Gainesville, Ga – Historic Homes Tour

Gainesville, Georgia – Hall County – Last weekend we had the chance to attend the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Spring Ramble, featuring tours throughout Toccoa, Gainesville, and Clarkesville.  There are many homes and public buildings on the tour, here are a few favorites from Gainesville.

Mule Camp Springs – original name of Gainesville

Many of the homes were located along Green Street and have become businesses over the years.  Always glad to see old homes saved as a city progresses over the years.  Walking along the sidewalk the J.C. Pruitt home caught my eye.  I was able to find a 1919 photo of the home when it was just a few years old.

The Pruitt-Wheeler-Whitmer House
1919 Photo of J.C. Pruitt Homes (from Vanishing Georgia Archives)

The Queen Anne/Victorian Smith-Palmer-Estes House was not part of the tour, but I had to stop and admire this beauty.  It’s around 5,000 square feet and features ornate Victorian touches throughout.  Found an interior photo from a real estate website and included below.

Smith-Palmer-Estes House, Built 1886
Foyer of Smith-Palmer-Estes House

Walking along Green Street, there are so many big white houses with columns – this was where many prominent citizens lived.  Like the arched windows on this one below.

Along Green Street

The 1910 Dunlap House now operates as The Space on Green Street – we were able to see part of the downstairs of this huge home, which has an area dedicated to Gainesville history in the hallway.

Built 1910, The Dunlap House – now the Spa on Green Street

As we checked out some side streets, we stumbled on this cottage below.  It’s got so many great elements, love the picket fence!

Love everything about this cottage!

Now, would you believe the house below is Mellow Mushroom Pizza restaurant?  It was built around 1915 for Dr. John B. Rudolph, who was mayor of Gainesville as well as a prominent doctor in town.  His wife enjoyed working in the garden, and it featured over 134 varieties of plants and trees!

The 1916 Dixon-Rudolph House, now operating as Mellow Mushroom Pizza.

The Walters House, built in 1909 has all the classic old south elements with the big porch and white columns.  This house was once home to Mr. Felix Jackson, who designed Gainesville’s first skyscraper.

Walters House, Built 1909

This is another one of the large homes along Green Street – look closely and you can see the haint blue porch ceiling.  It’s considered a southern superstition – the haint blue color was used to ward off evil spirits.

Classic Revival on Green Street
The Shelby-Mitchell House

As we headed off to Green Street circle, found a variety of homes that caught my eye on the winding street.  This area was built on what was originally a resort hotel in Gainesville.

This one caught my eye!

Gainesville is known as the “Poultry Capital of the World”

Our final stop on the tour in Gainesville was to see the Jewell-Rochester House.  Jesse Jewel – who is considered the father of the poultry industry in the area lived in this Craftsman bungalow.  This home has been added to over the years, and is deceptively large once you go inside.  Talking to the homeowners, it was fascinating learning about all the restoration they have done over the years.  It’s very much a livable family home, and respects it’s origins.  I wanted to move in this house!

Built 1915, the Jewell-Rochester House

You can see from this side view hos the house grew over the years.  The part in the middle is the original 4 room house, with additions to the front and rear of the home.

Side View

Now our last stop on the tour was outside of Gainesville – and it’s not a house!  But it was so interesting to see, I wanted to share it with you.  Located a few miles away in Lula is Healan’s-Head’s mill, which is the last standing gristmill in Hall County.  The old photo below shows a great view of the mill in the 1800s.

Head’s Mill/Healon’s Mill in the late 1800s

Built in 1852, it’s currently under restoration by Hall County in partnership with interested citizens.  It’s been stabilized and it’s fascinating to see.  Over the years it’s been used to grind wheat, corn, and create lumber.  The wheel was made of wood and the new one metal one was not put in until the 1930s.

Healan’s Mill, Built in 1852
Great restoration in progress.

Thanks so much for coming along on our tour of historic homes in Gainesville – there is so much more to see, can’t wait to go back!  Appreciate you taking the time to read the blog.