Tranquilla, Hephzibah

Doug Flowers writes: Walter Clark’s A Lost Arcadia is the go-to to any questions on the town’s history. Freeman Walker built this home, according to Walter Clark in A Lost Arcadia on page 65, and we know Freeman Walker died in 1827. His wife continued to live in the home and it was sold to Absalom Rhodes. The area was settled by Thomas Walker between 1740 and 1745. Absalom Rhodes, Sr., was born 1770 and was a pioneer of the Brothersville community. His grandson, also named Absalom, was said to be born on the plantation in 1844. So, the home MUST be built before 1827 and for sure before 1844. There is a deed from 1830s on it, but most likely that is when the Rhodes family acquired “Tranquila”. There is a pump on the home that says 1814, so it very well could be before then. The Lansdell home was built in 1820’s, so one of these two homes are most likely the oldest two home still left from Brothersville, which became Hephzibah 1870. I have a documentary coming out on the town’s history and this home and history will be included.

 

10 thoughts on “Tranquilla, Hephzibah

  1. Michael D Hill

    Hey everyone. My name is Mike Hill My wife is Sybil Greer Hill. We both went to Hephzibah forever. Oh, Hey Doug 👋. I can’t find any pictures of our old two store school house. Do you know where I could find one? Also do you know where I can find old pictures and history or maps of McBean.

    Reply
    1. Dale E Reddick

      Hi Mike, The best source for any really old map of McBean is probably a railroad map for the rail line that connected Augusta with the Central of Georgia at Millen.
      I attended the old two story high school at Hephzibah for one year (’68 – ’69) before moving on to the new building in 1969. I just tried a quick search for any image of the old school and got nothing about it. Probably a visit to the 3rd floor Georgia Room of the Augusta / Richmond County Public Library and checking the records of the Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Herald (long gone) would provide you some old photos of the building.
      I hope this helps.
      Dale E. Reddick, HHS Class of 1973

      Reply
  2. Doug Flowers

    There were two marriages at Tranquilla in 1812 of the Creswell sisters. Valentine Walker was the official on one of these and later married one of the Creswell daughters after her husband died. Freeman Walker listed the home for sale in 1823 with the ad saying contact him or Absalom Rhodes. Georgia historic newspapers are a great resource.
    Side note not related to this home: I grew up in one of the original Brothersville homes, known as Oakland which was Robert Malone plantation. Malone home became known as Overhome when the Malone was purchased by the Williams family. There are 2 other early homes built during the 1820’s still standing,

    Reply
    1. Doug Flowers

      Yes, there’s a great book written by man Daniel. Nathan Crumpton from Warren county will all maps from Richmond County, Burke, parts of others surrounding and land grants

      Reply
  3. Doug Flowers

    Walter Clark’s “A Lost Arcadia” is the go to to any questions on the town’s history. Freeman Walker built this home, according to Walter Clark in ”
    Lost Arcadia” on page 65, and we know Freeman Walker died in 1827. His wife continued to live in the home and it was sold to Absalom Rhodes. The area was settled by Thomas Walker between 1740 and 1745, Absalom Rhodes , Sr. was born 1770 and was a pioneer of the Brothersville community. His grandson, also named Absolom, was said to be born on the plantation in 1844.
    So, the home MUST be built before 1827 and for sure before 1844. There is a deed from 1830’s on it, but most likely that is when the Rhodes family acquired “Tranquila”
    There is a pump on the home that says 1814, so it very well could be before then. The Lansdell home was built in 1820’s, so one of these two homes are most likely the oldest two home still left from Brothersville, which became Hephzibah 1870. I have a documentary coming out on the town’s history and this home and history will be included.

    Reply
    1. Brian Brown Post author

      Thanks, Doug. Please keep us posted as to where to find the documentary. My only reference for this was a resource survey and I don’t believe they cited a source. I’m always glad to update.

      Reply
  4. Dale E. Reddick

    Knowing a bit about the settlement of the original Brothersville, and the subsequent creation of the community of Hephzibah around the old Hephzibah Baptist Church, then I find that date of 1815 suspiciously early.

    Reply
  5. Wendell Theus

    Hi Brian, I’ve got to get out more. Unbelievable how you find all these great places in Ga.!! Keep up the good work. Thanks

    Reply

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