Quincy, FL – Beautiful Old Homes

Quincy, FL – We are crossing the state line today and visiting a beautiful North Florida town that’s full of history.  Just 8 miles outside of Georgia, the area was quickly developed after the US acquired the Territory of Florida from Spain in 1821.

The Stockton-Curry House is a great example of antebellum architecture.  Built for Isaac Harris, it was then sold to the Stockton family.  Phillip A. Stockton and his brother moved from Pennsylvania to supervise mail coaches going from St. Augustine to Mobile.  The house was sold in 1902 to the C.H. Curry family.   Four generations of the Curry family have lived in this beautiful home.

Stockton-Curry House, built 1840s

John Lee McFarlin built the massive Victorian below in 1895.  This house is just so interesting to look at – windows, curves everywhere.  Today it operates as a Bed & Breakfast.  You can see some of the great stained glass on the B&B’s site here.

McFarlin-Lester House, built 1895

Our trip to North Florida and surrounding areas was cut short by Hurricane Irma, which chased us all the way back to Atlanta!  The house below had boards up, as no one knew quite where the hurricane would go.  It’s the George Dismukes Munroe-Dickerson House.  George was the brother of Pat Munroe, and a founder of the Quincy State Bank.  Pat Munroe figures into the history of Quincy…coming up in a minute.

Munroe-Dickerson House, built 1898

Quincy has been called The Coca-Cola Town for Decades

Mark Welch “Mr Pat” Munroe, State Archives of Florida

Mark W. (Mr. Pat) Munroe is credited with Quincy being known as the Coca-Cola town.  Mr. Munroe was a banker, and according to stories I’ve read he felt the Coca-Cola company was well run, and urged his banking customers to purchase shares of Coca-Cola, and to NEVER SELL them.  As early investors in the company, many became Coca-Cola millionaires, with the stock handed down from generation to generation. A share of Coca-Cola at $40 in 1919 is worth A LOT of money today!

It saved this farm town during the Great Depression, and at one time Quincy became the richest town per capita in the United States!

The Spanish style Gardner-McCall House is one of a kind in Quincy.  This style became extremely popular during the Florida land boom of the 1920s.  Recently for sale, this one was fun to look at!  No expense was spared when this house was built – custom door knobs, mosaic tiles, etc.

Gardner-McCall House, Builit 1928-1931

Check out the kitchen – vintage tile and refrigerator!

Vintage Kitchen!

Originally built by William Tennent Stockton, the Stockton-Malone house is a great example of a Greek Revival Cottage.  The wings to the house were added in the 1870s.  Descendants of the Malone family still live in the home.  Don’t you want to sit on those rockers on the front porch?

Stockton-Malone House, built 1849

Known as the Davidson or Thomas House, built in 1859, has seen a lot of history.  J.E.A. Davidson, who built the house, served as a state senator for Gadsden County.  Tallahassee, the state capital, is only 20 miles away.  The semi-circular front porch was added in 1890.  A later owner of the house, Charles Thomas left the gift of the Thomas Memorial Baptist Church, still in use.

J.E.A. Davidson House, built 1859

The Munroe-Higdon House, built in 1849 sits on a lot that’s over half a city block.  Many of the prominent families in Quincy have lived in this house over the 160+ years it’s been here.

Thomas Munroe-Higdon House, 1849

The C.R. Shaw house, another antebellum home has evolved over the years.  Originally a simple two story home, C.R. Shaw added wings to the house, the front columns, and leaded glass.  His C.R. Shaw Ford dealership was one of the first automobile dealerships in the area.

C.R. Shaw House, built 1840-1844

The M.A. Love House has an amazing rounded porch.  Depending on the source, it was built in 1904 or 1906 and is said to be little altered from its original state.  Meade Love and his family operated a wholesale and retail business.

M.A. Love House, built 1904-1906

Quincy is 20 miles from Tallahassee, Capital of Florida

The Shaw-Embry House is one huge Victorian home!  I couldn’t get a good picture that shows the size of this home, but this recent real estate photo gives you a feel for it.  It just keeps going and going and going.

Shaw-Embry House, built 1895 (from recent listing)

I always enjoy seeing interiors of grand old homes, and this is one big, rambling house!

Interior rooms Shaw-Embry House

Thanks so much for taking a look around the historic town of Quincy this week as we ventured outside of Georgia.  Appreciate you reading the blog!


Rome, GA – Beautiful Old Homes

Rome, GA – Floyd County – We finally had a day without rain this summer, so we headed up to Rome – the largest city in Northwest Georgia.  This is where the Etowah and Oostanaula Rivers meet to form the Coosa River, making Rome an ideal crossroads and trading spot.

“Chieftains” is actually a 1792 log cabin at its core.  The home of prominent Cherokee Nation leader Major Ridge grew from a log cabin to the late 1820s to what we see today. It’s an interesting museum, and well worth a visit.


In the 1920s there were quite a few renovations to Chieftains – looks nearly the same now, looks like the upstairs shutters were removed, and some railing on the front steps.  The Junior League of Rome owned the home for many years.

Late 1920s view of “Chieftains” after renovations (Vanishing Georgia Archives, University of Georgia)

Rome’s name was literally pulled out of a hat!

“The Columns” is a mansion that commands it’s hilltop perch!  Built in 1910 for prominent businessman and Mayor T.W. Lipscomb, this home is fresh off a multi-year restoration.  Over the years it had been converted into 11 apartments (it’s said they didn’t even have heat, and used their ovens for heat!).  Interestingly, after renovation it was purchased by a former Mayor of Rome.  Funny to think 2 Mayors owned this home, 100 years apart.

“The Columns” – built 1910

“Rose Hill”, built in 1909 for Mary Lee Hight got its name from the extensive gardens that were there.  It is built on the site of a prior home that burned (interestingly, this is where General Sherman stayed, not sure if house was burned when he left or if that happened later).

“Rose Hill”, built 1909

Rose Hill is said to have been based on the 1840s Gordon-Lee mansion in Chickamauga – which we toured a couple of years ago.  To check out the home, click here.

Gordon-Lee Mansion (Built 1840s in Chickamauga)

The cute house below was once home to Dr. Henry Halsey Battey.  He was the son of a famous surgeon, Dr. Robert Battey.

Battey House

Rome was a major river port.  As I did some research, found there was a lot of trade between Rome and Gadsden, AL as well as other towns.  The steamboat below has bales of cotton dockside.

Steamboat, 1870 – the rivers make Rome an ideal trading site (Vanishing Georgia Collection, UGA)

Printup House has some great stories.  Built in 1905 for Maybeth Sullivan Graham as a wedding gift and starter home, it was sold in the 1930s to the Printup Sisters for $10!  Miss Alida Printup and her widowed sister Mrs. Ava P Harris lived here.  They later sold the home with one stipulation – that they continue to live upstairs!  They lived here until their deaths in the 1950s.

Printup House, Built 1905

Berry College founder Martha Berry’s family home, Oak Hill, is an antebellum mansion. It’s now a museum – well worth a visit if you’re in the area.  Does this house look familiar?  Maybe from a movie?  Yes – Oak Hill was featured in Reese Witherspoon’s  “Sweet Home Alabama” as the Carmichael Plantation.

Oak Hill, family home of Martha Berry (from website)

Remember how many towns used to have a locally owned department store?  Fahy’s was one of those department stores in Rome, along with a few others.  Tom & Sarah Fahy had 11 children (!) – daughter Agnes was a close friend of Gone With The Wind author Margaret Mitchell, who spent many weekends here.

Fahy House has a connection to famous author Margaret Mitchell

Built in 1832, Alhambra was home to one of Rome’s founders.  Interestingly, when naming the new town – they literally drew names from a hat.  Rome could have ended up named Warsaw, Hamburg, Pittsburg, or Hillsboro.

Alhambra, or Home On The Hill (from website)

The 8,000 SF Victorian mansion below is called Claremont.  Completed in 1882 after 3 years of construction for Hamilton and Florence Yancey, it is truly a showplace.  They built a tiny cottage in the back and lived there throughout construction.  Mrs. Yancey named in Claremont in honor of her favorite cousin, Clare.  It stayed in the Yancey family for 3 generations.   No expense was spared and this house has unique features – such as an antique safe built into the stairwell, a stage for their children’s at home productions, and even an antique urinal!

Claremont, built 1879-1882.

There are many more beautiful old homes in Rome, and I can’t wait to visit again.  As always, really appreciate you taking time to read the blog!


Jekyll Island – Millionaires Row

Jekyll Island, GA (Glynn County) – We recently took a trip to the Georgia coast, and decided to see the “cottages” at the Jekyll Island Club.  Visiting the homes is like a “who’s who” of the Gilded Age – Rockefeller, Pulitzer, Vanderbilt, Goodyear, Macy, etc.  Today we’ll be visiting the cottages that were known as Millionaires Row.

This was a road trip for us, which means pack the car to absolute capacity…practically a rolling Wal-Mart.  Back in the day, many club members arrived on their private railroad cars.

Inside a private rail car
Private Rail Car


The Jekyll Island Club operated as a private winter resort from 1886-1942

The du Bignon family owned all of Jekyll Island prior to the Civil War, sold several parcels, and bought them back in the 1880s.  This was the start of the Jekyll Island Club.  The du Bignon Cottage below, built in 1884, has been moved from it’s original location.

Owned by the club, this cottage could be rented for $300/month.  Some notable guests here include Theodore Vail, president of AT&T.

Dubignon Cottage

The first transcontinental phone call took place in 1915.  The call took place between President Woodrow Wilson in Washington, Alexander Graham Bell in NY, Thomas Watson in San Francisco – and Vail at Jekyll Island.  Remember when long distance was expensive?  It was REAL expensive when it first became available – a call between New York and San Francisco? $20.70 for the first 3 minutes.

1915 – the first transcontinental phone call – Theodore Vail, president of AT&T is on the phone, while William Rockfeller is listening in (Wikipedia)

Moss Cottage, a shingle style cottage was owned by the Macy family for about 20 years.  This is thought to be the first cottage wired for electricity on the island.

Moss Cottage, built 1896

Mistletoe Cottage was owned by locomotive manufacturer Henry Kirke Porter for about 25 years.  Built at a cost of $28,000 it contained 7 bedrooms.

Mistletoe Cottage, built 1900

Annie Porter was known as a genial hostess and the family was known to entertain frequently.  Check out the attire in the lawn party photo below!

Lawn Party at Mistletoe Cottage (Vanishing Ga Archives)

The clubhouse is where members took meals, and there were rooms available to those who did not have a cottage.

The Jekyll Island Club

Indian Mound Cottage, built in 1891 served as the Rockefeller Family retreat for about 20 years.  The name came from a 10 foot mound in front of the cottage.  It was thought to contain Indian bones, but later examination showed it was only oyster shells.

Indian Mound Cottage, built 1891.

Joseph Pulitzer also had a cottage here, and would sail here on his private yacht.

Pulitzer Cottage vintage photo (Vanishing Ga Archives)

Hollybourne Cottage, served as the winter home of the Maurice family from 1890-1940.  It’s the only home built of the island’s native “tabby” material. Built for $18,000, it has 9 bedrooms upstairs.

Hollybourne Cottage

Cherokee Cottage was built in 1904 for The Shrady Family.  With 20 rooms and 6 bathrooms it’s one that has a curb appeal!  Dr. Shrady was a well known physician, who had attended U.S. Presidents Grant and Garfield.  Being a remote island, everyone was glad to have a doctor around.

The State of Georgia bought Jekyll Island in 1947

After the state bought all of Jekyll Island, Cherokee Cottage was spruced up in the 1950s.  It had been planed to be the Governor’s “Little Executive Mansion” – but that was so controversial, that never happened.

Cherokee Cottage, built 1904

The largest and most expensive winter home built on Jekyll is Crane Cottage.  Richard Teller Crane, Jr – think Crane plumbing fixtures.  20 Bedrooms and 17 Bathrooms! It caused quite an uproar, as Club members valued the “simplicity” of their cottages.  To try and be good neighbors, it’s said the Cranes had marble flooring removed and replaced with wood.

Crane Cottage, 1917-1919

Villa Marianna was the last Jekyll Island Club cottage to be built.  Frank Miller Gould, grandson of financier of Jay Gould, had visited Jekyll for years .  The cottage is named for his daughter Marianne.  It’s built in the Spanish electic style, that was extremely popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

Villa Marianna, built 1928

With the U.S. at war, the club did not reopen.  By 1947, the state had used condemnation proceedings and Jekyll Island became a state park.

Villa Marianna served as the original headquarters of the Jekyll Island State Park Authority when founded in 1950.  And for a couple of decades it was used as the residence of the Executive Director of the Authority.

Thanks so much for taking the tour of Jekyll Island, really appreciate you taking the time to read the blog!  Leroy, the official Old Georgia Homes pup thanks you too!

Enjoying some beach time!



St. Mary’s, GA – Beautiful Old Homes

St. Mary’s, Georgia – Camden County – This week we are in the southeast corner of Georgia, in the historic town of St. Mary’s.  Just a few miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, look across the St Mary’s River and you’re looking at Florida!

General John Floyd House, Built 1830

The General John Floyd House got me curious to find out who General Floyd was.  He was a hero in the War of 1812, and his family owned a couple of plantations further inland from St. Mary’s (Fairfield and Bellevue, neither are still standing).  After the war he dedicated his life to public service – locally as a judge, then in the state legislature, followed by the U.S. Congress in 1827.  The Georgia Legislated honored him by naming Floyd County (Rome, Ga)  for him in 1832.

St. Mary’s dates to 1788

I was excited to tour Orange Hall, it’s a great example of Greek Revival architecture.  This is one big house, about 9,500 sq ft, 12 fireplaces, and 12 ft ceilings throughout.  The lot was purchased by Rev. Horace Southworth Pratt, who helped organize the First Presbyterian Church in St. Mary’s.  Many interesting owners of this home – it’s well worth touring just to hear about them.  The house was converted to apartments in the 1930s, then gifted to the city in 1960.  At one point the city library was on the second floor of Orange Hall.

So why is it called Orange Hall?  The name is from the large sour orange trees that used to be around the property.

Orange Hall, circa 1830

The First Presbyterian Church here is the oldest building continuously used as a church in Georgia!  This building has seen so much history – as far back as British troops here during the War of 1812.

First Presbyterian Church, Built 1808

The Collier-Casey House below looks perfect to me.  Even better, it’s available for rent through VRBO!

Collier-Casey House, Built 1874

Walking all over town, you see homes set back on big lots.

Stone House, Built in the 1880s
Picket Fence and Front Porch – yes!

The Flood-Todd House stopped me in my tracks.  Love the tin roof, the fence, the porch…what an amazing home.

Flood-Todd House

Now I’m sure you’re curious why I am showing a picture of stumps here – they’re the Washington Oaks!  When George Washington died in 1799, 4 oak trees were planted the day he was buried.  The last of the trees was cut down in 1990.  Part of the wood from that tree was used in the restoration of the USS Constitution! There’s a well here known as the Washington Pump, also created in 1799.

Washington Oaks

The house below is actually 2 houses that were combined around 1900…old photos of this home from 1890 show it as being 3 stories tall!

Frohock-Baukuect House

The pirate in front of The Goodbread House caught my attention as I walked by.  It operates as a B&B.

Sandiford-Goodbread House, Built 1870…guarded by a pirate!

The Bachlott-Porter House underwent an amazing restoration years ago.  It was a breezy day and you see the flag proudly waving in the wind.

Bachlott-Porter House, Built 1911

The Captain Morse house is a Victorian beauty just a block or so from the St. Mary’s River.  I believe it is also available as a vacation rental.

Captain Morse House, Built 1905

St Mary’s United Methodist Church began meeting before 1812.  The chapel was built in 1858 at a cost of $695.  Interesting fact: originally including a balcony, it seated 200!

St. Mary’s United Methodist Church – Chapel

If you use Instagram, I post pictures on there daily, @oldgeorgiahomes.  As always, appreciate you taking time to read about St. Mary’s, and be on the lookout for more posts from Georgia’s Golden Isles!


Clarkesville – Historic Homes Tour

Clarkesville – Habersham County – This week we head to Clarkesville, the first summer resort town in Northeast Georgia. Wealthy families from the Georgia and South Carolina coast came here to escape malaria and the summer heat.

Clarkesville was chartered in 1823

First up this week is Joseph Habersham Summer Home.  Active in Georgia politics, he was mayor of Savannah in the late 1700s, and served on the Georgia delegation that ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788.  President George Washington appointed him the first Postmaster General.

Summer Home of Joseph Habersham


Joseph Habersham (from New Ga Encyclopedia)

Gloaming Cottage was built in 1840 by Jarvis Van Buren, first cousin to President Martin Van Buren.  This carpenter Gothic home was his personal residence.  He built many homes in the area, as we will see.

Gloaming Cottage, built 1840

The Houston-Franklin House was originally built in Turnerville and moved 13 miles to it’s present location around 1900.  Once moved here, it served as a boarding house.

Houston-Franklin House, moved to this location around 1900

Just a little ways out of town is Sunnyside Farm, originally built in 1834.  This house was moved to its present 30 acre location sometime in the 1850s.  I’m always amazed how houses were moved over 100 years ago.  This house was renovated by Jarvis Van Buren.  Terry and Laura Rogers, the current owners have made major renovations and additions to the house to have a more antebellum farm look.  The Rogers’ were gracious hosts and showed us interesting historical details of the home.

Sunnyside, originally built in the 1830s

The back porch of Sunnyside is as picture perfect as the rest of the house.  Don’t you just wanna sit out here?

Back porch – Sunnyside

The Charm House below, was originally called Oak Heights.  It was built for W.R. Asbury, who was a merchant and later founded Habersham Bank.  He also owned the first automobile in Clarkesville.  Over the years, The Charm House was converted to a hospital, later a B&B and restaurant – and finally back to a single family home.

The Charm House, built 1907

Here’s a look at the house when it was brand new.  It shows this mansion’s massive side porch.

1908 Photo of The Charm House (Vanishing Georgia Archives)

A special part of the tour was an organ concert at Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church.  The families who vacationed in Clarkesville to get away from the summers in Savannah and Charleston founded this church.  The church features box-style pews, which I have not seen before.

Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church, built 1842 (from their website

I mentioned the organ concert – it’s reported to be the oldest working church instrument in Georgia!  The history here is just amazing – it was purchased in 1848 by a ladies’ group in the church for $500.  It took a week to arrive by ox cart from Savannah – and when installed, they found it was a foot too tall for the balcony!  That led to Jarvis Van Buren being employed again to lower the center of the balcony to accommodate the organ.

Erben Pipe Organ (also from website)

Our final stop this week is the Toombs-Bleckley House.  Originally General Robert Toombs (who hailed from Washington, Georgia) had a summer home here.  The house later burned, and Judge Bleckley built the current home on the site.

Judge Logan Bleckley, Chief Justice of Georgia Supreme Court

Bleckley enrolled at UGA – at age 73!

I read up a bit on Judge Bleckley, and he led a fascinating life.  As Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, the entire court would often meet at his house to write their decisions.  Most surprising was learning that he took a mathematics course at the University of Georgia – at age 73!  Imagine attending college at that age.

Toombs-Bleckley House 1897

There are several more historic homes in Clarkesville that we didn’t get to see this time, looking forward to visiting there again!  Thanks so much for coming along on the tour this week, appreciate you reading the blog.