John Rountree House, 1832, Twin City


John Rountree was born in 1809 in present-day Emanuel County. His father, Joshua Rountree, had migrated to the area from Greene County, via Orange County (Hillsborough District), North Carolina, circa 1800. [per: the late Edward Donald Rountree’s book, Tenacity in Adversity, A History of the Rountree Family 1550-1993]. John built this house around the time he married Nancy Brown Kent in 1832. He died in 1858. The house is quite significant in a number of areas. It was built by a member of one of the pioneer families of Emanuel County and as a a surviving example of the rural architecture of that period, it’s unequaled in the area.


Early log saddlebag houses are very rare and the Rountree House is made even more significant by the use of diamond notching on the logs, one of fewer than ten known to exist in Georgia. As is the norm with this style, a large brick chimney is centrally located between the two original rooms


Also, instead of chinking, the logs are sealed with battens on the interior. A later shed room was added across the back of the house no later than 1845-50 by John Rountree.


The house remained in family hands until 1995, when Lynne Santy Tanner and her brothers, Chris and Ross Santy, transferred the house and surrounding ten acres to the City of Twin City. It has been recognized by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation as a 2017 Place in Peril. Its regional architectural significance can’t be overstated.


National Register of Historic Places

7 thoughts on “John Rountree House, 1832, Twin City

  1. Ellen

    Three front doors yet no windows on front of house?
    How does this home manage to remain on such a small stone foundation – it appears to me that a hard wind would cause it to topple? Amazing what our ancestors had to endure❤️

  2. Jud McCranie

    I was trying to find this place a couple of years ago. I went south on 192 and saw a sign on the left. I went into the woods and saw a covered picnic area and two bathrooms but I couldn’t find the Rountree log cabin. Where is it?

  3. Geoff

    Hey Brian, I may have asked you this before, but, I’m ancient and can’t recall! LOL
    Do you ever take a metal detector to seep the outside of the grounds for old coins and old mason jars; or a hand-held scanner for checking the fireplaces/hearths for hidden money??

  4. desertglow

    This home represents hard times but maybe with some warm happy times as well. It represents our heritage and the art of building out of necessity, something our younger generation knows nothing about…and that is sad. But on a happier note…I’m so thankful for your photos Brian.


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