J. M. Johnson House, Kite

kite ga j m johnson  house photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2011

This Queen Anne was the home of J. M. Johnson, a large landowner who built most of the commercial row in Kite. After his death, his daughter, Annie Mae Palmer, lived here until her death.  Later residents were the Sheppards and Garschagens.

21 thoughts on “J. M. Johnson House, Kite

  1. Rose Maria Davis

    My name is Rose Maria Palmer Davis and I grew up in this house. The house was built by my grandfather, John Morgan (J. M.) Johnson. He built it between 1895 and 1900 as a gift to my grandmother, Minnie Clark Johnson. He also built the commercial stores that lined Montgomery Street in front of the house in Kite, Georgia. The stores were completed in 1910. My grandfather ran the corner store, J. M. Johnson’s Dry Goods, Notions, Fancy Groceries, Buggies, and Wagons. The second building was Johnson’s Millinery Shop, Ladies Fine Dresses and Hats, staffed by Minnie Clark Johnson, Amanda Johnson Tapley, and Roxy Johnson Kight. The third building was a Barber Shop: the fourth was a general merchandise store, operated by James Willis Johnson, the brother of J. M. Johnson, and the fifth store was a confectionery shop (bakery). The sixth was given to the Town of Kite for a City Hall and jail. A blacksmith’s shop was attached to the end of the line of buildings. J. M. Johnson’s daughter (Annie Mae Johnson, Palmer) was my mother. In 1900, Kite, Georgia became a boom town but sadly, those days have gone. I am so glad that the house is now being restored by Sammy Colston who I knew as a child. I spent many happy hours in this house and many of the Kite children played here! It’s walls hold many wonderful voices!

    1. Penney Drew

      Mrs. Rose. I own the Henrietta Claxton Lindsay house. I bought it after my brother Gene Cross passed, from his wife Rose. I would love to know any history you may know on this house.
      My brother also owned the J.M. Johnson house and all the stores beside it until he sold to Sammy Colston. Please feel free to message or write me. Penney Cross Drew Kite Ga.

  2. sammy colston

    My name is Sammy Colston, I grew up just outside of Kite, and live here now. I purchased the three store fronts across the road from this property about 6 years ago. Ihave restored. one which the Prayer Breakfast Meets in weekly. Earlier this year I also purchased the J M Johnson house and the store fronts on the property. I am in the process of restoring them also. The house lot has been cleaned up and work done on the house to stop futher decay. A relative by marriage does wood work and has already cut some of the assent pieces to replace on the house. hope to have the house finshed in another year or so, a slow go doing the work myself. Rose Marie called me about a month ago to let me know how pleased she was that the house is being saved.I do not plan to run any bussiness, just do not want the town I have so many memories tied to growing up to vanish. Rose Marie now lives in Nashville,Tenn.Some of my inspiration came from a young man named Andy Kite ( no ties to Kite the town) who wrote a short book as a school project, “Vanishing Towns In Ga” in which Kite and this house is profiled.

  3. Lennis Johnson Powell

    Connie is right. The Palmer family (L. L., Annie Mae, and Rose Marie) lived in that house when we (Connie, Rose Marie, I and others born c. 1948) were in grade school in Kite. I was Rose Marie’s frequent playmate for several years as we lived in one of the Palmers’ rental houses on another street. The Hyman Blockers were already running the store on the corner at that time, but I believe Mrs. Palmer still owned the entire block of real estate then. The Blockers never actually lived in the house pictured above — or at least not in our day. They lived in the two-story house on the corner next to the high school building. The house pictured above was built by Mrs. Annie Mae Palmer’s father, J. M. Johnson, the large landowner and merchant who built the line of commercial buildings in front of that house, lining what is now called Montgomery Street (just “main street,” Highway 221, in our day). The Palmers moved to Wrightsville when we were in about third grade, and Mrs. Palmer died not long afterward. The Randolph Sheppard family lived in the house several years after the Palmers moved out. Wanda Sheppard was a close friend of Rose Marie. The Garshagins (sp?) moved into the house and began running the store sometime after Connie and I graduated in 1966. Rose Marie graduated in Wrightsville that year. I don’t know where she is now.

    1. Lennis Johnson Powell

      P.S. I spent many happy days playing in the airy parlor and on the big porches of that wonderful old house — as a five, six and seven year old, and I have very clear memories of Mrs. Annie Mae’s stories about her father. The house is definitely the Johnson House or the Annie Mae Johnson House. Her father built it, but he left it and his entire (considerable at the time) fortune to her, his only daughter. She was a very interesting lady. I, too, was a Johnson, but if we were related, no one has proved the connection. She was just very special to me when I was a child.

  4. Connie Stubblefield


    1. Heather Jones

      Connie, do you, or do you know anyone who might have the address or current owner’s name? My husband and I are searching for an older historic home to move to our property and restore. I would love to get more information about, and possibly get to see, this home. Thanks for any information you may have!

  5. Amanda G.

    This is the old Garschagen house. (Please forgive my spelling, but I believe this is correct.) They ran the little store in front of the house when I was a child. It has had a few different owners since they moved away.

    I wish I knew more about the history of the home to provide you, but I only know back into the 1980s.

    1. wayne k.

      The house used to belong to mr. blocker and he ran the store in front of the house for many, many years. I’m 43 and remember going in the store you could get meat, red rind whoop cheese, what ever you could think of they had it. Mr. blocker has a cousin in kibby ga. he runs T.A. Blockers general store. some of the nicest people you could ever meet. The Garschagen’s bought the house and store after the blockers had it. My grand farther Ozie Flanders ran the old gulf gas station across the street from there. It’s a ressturant now.

  6. Ed Davis

    Brian, although I live in Florida now, I am Ga. bred and Ga. raised. I lived in Screven Co. and farmed and was a partner in a cotton gin and farming operation for several years. I still have a lot of good friends there and enjoy veiwing all the pictures you present. Keep up the good work.

      1. wayne

        Gene cross (aka. Bear Cross) owns the house and he also has lived in it for 4 or 5 years now. he also owns the old store buildings near the house.

      2. Heather

        Thank you so much, Wayne! I’m happy to know that it’s being lived in again, even if we don’t get to live in it. It’s just such a beautiful house!

      3. Tyler

        The house is vacant as of now. Mr cross bought the white house up the street from this one as well. That is where he and his wife lived. If I’m not mistaken his son was in the old blue house at one point. I believe they have moved back to Florida though

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