Bronson House, 1816 & 1852, Eatonton

From the historical marker: Andrew & Mary Ann Clopton Reid’s 1852 National Register Greek Revival Mansion’s origins reach back to the 1816 “Eagle Tavern Inn.” Rising Star Masonic Lodge F & AM Lodge #39 minutes record its first Feast of St. John the Evangelist Festival Day here on December 28, 1818. Thomas T. Napier owned and occupied it by 1820 & by 1822 its tax digest value was $3,500 ~ while most other buildings in town valued at $500 – $600. Eatonton’s famous tavern operator, William Wilkins, Sr., bought it in 1830 and lost it at sheriff’s sale November 3, 1835, to wealthy planter brothers Andrew & Alexander Sydney Reid, who operated it as Reid’s Hotel. By 1846 Andrew Reid (1806-1865) owned it alone and by 1848 began the conversion to his private residence. James M. Broadfield (1815-1899) was the carpenter-architect who turned the earlier Inn into the Greek house. Twelve massive wooden fluted Doric columns, the massive entrance, interior Egyptian-style door, window & mantel molding & the hallway floor’s marbleized squares added sophistication. In 1874, Reid’s administrators sold to Francis Asberry Leverette, CSA (1845-1895), appointed U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Georgia by President Cleveland. Leverette moved to Macon and died there after selling on February 5, 1894 to James M. Rainey, who began renting rooms for $2.00 a day and even housed by 1901 Dr. Hopkins’ dental office. Mr. & Mrs. Emerson Foote Bronson rented it from Rainey in 1911 and bought from him in 1914. Bronson relocated from Tennille, GA, in 1908 as the new Central of GA Railroad Depot Agent. In 1931, his widow Nena Norwood Bronson (1868-1961), converted to a boarding house and then into 7 apartments, including her own. She preserved the property, careful not to remove architectural features. Her daughter Eunice Bronson (Frank P.) Stubbs (1896-1985) inherited, moved in and continued the family preservation tradition. Her six children, in tribute to their grandmother, mother and their preservation interest, sold it on Oct. 10, 1985, to the Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society, Inc. for its headquarters. The Society opened the house on Dec. 14, 1985, for a lavish donors’ reception.

It’s also believed that Joel Chandler Harris and his mother lived in a small cottage on the property for a time.

Eatonton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.