Harville House, 1894, Bulloch County

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This house has been a landmark of rural Bulloch County for over a century. Overgrown shrubs and vines have recently been cleared, and though the house seems too far gone to be saved at this point, Harville descendants who still own the property are working hard to find viable options for its restoration. According to a fellow photographer who attended Georgia Southern in the early 1970s, the house was abandoned then, and was called the “Haunted House” by students and locals alike.

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Here’s a view from the west front today, and as it looked in its early days.

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Vintage Photograph Courtesy Statesboro Regional Library

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In 2013 the Bulloch County Historical Society, with assistance from the Jack N. and Addie D. Averitt Foundation,  placed a marker explaining its history. The house is on private property and should be photographed from the road only. From the historic marker: Samuel Winkler Harville purchased this 754-acre farm in 1862. Born on December 17, 1826, Harville was one of two delegates Bulloch County sent to the 1861 Secession Convention in Milledgeville. He voted for Georgia to secede from the Union.

Samuel’s son, Henry Keebler Harville, purchased the property and built the Harville House as a one-story house around 1894. The second story was added ten years later, resulting in a total of 14 rooms to accommodate a growing family. The vernacular architectural features of the house were inspired by a dream of Keebler Harville. The lumber used was cut and sawn from timber grown on the farm. By the time of Keebler’s death in 1946, the farm had grown to 2800 acres. More than just a landmark, the farm was self-sustaining for 10 families. It included a grist mill, saw mill, cotton gin, two-story smokehouse, ice house, syrup house, and a commissary. He was the first in Bulloch County to sell peanuts commercially and picked peanuts commercially for other farmers from Blitchton to Claxton. He purchased the first corn snapper in the county.

The Harville Cemetery is located 1/4 mile west of the house.

 

Author: Brian Brown

Brian Brown is a documentary photographer, author, and historian who lives in Coastal Georgia.

39 thoughts on “Harville House, 1894, Bulloch County”

  1. I have preached from that pulpit, as has my Uncle and Grandaddy. As a child, my family and I attended church at Union United iMethodist Church

  2. I adore old homes and their “story” from beginning to current situation. Any info on how it came to such disrepair?

  3. the Harvilles are great folks! Dr. Bohler would make house calls to the two sisters in the house. said it was neat as a pen and they would be dressed like made up china dolls without a wrinkle in bed spread! it deff had to be and still is amazing!

    1. I would love to see a pic of the house in its hey day…when she was still occupied and being taken care of..and her yard around her still being taken care of…if ‘anyone’ has a pic, please send it to me…

    2. Dr Bohler delivered me. I went to church at Langston (Chapel) United Methodist Church with his family.
      My family, the Birds, are related to the Harville family and I graduated with Jeff Harville from Statesboro High school in 1986

  4. My Uncle owns this house along with my grandfather and the last i heard Statesboro had issued financing to restore this house. My family still owns the house. It is not haunted. That is stories made up by bored college kids. Growing up I was told this house belonged to Samuel Harville, He is my great, great,great Grandfather, and history says he signed th.e ordinance for Bulloch County to secede from the Union. My family name carries much history there. I would absolutely love to see the pictures of the house before it started to fall apart

    1. hi my name name is missy same last name my husband been came across this photo and last name on the web was hoping you would get in contact with me just trying to figured some famliy history thanks

  5. This house actually still belongs to our family. I have a painting of the house that was made years and years ago that shows what it looked like in it’s prime. Let me know if you’d like to see it.

    1. I’d love to see it, Matt…please email it to me at wbrianbrownATgmailDOTcom. If it’s a good scan I’ll certainly post it on the site!

    2. I would very much like to see it! I’ve been to this house with my daughter and was so saddened at its state of disrepair. Please send me the picture at olbraddy@pineland.net
      Olivia Williamson Braddy

    3. Matt. I live in Bulloch county, and love the old Harville house also. I would LOVE to see what it looked like in its prime, before it began to deteriorate…bet she was something…would u send me a pic??!

    4. Hey matt our famliy name is the same i was just wondering if you had more info on your grest grest uncles and their fathers just to see if were related my name is missy

      1. I’m not related to the family, but had sent an earlier post that I would really love to see a pic of the Harville house from its Hey day…before it went into decline….if u get a pic please send to me…I never did get a reply from Matt, or whomever it was that said they had a painting of the house when it was still being lived in…imagine it was a beautiful place…I’ve been in the old house couple of times years back..but again this was after she was beginning to fall apart…

  6. One of my best friends photographed this place and knows the family. Email me if you want more info. They seem very nice and may let you enter and take interior shots if you contact them. My friend has that info so let me know if you’re interested. Love this site!

  7. Local sources tell me that the sisters who were the last to live in the Harville House were Nan and Naomi Harville. Naomi died in 1967 and Nan in 1976. They were the daughters of Keebler H. and Hester Byrd Harville. There were at least eleven children born to that family. Most of them are buried in Eastside Cemetery.

      1. Hi Brian, Your photos are great! Sad to say they are also quiet revealing of the current sad state. As a last ditch effort to save her, we have been working on refurbishing an old barn to provide a unique country wedding venue with the aim of generating funds to at least maintain if not restore the “Big House”. Facebook Harville House and Harville House Barn for more info. Please comment or message me to let me know what you think!. We have one beautiful wedding behind us, Several of us are now focusing on her history.We have a Bulloch County Historical Marker dedicated 2013, Georgia Centennial Family Farm Award 2015, and I am presently working on National Register Status. All we can do is try!

      2. Sorry to just be replying. As you can tell I’m always on the road and therefore very behind on my mail. I’m so glad to hear that you are utilizing the property and attempting to stabilize the house. I think it holds a special place in many a Bulloch Countian’s heart, judging from all the shared memories and comments. I wish you well with this endeavor!

  8. The Harville family lives near the old house on GW Oliver road I think. Last year they did a clean up/restore on the old house around Halloween, I think they gave out candy to the trick-or-treaters. You can contact Adam Harville, he has a tree removal/stump grinding business in Statesboro.

  9. The Harville sisters lived there. If memory serves me they were never married. It was considered haunted for many years, but always thought it to be ole wives tales. There may be more history at the Statesboro Library.

  10. My families last name was Harvell. My great great grand fathers were from Georgia. as far back as 1823. His name was William Green Berry Harvell. I wonder if they lived near here. My Grand Mother was from Jesup, Georgia. However I don’t know where in Georgia my Father’s family was from in Georgia. The family crest has shown the different spellings of Harvell. The family shows the Harvells, Harvel, Harvill, Harville all came from Harville, England the South West area in England..Thanks, for the pictures…Very interesting to ponder if this was a relative of mine?

  11. It is a shame that it can’t be restored. Just looking at this photo of te house, I can imgagine it was a beauty in it’s day.

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