10 Favorite Old Homes in 2017

Happy New Year!  Looking back through 2017, we saw some amazing Old Homes in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi!  This would have published earlier but I’ve been recovering from the Rose Bowl – what a game.  Go Dawgs! Getting to just 10 homes is difficult – would rather use a top 100 but figured that post would be way too long LOL.   These are in no particular order!

Continue reading “10 Favorite Old Homes in 2017”

Columbus – More Beautiful Old Homes

Columbus, GA – Muscogee County – We recently looked at several of the oldest homes in Columbus here, and this week we’ll be visiting homes built after 1870, lots of Victorian and Classic Revival style homes.

I love this shotgun cottage!  Just looks so welcoming – built circa 1880-1890s, there are several of these original tiny homes.  All the Victorian detailing makes this stand out, and to me nothing is more southern than ferns hanging on the front porch during the summer!

Shotgun Cottage

Columbus has grown a lot over the years, but it’s encouraging to see how preservation-minded folks can continue to save old homes from progress.  There are several homes that have been moved and restored, let’s take a look at a before and after.

BEFORE Photo – James A Walton House (from HABS)

The James A Walton house was built in 1890.  The old photo above shows additions on the house – and below you can see just how amazing this home looks today after its move and renovation.

AFTER Photo – James A. Walton House

The Blackmar-Ellis House was originally built as a Victorian home in 1884 for John Blackmar.  It was redesigned by Henrietta Dozier in 1912 – she was the first female architect in Georgia and the first woman in the south to receive formal architectural training!
When I posted this house picture on Instagram, it was a treat to hear from some of the descendants of the Blackmar-Ellis family.  At one time there was an antiques store in the house, and it’s now a pediatrics office!  John Blackmar’s daughter, Susie Blackmar Ellis, her husband John T. Ellis and family lived here until her death in 1981.

Blackmar-Ellis House, circa 1900

Another Victorian home that was moved is the William P. Hunt House.  Here you can see the “before” photo of the house.

Before Photo – Hunt House

And after the move, this 1880 home is a Victorian showplace!

After Photo – William P. Hunt House

The Garrett-Bullock House is a feast of details for the eyes – there are details on nearly every single inch of this beautiful home.  It was built in the early 1880s by Col. Joseph Simpson Garrett, who was postmaster as well as a prominent businessman.  The house remained a private residence until the 1980s.

Garrett-Bullock House

The Shepherd-Feimster House sits way off the road…as I read up on the house, I found out that the house was originally located a lot closer to the road.  It was moved back 100 feet on the lot and enlarged around 1910.  Can you imagine how hard it must have been to move a house without all the machinery we have today?

Shepherd-Feimster House, Columbus
Shepherd-Feimster House, built 1888

The Henry Lindsay Woodruff House stayed in the family for a while.  Their son James Waldo Woodruff and his wife, the former Ethel Illges lived here.  A radio station (WRBL 1420AM) once called this home!

Henry Lindsay Woodruff House

Built 1887-1890, the Bullard-Hart-Sampson House is one of the most extravagant in Columbus.  The house was built for prominent physician Dr. William L. Bullard, who was a pioneer in Ear, Nose and Throat specialization.  This is a house with history – Franklin D Roosevelt announced his plans to reenter politics from the parlor of this house (he was being treated in nearby Warm Springs, where the FDR’s Little White House is located).
The current owners, Dr and Mrs Lloyd B Sampson have owned the home since 1978.  While stationed at Ft Benning in 1972, Gloria Sampson fell in love with the Victorian homes in the area.  She was sketching this house when she met the current owner and toured the house.  Several years later, while living in California, they got a call that the house would be for sale and had three days to respond!

Bullard-Hart-Sampson House

Here’s a look inside the house – the entry hall is 30 feet high – look at all the woodwork and detailing in this house. There’s so many textures going on – the house even has Lincrusti Walton wallpaper – the very heavy, embossed/textured wallpaper that became very popular during the late Victorian era.

Bullard House Foyer Details (from NRHP Listing)

Rankin House was started around 1860, but not completed for another decade due to the Civil War.  This is now home to the Historic Columbus Foundation.  The iron grillwork on this house is just amazing.  Interestingly, back in 1898 the house was valued at $18,500 – the highest of any house in the city!

Rankin House

This one caught my eye with the many different angles and colors on it.  And I love the porch!

Along South Broadway

This shotgun house stopped me in my tracks.  With all the Victorian details you forget it’s a tiny house!

Another great shotgun house

The home above was built in 1912 for John Paul Illges and his family.  It remained in the family until around 1942.  Mr. Illges had many financial and business interests around Columbus, including being Chief Executive of Golden’s Foundry and Machine Company. Golden’s is still in business and still held by the descendents of the 3 original founders!

John Paul Illges House

Columbus has a rich history, and many beautiful homes around town.  I can’t wait to visit again!  Thanks so much for reading the blog, I really appreciate it!



Columbus – Antebellum Homes

Columbus, Ga – Muscogee County – Recently took a daytrip to Columbus, and found many historic homes….so many that I’m splitting this into a couple of posts.  This week we are checking out antebellum homes in Columbus.

“St Elmo” – originally called “El Dorado” – Built 1828-1833

First we have to check out “St Elmo”.  The house was begun in 1828 and completed in 1833.  And all the materials for this house (except marble and mahogany) are from the property itself.  Two U.S. Presidents have been entertained here – President Millard Fillmore, and President James K. Polk.  The house is the inspiration for the celebrated novel “St. Elmo”, and the name was changed in 1878 to honor the novel it inspired.

Illges House, Built 1850

The Illges House above is one that stops you in your tracks!  Built in 1850, this Greek Revival/Italianate home was updated in 1877 with the ironwork, including the fence.  The Illges Family owned the home until 1946.  Interestingly, it was purchased by James Waldo Woodruff in 1958 for his wife, the former Ethel Illges.

The Oldest House in Columbus – built 1828

The Walker-Peters-Langdon house is the oldest house in Columbus, built in 1828.  It’s actually considered a prefabricated home!  Homes were built to be easily moved as Columbus was first established.  The home stayed in the Langdon family for 118 years, until 1967.

Goetchius House, 1839

Richard Rose Goetchius built this beautiful home in 1839 for his wife.  The ironwork is reminiscent of New Orleans homes.  The house was nearly demolished to create a parking lot – fortunately the Woodruff family stepped in, moved the house and restored it in the late 1960s.

Dinglewood Mansion (1858) – Photo from UGA Digital Archives

Dinglewood is still standing; however, it’s on a large lot and not viewable from the street.  I found this old photo to include.  This home was built without any thought of expense.  Originally the home of Joel Early Hurt, his only child, the legendary Julia Hurt was a famous Georgia beauty.  In fact while she was in Paris, the attracted the attention of Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, great-nephew of the Emperor Napoleon!  That romance went nowhere, and she eventually married Lee Jordon of Macon, who is said to have been the wealthiest man in Georgia.

The Folly – an 1860s Octagonal Addition

The Folly – it’s unusual to find an octagon house, so I was excited to see this one!  An earlier home is behind the octagonal addition (completed in the 1860s).

Lion House, circa 1840s

Lion House (originally known as the Hoxey-Cargill House), built in the 1840s is named for the 2 Nubian Lions in front of the house – one awake, and one asleep.  This one hides behind trees – so many interesting stories about this house.  There’s a tunnel under the house that goes to the nearby Chattahoochee River.   And the history of this house is fascinating.  During the Civil War, the family hid their mules and provisions in the basement, and hams were hung in the upstairs rooms.  A few years after the war, a hoard of gold coins was discovered in a window casing of the house!  The house was moved about 300 feet to its present location.

Lion House, 1960s (from NRHP)

The Georgia Legislature founded Columbus in 1828

Wynn House, built late 1830s

The Wynn House was built by Colonel William Wynn – one of the earliest and most prominent residents of Columbus.  This is another house that has moved…about 300 feet – by mule power.  Originally 100 acres, this home was sold in 1855 for $14,000!

Swift House, built 1848

The imposing Swift House was built in 1848.  It came into the Swift family around 1917.  It sits way back from the road – and was recently for sale.  There’s a neat video of the property you can see here

Joseph House
Joseph House, circa 1842

The Joseph House is considered an early Greek Revival Cottage.  The Joseph family owned the home for over 100 years.  Tropical fern vines were brought upriver from Apalachicola, Florida – easy to do, as Mr. Joseph owned the steamboat line.  A rose garden behind the home was one of the prettiest in town.

The Elms
The Elms, Built 1844

The Elms may have been my favorite stop during the tour of Columbus.  The central part of the house dates back to 1844.  The Bowers family purchased the house in the 1860s and added the two hexagonal wings…and they laid out a formal butterfly shaped garden.  The house stayed in the Bowers family for 100 years.  It had a for sale sign when I was there – it’s listed for $365,000!

Our next Columbus visit will focus on Victorian homes.  Thanks so much for reading the blog – I sure do appreciate it!