The house has different architectural elements, including Neoclassical and Folk Victorian. It’s located just south of Harlem. It’s a beautiful structure in an ideal setting.
Saw Dust, as its post office was known when it operated between 1852 and 1895, was the first settlement in the area that would later come to be known as Harlem. Its name came from the presence of three sawmills, which derived their power from Big Kiokee Creek. The town had a raucous reputation for its numerous bars and saloons and this prompted a name change from community leaders. This structure was likely a commissary or general/grocery store.
Henry Harford Cumming envisioned Augusta as the “Lowell of the South” [in reference to the textile hub in Massachusetts] and was the driving force behind the Augusta Canal. The first nine-mile section was completed between 1845-1846, and within a couple of years three mills had already been risen along the waterway. Built near the end of the Canal Era [roughly 1800-1850], it was amazingly successful, as most Southern canals never were, and is the only intact industrial canal still in use in the South today. It was lengthened and enlarged between 1872-1877. It was after this expansion that most of the mills associated with Augusta’s industrial heritage were constructed. These included the Enterprise, Blanche, Sibley, and King Mills. I believe the present gatehouse dates to the expansion period in the 1870s.
A V-shaped dam diverts the Savannah River at the headgates and below it are what is now known as the Savannah Rapids. It is a popular recreation area and a very picturesque location.
Along the walkway at the gatehouse you’ll notice hundreds, if not thousands, of modern padlocks. These have been left behind by visitors over the years, as a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the place. I’m not sure when the tradition started, but it has definitely caught on.
Augusta Canal Industrial District, National Register of Historic Places + National Historic Landmark + Augusta Canal National Heritage Area
This large Folk Victorian has been converted into a bed and breakfast inn, Red Oak Manor, which also features a nice place to grab lunch or supper, The Acorn Restaurant. The friendly staff were very accommodating, gladly pointing out old houses and interesting locations to photograph in the area.
This is one of the quaintest little public libraries in Georgia. I imagine it must have been a residence at one time.
This central hallway house features dominant Folk Victorian porch posts, very similar in style to the library next door.
This is one of several houses in Harlem to feature this style of Folk Victorian porch posts.