Old Macon County Courthouse, 1850s, Oglethorpe

oglethorpe ga 19th century commercial architecture photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Though best remembered as Taylor’s Pharmacy, this is said to have been the first courthouse constructed in Oglethorpe. The long lost town of Lanier was the county seat when Macon County was created in 1837 and the courthouse there burned in 1857. Oglethorpe was assuming the status of new county seat at this time and that is when this structure is believed to have been constructed. Colonel George W. Fish was murdered on the west side of the building in 1871 after returning home from business in Macon. The first floor presently serves as the law office of Jon Coogle. [This information needs further documentation, but I believe it to be accurate at this time].


Filed under --MACON COUNTY GA--, Oglethorpe GA

5 responses to “Old Macon County Courthouse, 1850s, Oglethorpe

  1. Ann Taylor McLeod

    Brian, I commend you on capturing “Vanishing South Georgia” in pictures. This building was owned by my family for over 60 years where it housed our family pharmacy, Taylor’s Pharmacy, and for many years, Dr. Tom Adams’ Oglethorpe office. (I received many a shot in that office!!)

    According to History of Macon County Georgia by Louise Frederick Hays, the original “county site” was in Lanier. In 1854, the “county site” was moved to Oglethorpe (cannot correctly underline title of book due to lack of editing capability in comments). There was a large public market in Oglethorpe. When the “county site” was moved to Oglethorpe, the market house was converted into the courthouse. This building burned down, so the building pictured above was used as the courthouse. According to Mrs. Hays’ history, the building was already in existence and was built by West Pinkerton. He was unable to pay for the building, so the county bought it. (I am not taking the time to cite this information in the book).

    It is my understanding that it served as the courthouse until the new (and current) courthouse was built in 1894. In 1893, Montezuma attempted to have the courthouse moved from Oglethorpe, but Oglethorpe prevailed.

    The story of Judge/Col. Fish’s murder and the hanging of his murderers is a very interesting read in the book. In the side of the building was a hallway
    with stairsteps that went up to the courtroom. John Holsenback hid behind the stairs and shot Col. FIsh as he was walking home from the train station where he had returned from Macon. At some point, it became a stairwell, and double doors added to secure the upstairs of the building. These doors still exist and one can easily see where Col. Fish was killed.

    My family lived across the street from the beautiful home built by Col. Fish. I clearly remember when it was moved in 1969 to its present location on Hwy 49 as you approach Americus, Ga from Oglethorpe.

    Thank you for the happy memories brought by your photo.

  2. RUTH Harvey

    Is this on the corner down town? Looks like Taylor’s old drug store and Dr. Adams office.

  3. ben dooley

    It looks mid 18th century. Nice building but a good candidate for “worst remuddling”.

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