Tybee Island Lighthouse – Head Keepers Cottage Tour



Tybee Island, GA – Since it was in the teens this morning, I thought we should head down to the coast and take a look inside the Head Keepers Cottage.  When I visited here it was perfect 75 degree weather!

This is part of the Tybee Island Lighthouse & Museum, a great stop on the north end of Tybee Island.  A lighthouse, a compound of buildings circa 1900 and a fort overlooking the water – all fun stuff to me!  Yes you can climb to the top of the lighthouse too, it is 11,123,178   oops I mean 178 steps to the top.  But today we are going inside a cottage.

The Head Keepers Cottage was built circa 1881.  The Tybee Island Historical Society did some incredible renovations between 1999-2003 to show visitors how things were in the early 1900s.

Entering by the kitchen, I loved the old refrigerator – and the sign taped to it – “I AM OLD AND CREAKY AND COMING APART” – hey, I think I need that sign on me some days!


Loved looking around the downstairs rooms and period furnishings.  I see things that remind me of my grandparents and great grandparents homes.  One thing I was curious about – why were the walls wood?  Where was the plaster?  And check out the vintage bathroom!

So why no plaster walls?  Turns out it HAD plaster walls at one point – but it is right next to the fort, which had large guns.  When they used the big guns during target practice, it cracked the plaster.  Thus the wooden walls.

Upstairs bedrooms:

Across the street in the fort is a great little museum that gives you an idea of Tybee Island throughout the years.  Really worth some time if you’re at Tybee Island, and the volunteers from the Tybee Island Historical Society show everyone some southern hospitality.



Pomegranate Hall


Pomegranate Hall, February 2015Sparta, GA – Let’s get this established first – No, Sherman did not burn this house!  Pomegranate Hall, built in the 1830s for the Sayre family survived until 2001, when it burned.

I saw this house in a book published about 50 years ago and was determined to check it out while visiting Sparta.  Did not know until I pulled up to the house that it had burned 14 years ago.

This house has quite a rich history.  When it was built, people thought of it as a “half house” since the doorway is not centered.  The walls of this house are two feet thick, and the main level is on the second floor of the home.  From all my reading on this place, quite a unique floorplan.

Originally there were several acres behind the house that included a vineyard.

This photo from the UGA archives gives an idea of Pomegranate Hall in the early 1970s.

UGA Digital Archives


Interestingly, the widow of WH Macy (you know, as in Macy’s!) purchased this home and lived here beginning in the 1960s.  I can only imagine what a change it would be from living in NYC to then to go Sparta, GA!

2001 Newspaper Article

Of course I saw this and thought to myself YES this could be brought back to its former glory, but can only imagine how much work it would take!

Pomegranate Hall Feb 15 Pic 2




Walking Through the Burwell-Goss House


Sparta, GA – This house is a big one, about 6100 SF.  Wow, glad I don’t have to Swiffer this place.  Built around 1906, this is a handsome house that sat vacant for quite some time.  Fortunately it was recently sold and a new owner is undertaking the renovations in this house.

According to some folks, a Georgia State Senator was the original one to start construction of this house, and he went bankrupt in the process.  Others say this was built for Judge Burwell.  This is the fun of researching old houses.

Old Postcard of the house in its younger days

Old Postcard of the house in its younger days

Walking through this house, you get a sense of the scale of the rooms and wallpaper. So. Much. Wallpaper.  What’s funny though, while wallpaper in a 1980s house makes my eye twitch, it is not unexpected looking at these older homes.  It gives you an idea of the decor during earlier days.

With this house being empty, have to use your imagination to think how it might have been furnished.


This one is truly a beauty, and can’t wait to see how the renovations progress!


The Homes of Old Linton

Old Linton


Old Linton Community, GA – Did you know the first person in Georgia to receive a teaching license lived here?  #fact. Tucked away on the road between Sparta and Sandersville is Old Linton.  It’s a community that was planned in the 1850s and has remained virtually unchanged for 100 years.  It’s about a mile long, and multi-acre lots were laid out – so the houses aren’t super close to one another and generally sit back a little from the road.  There was a school here in the 1800s (it burned down) so the houses often were built large to accommodate lodging for students.

First up, you see the Duggan House.  Why is this one famous?  Ivey Duggan, a famous educator lived here. This home is unusual – first, the bottom floor is paved in handmade bricks.  The upper level has a recessed porch with plaster walls.  A large center room in this home served as dining, etc for students who lodged here.


Another good sized house as you go through Old Linton.  This is the Boyer House, built in the 1860s.  I found some older pictures that showed a couple of staircases leading up to the second floor, where the main living rooms are at.

Dr John Stone House

Of course you gotta have a big old house and some white columns in any town, and this one belonged to Dr John Stone, who owned the land around Linton.  Interestingly, it was not painted until after the mid 1970s!

Going through Old Linton Community is really like taking a step back in time – it was not near a railroad and thus not damaged during the Civil War.  There’s a few more homes here and I can’t wait to go back and check them out!


Once Grand Victorian House…

Pendleton Graves House

Sparta, GA – Driving through Hancock County on a dreary day, happened upon this Victorian.  No I didn’t go inside of this one as it’s unoccupied.  It looked kinda spooky to me, and if I’d heard a noise inside here, it would have been “RUN FORREST, RUN!” time.  In all seriousness, I see houses like this and just see the potential to be restored to it’s former grandeur.

This is known as the Pendleton-Graves House, originally built in 1820 in a much plainer style.  The upstairs of the house is only one room deep, which is in keeping with homes built at that time in our area, the “I” house as it’s sometimes called.  2 stories tall, one story deep.

It was expanded, and then given a Victorian facelift sometime around 1880. I mean, look at the octagonal spires on the roof!

I couldn’t find a lot of information on this house, but did find a photo from 1973 that shows it in better days (and way fewer paint colors) courtesy of UGA digital archives.

UGA Digital Archives


Lots of history and historic homes throughout Sparta and Hancock County, so will be sharing those here with you soon!