I call these three townhouses “triplets” because they’re all essentially of the same design, certainly the work of the same builder. They’re located on Church Street, across from the Lumber City Methodist Church. Italianate is not a common style in this part of Georgia and to find three in a row is a treat indeed. For many years these were thought to have been built by legendary steamboat Captain John L. Day for his three daughters, but research has proven that Captain Day only had one daughter. That story likely originated due to the fact that these houses are located behind Captain Day’s residence and that he owned them as rental properties at the time of his death in 1906. It’s now though that Matt Cook was the builder.
This one retains its original appearance, except for the door, which is a replacement. And I believe all three originally had a tin roof.
This is the most modified of the three, with vinyl siding and the screened-in porch. Still, it was tastefully remodeled.
This is the most unmodified of the three, as evidenced in these views.
Though I’ve seen these houses many times, I was made more aware of their significance by Terry Kearns, who photographed them and posted an entry about them on his delightful blog, Architecture Tourist.
In my hometown of Quincy, FL, which had tobacco, fuller’s earth & lumber interests, duplicate houses usually indicate worker housing. The more elaborate ones seem to have been for upper management. An example is the Graves Brothers Lumber Company. The owners built virtually identical houses for themselves and across from their two homes, far simpler, matching houses for their upper management.
When researching Captain John L. Day with Jeff Anderson we have discovered that he only had one daughter. After, talking with some people in Lumber City, it is believed that Matt Cook had these houses built. However, Captain Day did own the houses at the time of his death, They are listed as rental properties in his estate records.
Sure wish Kyle (southern churchman) would share the info he found.
My Aunt Bessie Ward lived in one of these houses….I loved spending nights with her and my uncle Thomas. I also have photos of the houses from several years ago. I took the photos so that I could paint them..although have not accomplished. Thanks so much for sharing. I need to complete my memory painting…..Love Lumber City and my precious family that continues to live in that beautiful historical setting.
Brian, I was not trying to take away anything away from you when I mentioned Jeff Anderson, because I consider you a genius at what you do, but Jeff has searched out things for me in Telfair County because this is where he is from, please never stop doing what you are doing!!
Oh, I didn’t think anything like that, Quincy…I appreciate all the information you can give!
I always like driving through Lumber City – the Ocmulgee seems huge, there.
Very cool, never seen they before, great house, like the story about the three daughters, thanks again Brian.
A nice find , good shots, I am familiar with these.
One can also go online and just type Captian John Day of Lumber city Ga. and come up more photos that Brian has posted and some others!
Caption John Day did build these houses for his Daughters ,I am a member of the Masonic Lodge across the street from these houses….for complete information about these houses contact Jeff Anderson on Facebook!!
Thanks so much, Quincy…I thought that was in the back of my mind, but as you know, I go to a lot of places 🙂
Oops! Just read the comments following your photos. Capt. Day, huh? I still want to know more.
I think I was told that these were built by a lumber baron for his three daughters. Someone must know the true story.
Thanks, Lynn. I’m going to see what I can find.
My wife and I just bought one of the houses and actually found a clipping from the 1800s about the builder. It has been fun and interesting so far!
Feel free to share anything about it here, Kyle.
Thanks so much. Did I read that they were part of a school? I can’t find it again. Someone must know.