The following history and reminiscence was kindly shared by Saralyn Duggan Trawick Kimsey, who noted that she was hopeful it would clear up an error made by John Linley in The Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area. Linley stated that the house had always been in the same family, and though there is a thread between the families, that statement was technically incorrect. This was something the Saralyn’s Aunt Jessie Trawick wanted corrected. [I have condensed it slightly].
This house was built circa 1858 by John Trawick for his brother-in-law, Reverend Thomas J. Adams. John formed the bricks and fired them in a ditch in front of the house near the curve in the dirt road.
Reverend Tom Adams was principal of the newly formed school in Linton, the Washington Institute. Some time after 1858, Reverend Adams moved his family, furnishings, house servants, etc. to the Sandersville School and the principal there, Dr. Ivy Walker Duggan moved his family, furnishings, and house servants to the Linton house where he became the new principal of the Institute.
[Detail of the only known image of the Washington Institute from the original tintype, date unknown. Courtesy & © Saralyn Duggan Trawick Kimsey]
Dr. Ivy and Sallie Duggan “took in” Ivy’s younger half-brothers and sisters after the death of their parents. One of these was Georgia Margaret Duggan. As Georgia grew older and completed her education she became a teacher at the Washington Institute.
Jesse Thomas Trawick, son of the builder of the house, and the boy next door, also taught at the Washington Institute. Georgia later married Jesse Trawick. Jesse and Georgia bought the house from Georgia’s half-brother Ivy, when Ivy moved to Rome, Georgia.
Jesse and Georgia’s family were raised in this house: George T. Trawick; Dr. Andrew J. Trawick, Sr., DVM; and Miss Jessie Trawick, who taught Chemistry and Physical Science at Georgia College in Milledgeville.
Other prominent Georgians who lived here include: Dr. William Adams, who moved to Texas and became Chief Surgeon for the Fort Worth, Denver and Santa Fe Railroads; Dr. James R. Duggan, professor of chemistry at Wake Forest University; and Mell Duggan, Georgia State School Superintendent.
Current owners are the children of Dr. A. J. and Lorene Veal Trawick: Andy Trawick, Jr., and Saralyn Duggan Trawick Kimsey.
[An early image of the Adams-Duggan-Trawick House, date unknown. Courtesy & © Saralyn Duggan Trawick Kimsey]
The house includes lower and upper porches across the front. The lower front entrance is framed with an etched glass vine in the form of an arch with cranberry glass above the door. The house originally included three rooms on the lower floor with a long hallway extending from the front to the back. The large room on the right was the dining room and two rooms with closets were on the left of the hallway. The kitchen was a wooden house in the back yard. Later a wall was built to divide the long room in the main house. The front room became the parlor and the other half became the kitchen.
Two large rooms and two closets on either side of a long hall form the second floor. A door on the second floor leads to an attic which is about 10’x10′ with a wooden rail on the open side at the steps. Glass window panes were in the windows of the attic in its early years. A member of the family living in the house used this attic for his room. Many stories have circulated about its purpose. One of the stories speaks of the owner watching his slaves in the fields. Another story calls this a widow’s walk as is found on the coast. The present owners feel that one of its important purposes is for circulation from bottom to top of house. It provides natural air conditioning when the door to the attic steps is open.
[May 20, 1902 Trawick Family Photograph L-R: Georgia Margaret Duggan Trawick; Andrew Jackson “A.J.” Trawick; George Thomas Trawick, Edmund Duggan “Eddie” Trawick; and Jessie Thomas Trawick. Pennie Ray, helper and friend of the family stands near the steps. Eddie died 1 1/2 months after this picture was taken. Sisters Jessie and Pearl were born later. Jesse Thomas Trawick is the son of John Trawick who is the brother of Charity, Sarah, Marry, Jesse, and Andrew Jackson “Dack” Trawick. The house was bought from Georgia’s half-brother, Ivy Walker Duggan when Georgia and Jesse married. Georgia and her younger brothers and sister, Archie, Mary and Eddie Duggan lived here with their half brother, Mr and Mrs Ivy Duggan after their parents died. Georgia was only 12 when her father died and 14 when her mother died. Courtesy & © Saralyn Duggan Trawick Kimsey]
Life in the house had many “conveniences” of the era. One was a chance to “warm one side of your body at a time” by backing up to the fire in the fireplace where wood provided the means of heat. Fat “lighter’d” stumps provided splinters from which the fires were started.
The ladies outhouse had a path leading to it lined with pretty sweet smelling flowers. It also had a concrete floor and upright form which provided a place for a wooden “seat of honor”. On the other hand the men’s outhouse was in a different direction from the house and was a three-holer open to the wind in back. It wasn’t proper for the men and women to go in the same direction to take care of bodily needs. The first and only bathroom was added to the house in the late 1950s (almost a hundred years after the house was built).
When the kitchen moved inside the house, a wood stove was still used for much of the cooking even though an electric stove was available. I remember as a child in the early 1940s having my breakfast kept warm on the oven door of the wood stove.
A fun activity of our childhood was sliding down the smooth, polished banister which lined the very sturdy steps. We had to have a “lookout” person for this activity as Grandma’s bedroom was at the foot of the stairs and she would sometimes be waiting at the bottom to clear us off the banister. My brother and are responsible for at least one of the etched glasses near the front door having to be replaced as it was fun to let a ball roll down the long steps from top to bottom. The ball gained bouncing power as it descended and sometimes did not stop with the person at the bottom but went to the prized panes.
The National Register of Historic Places nomination notes that Washington Institute students roomed here. It is certainly a possibility, as Linton was solely focused on the Institute.
Linton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places