altered throughout the years and has a couple of Victorian renovations still present.

Brown House Center Hall

The large front parlor makes quite a first impression on guests to the home.  The desk on the left of the room is very similar to one that was in the home and used by General Sherman when this was his HQ.

Brown House Front ParlorThe house has changed quite a bit throughout the years.  The two sketches below show the house with two different looks.  The lower sketch shows the house as it appeared when built.  The upper sketch shows the house as it appears today, with a couple of Victorian additions including bay windows on the side.

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See the plates below?  I learned that these are the official Georgia historical plates, first produced in 1933 to celebrate Georgia’s bicentennial.  The more I learn about Sandersville, I’m just amazed by all the history here!  Interesting story about the plates, I’ve attached their website here.

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The silver below is significant.  It was hidden during the Civil War and not found for many years.  The story about it is great, but I don’t want to give a spoiler alert before you visit the Brown House.  Buried silver, found many many years later.

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Now as I mentioned, this was Sherman’s HQ in Sandersville  for a night.  There are almost as many Sherman slept here places as George Washington slept here places!  They slept a lot? Just kidding. This home really did host him in 1864, no question.

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This is the couch that he slept on when he was here, of course it’s been recovered since then!  In the photo above there’s a painting of him resting in here.

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The upstairs was closed on my visit due to all the work going on with the chimneys, but I look forward to coming back here and visiting the Brown House again!

The Brown House in Sandersville, circa 1850

20160507_130952_HDRThanks for taking a look at this house tour, I appreciate you reading the blog!

Beaufort, SC – A Few Favorite Homes

Beaufort, South Carolina – Yes, we are across the state line this week!  Last month’s road trip included a visit to Beaufort, SC.  This was my first visit there, and WOW the great old houses.  Beaufort is the second oldest town in South Carolina, and this small town has a lot of interesting old homes to see.  So much history here.

So many homes to see, it was hard to narrow down a few to share on the blog.  First stop in Beaufort was the Visitors Center, which is located in the old arsenal, built in the 1700s!  There’s a really interesting museum located on site too, and well worth a visit.  There are several neat shops and restaurants in their downtown, but for now let’s look at some of the great homes.

Beaufort is named for the Duke of Beaufort

This is the Lewis Reeves Sams house, and I love the porches, the picket fence, just everything about it!

Lewis Reeve Sams House Beaufort

“Tabby Manse” caught my attention.  It was built around 1786, and it’s one of the oldest surviving houses in Beaufort.  It has 2 foot thick exterior walls of tabby (oyster shells mixed with limestone), which are covered with stucco.

"Tabby Manse" - the c 1786 Thomas Fuller House
“Tabby Manse” – the c 1786 Thomas Fuller House

The wrought iron fence, double porches, etc….this is one beautiful old home.

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I couldn’t get over the porches and columns on the houses I saw in Beaufort.

William Elliot House, "The Anchorage", built circa 1770-1800 with major remodel early 1900s.
William Elliot House, “The Anchorage”, built circa 1770-1800 with major remodel early 1900s.

This is the John A Cuthbert House.  It was situated to take advantage of the breezes off the water, and from what I read it was under threat of demolition in the 1970s.  Glad this was saved, it operates as an inn today.

Built c 1810, with major remodeling in 1830s or 40s
Built c 1810, with major remodeling in 1830s or 40s

While there were many antebellum homes I admired, this Victorian/Queen Anne caught my eye!  Looking good for 106 years old!  It’s the Emil Lengnick house, and had only 2 owners.

Built 1910, now operates as North Street Inn
Built 1910, now operates as North Street Inn

Now this great house below is the Charles Edward Leverett house, built around 1800.  Mr Leverett purchased this house in the 1850s for $1,800.  Add quite a few zeroes for today’s prices!

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The yellow house below is the 1896 E.A. Scheper house.  Originally it’s thought to have been a lot more Victorian looking, with gingerbread trim, etc.  The house was completely rebuilt in 1938 into a more colonial look.

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Loved the fence in front of this house!  It was built in 1910 on the foundation of a one story cottage.

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Now this brick house has some huge columns!  It was built in 1852.  See those two cute dogs on the porch?  It’s the Berner Barnwell Sams house.

2 "guard dogs" on the porch!
2 “guard dogs” on the porch!

I just loved everything about this one as soon as I saw it!

Beaufort SC House 803

This last one was a particular favorite, set back in live oaks – this antebellum home with the two story wraparound front porches was another favorite!

Paul Hamilton House, "The Oaks", built 1855
Paul Hamilton House, “The Oaks”, built 1855

There are many, many more beautiful old homes in Beaufort.  Thanks so much for reading the blog, I sure do appreciate it!

Marietta – A Few Favorite Homes

 

Marietta, GA – Cobb County – It’s hard to just pick a few favorite old homes in Marietta, there are so many great ones there!  The more I walked around the area, I kept finding more and more old homes.  In the last post, I shared a tour of the 1840s Root House, operated by Cobb Landmarks as a house museum.  Here are a few other homes I love in Marietta:

Tower Oaks

This is “Tower Oaks”, built circa 1882. Talk about curb appeal!  This is home to some of the founding members of Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society, who are both in their 90s now.  This is the only Marietta home that can be called “Italian Villa” style, which was popular at the time.  Interestingly, there was a fire in this house in 1911, and when it was remodeled there was a door leading to nowhere in the dining room!

Howell-Sessions House

This beauty is the circa 1851 Howell-Sessions House.  These are said to be the largest columns on a residence in the state of Georgia, they are massive.  This is one huge home.  It actually served as a girls school a time, and later as the first public grammar school.  The granite on the front steps and porch floor is said to be quarried from Stone Mountain.

Trammell-Shaw House

Above is the 1893 Trammell-Shaw House.  I just love the picket fence…and that porch!!!

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Now this is one big house with the Corinthian columns!  It’s the 1905 Robert McNeel house.  This house was deisgned by architect James Golucke, who designed many county courthouses around Georgia, including DeKalb, Coweta, and Henry counties.  I visited the turn of the century courthouse in my visit to Newnan earlier this year.

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This yellow house caught my eye as I was walking around Marietta.  It was built in either 1879 or 1884, with a major addition in 1900.  I would love to hang out on this great front porch!

Jones-Pace-Schupp

The 1905 Jones-Pace-Schupp house was a particular favorite of mine.  I can almost forgive all the pollen in the air when I see so many great blooms!

Marietta 3

The variety of houses around Marietta made it so much fun to photograph.  The house above is the 1884 Starr-McClure house.

Marietta

And the front porch here immediately caught my attention!  Love a wraparound porch.  This is the 1895 Wiggins-Morris House.

Trammell House

The  circa 1887Trammell House above, was just on tour during the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Spring Ramble.  Beautiful place!

Thanks so much for checking out a few of my favorite houses in Marietta.  I sure do appreciate it!

 

 

 

 

 

Marietta – Root House Tour

Root House Front View

Marietta – It was a beautiful spring day, so I decided to visit the William Root House and Gardens just off the square in Marietta.  The house, built circa 1845, is set up to reflect a middle-class Georgia family during the 1850s.  Let me tell you, this is one interesting home to tour!  This is a Plantation Plain style (Or I-House), which is 2 rooms over 2 rooms with a center hall.  So that’s 4 rooms, and in the 1850s there were 11 members of the Root family living here!  William Root was a druggist, and set up shop in the 1840s.  His business included dry goods, and from what I learned, they were very much a middle class family – some years were good, some not so good.  Marietta was barely a decade old when Root built this house.

This Marietta house shows the life of a middle-class Georgia family in the 1850s

This is one of the oldest homes remaining in Marietta.  Let’s go in and tour!

Root House Foyer Marietta

Entering the main parlor, these are all accurate furnishings for the 1850s.  This would have been the room the family had company in, and it is the most ornate in the house.  See that wallpaper?  It’s a bold pattern.  It’s the pattern that was originally in this house, under layers and layers of wallpaper.  The carpet is 3 foot sections sewn together.  And in the summer, they covered the furniture and took up the carpet!

 

 

Public Room Root House Marietta

This house has been moved a couple of times from it’s original location, most recently in 1990 when the house was saved by Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society.  There’s some good information about it on the Root House site.  The Root House was converted into 4 apartments for a period of time in the first half of the 1900s.

Family Room

Directly across the hall is the north room, which I’m gonna call the family room.  It served multiple purposes, and generally was only used by the family.  There’s the wallpaper again!  And yes, that’s a bed you see in here.  Given that there were 11 people living here, very likely to have one person staying in this room.

Bedroom View 1

Heading upstairs you see one of the bedrooms.  Now just think, 5 people slept in this room!  It’s not as ornate, which is normal in these older homes – the public rooms is where they spent the money on decoration.  Looking at the rope bed here, it sure makes me appreciate our modern mattreses!

Bed

Of course no closet up here, very normal for this time period.  Generally speaking, people just didn’t have as many clothes as we do today – family members might each have 3 total outfits.  Of course I’ve heard that closets were counted as a room and taxed too.

clothes

Now we headed outside to see the kitchen building.  Kitchens were separate buildings during this time as there was high risk of fire.

Kitchen

I loved checking out this kitchen, and the high tech gadgetry of the 1850s.  The gardens here only grow items that were available in area in the 1850s, so you get a real feel for an in-town garden.  Marietta had a 5 foot fence law established many years ago as folks kept pigs, chickens, etc. in their yards.

kitchen

Now this cookstove is one of the new gadgets of the day in this time period.  That’s a 6 burners stove you see here!  When you put the wood in the left here, the stove top cooks at different temperatures as you go across it.  So the area just above the wood would cook at High, the middle at Medium, and the right at Low.

Stove

 

There’s a “2 seater” outhouse on the property too, and I learned about life before there was Charmin toilet paper! The Root House is a property of Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society, they’ve got several neat events throughout the year so check them out!

Root House Marietta Outhouse Well and Kitchen

Beekeeping was done in the mid-1800s as well, interesting to see how they did it back then.

Beekeeping

 

One last look at the Root House from the back yard.

Root House Marietta

 

That’s it for our visit of the Root House, next up –  a few of my favorites homes around Marietta.  Thanks so much for reading the blog, I sure do appreciate it!  I also am adding regular updates to Instagram, just search and follow oldgeorgiahomes.

 

 

 

Newnan – A Few Favorite Homes

Newnan, GA – Coweta County – Newnan is known as the “city of homes”, and I recently had an opportunity to explore the historic districts in Newnan.  Wow – what a great variety of historic homes around town!  I started out the visit at the Visitors Center, which is in the restored 1904 courthouse on the square.  If you are around there, take the tour of the courthouse, really interesting!

Coweta County Historic Courthouse

 

View from the gallery in the courtroom – lots of faux graining done on the wood throughout the courthouse, keeping costs down using pine in a lot of the construction.

Courtroom

I got a couple of good self-guided tour pamphlets, and suggestions on streets I should go and check out.  The great thing about Newnan, you can walk to a lot of the different historic neighborhoods right from the square.  Right away, I wanted this house as soon as I saw it! It’s go so many interesting things going on!

Circa 1895 Temple AVe

Interestingly, the same architect who designed the courthouse also designed this circa 1895 house.  J.W. Golucke was the architect for quite a few courthouses around Georgia, including the historic DeKalb County Courthouse (Decatur), Meriwether County, and quite a few more.  It’s said that this home was sited so that the North Star is directly over the ridgepole of the front porch roof.

 

As soon as I saw Buena Vista, I was interested in this house.  Turns out this was built as a cottage in 1830, and this 2 story addition was added in 1852.  It was the home of Hugh Buchanan in the 1850s – he was both a U.S. Congressman and judge. I just wanted to go sit on the front porch a while, but suppose the owners wouldn’t appreciate that!

Buena Vista

Now these are some serious columns on this house!  Built in 1869 as a one story cottage, it was greatly expanded in 1894 and called “White Lodge”.  This is what’s considered Classic Revival architecture.

Circa 1869

Now this house below was one that caught my eye.  It was built in the 1870s as a “town house” of a local plantation owner. Now in case you were wondering why I took these pictures from nearly on the ground – I was just trying to avoid the power lines!

1870s

It was love at first sight when I saw this 1896 Queen Anne Victorian home.  This was a very grand home when built, but over the years it was divided into apartments.  Back in the 1970s it was converted back to a single family home.

Circa 1896

Now this grand home sure gets your attention – this is the Glover Trezevant home, built in 1923.

Glover Trezevant Home

This beauty was originally a much smaller house, built around 1850.  It was remodeled and expanded in a Victorian style in 1872.  Love that porch!

Circa 1850

Loved the look of this house below.  It was a doctor’s home and office at one time, and it was also a boarding house over the years.

Circa 1800s

Now this house below might look familiar – it was in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.  This was built as a farmhouse in 1835, and remodeled quite a few times over the years.  The columns and balcony were added around 1850.  This house has been recently remodeled to reflect the 1850s appearance, would love to go in there and check it out!

34 College

 

There are so many beautiful old homes in Newnan it was hard to pick a few to share.  Thanks so much for reading the blog, I appreciate it!  If you’re on Instagram, I post pics of homes frequently as oldgeorgiahomes, so feel free to check out HERE for more house photos.