Category Archives: Columbus GA

Eclectic Bungalow, Columbus

This may have originated as a Craftsman cottage but if so, has been changed over time.

Columbus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Whitewater Rafting, Columbus

Columbus, like Georgia’s other Fall Line cities, is defined by a dramatic shift in elevation [124 feet over a 2 mile stretch], and its lifeblood has always been the Chattahoochee River. Historically, the river’s waters ran freely over rocks and shoals and were known as the Falls of the Chattahoochee. Chutes de la Chattahoutchie, an 1838 painting by the French naturalist Francis de la Porte depicted a wild and scenic waterway and the river retained this wildness until it was dammed by Eagle and Phenix Mill [1882] and City Mills [1907] to provide the power which made their industries possible. Smaller dams were built earlier in the 19th century, but did not have the impact of the aforementioned examples.

The Falls of the Chattahoochee vanished as the mills grew over time. In the mid-2000s, a plan to breach and remove those dams took hold in an effort to make the Chattahoochee wild again and provide new tourism opportunities for Columbus.

The breaching of the Eagle and Phenix Mill dam in 2012 and the City Mills dam in 2013 brought back a resource which had vanished over a century ago. The Falls of the Chattahoochee, which had been important to the area since the days of Native Americans, once again flow through the city and have created what has been called one of the best urban whitewater runs in the nation.

The river reclamation has been a driver of revitalization in Columbus, and while I generally don’t make endorsements, I would direct you to the experienced folks at Whitewater Express.

They’ll gladly take you on an amazing adventure if you’re of a mind to get wet and get your adrenaline flowing.

Whether you’ve never done whitewater or you’re an old pro, they will make your experience worthwhile. It’s a great day trip if you’re in the area.

Bradley Theatre, 1940, Columbus

The Bradley opened in 1940 and showed its last first-run feature in 1977. It reopened for a time as a live entertainment venue but I ‘m not sure of its present status.

Second Empire House, 1885, Columbus

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been posting from all over the place, unlike my usual fashion of posting multiple locations from a more specific area. I’m presently cleaning up thousands of old photos on the website, as well as repairing issues that happened when I rolled all the websites into one. It’s a grueling background process which will make Vanishing Georgia infinitely better, but much of it won’t be obvious for a long time. In the process of doing this work, which will take about a year, I’m discovering many photographs that somehow never got published. I just wanted to let everyone know. Thanks as always for your support.

Columbus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Riley Spear Fender & Body Works, Columbus

This photograph of Riley Spear’s garage was made circa 1939. Cathy Fussell notes this was a well-known business in Columbus for many years.

Columbian Lodge No. 7 F&AM, 1902, Columbus

Also known as the Flowers Building, for a later tenant, this Chicago-style landmark was designed by architect T. Frith Lockwood to house the local Masons. The floors not used for the lodge were rented as office and retail space. It’s now used as a residential space. (Lockwood’s son, T. F., Jr., was also a prominent Georgia architect).

Columbus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Empire Building, 1896, Columbus

Originally known as the Columbus Investment Company Building, this was known as the Murrah Building by 1910. In 1958, it was renamed the Empire Building.

Columbus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Federal Revival House, 1840, Columbus

This house is quite similar in style to the Milledgeville Federal houses which can be found in the old capital city. This style is not common and is quite interesting to see in Columbus. Architectural historians may call it Federal-inspired or Federal Revival, but I was immediately aware of the aesthetic connection to the Milledgeville houses.

Columbus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Carpenter Italianate House, 1870, Columbus

Columbus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Walker-Peters-Langdon House, 1828, The Oldest House in Columbus

Prefab housing of the 19th century? This simple but sturdy Federal cottage was built for Colonel Virgil H. Walker by Nathaniel Peters and is believed to have been fabricated offsite, then constructed at this location. Thought to be the oldest house in the original city limits of Columbus, it was likely a town house for Colonel Walker’s large family, who were prominent landowners in neighboring Harris County. Colonel Walker sold the house and lot in 1836 to Mrs. Dicey Peters. In 1849, Mrs. Peter’s daughter Frances, who had married Will Langdon, obtained the house. Members of the Langdon family occupied the house for over a hundred years. Today, the property is owned by the Historic Columbus Foundation. It’s open for tours, but only by appointment.

National Register of Historic Places