Category Archives: Eastman GA

Eclectic Victorian House, 1889, Eastman

Colonial Revival House, 1906, Eastman

This Colonial Revival house is situated on a large lot near the courthouse, surrounded by majestic old oaks.

Presbyterian Church, 1892, Eastman

This structure was the original home of the First Presbyterian Church. The congregation was established in 1877 and services were held in the courthouse until the completion of the church building in 1892. The Reverend William McKay served as the first pastor. The town’s’ namesake, William Pitt Eastman was among the first members, along with Miss Carro C. Eastman, Fannie P. Chandler, Lillie E. Chandler, Mary De Groat, Mrs. John Gardiner, Ursula Roberts, Joseph W. Sheldon, Nancy Sheldon, George W. Sheldon, John D. Sheldon, and Mary Russell. William Pitt Eastman and Joseph W. Sheldon were elected Ruling Elders, but Mr. Eastman declined the office.

Phillip Harrell notes that this was also used as the Catholic Church for a time.

Mr. Angel Monument, 2008, Eastman – The First Georgia Bulldog Mascot

Before Sonny Seiler’s white English Bulldogs, known as the Ugas, came to prominence as the most recognizable collegiate mascots in the nation in 1956, there was Mr. Angel.

Mr. Angel was the first English bulldog to serve as the mascot for the University of Georgia. The brindle-and-white bulldog was owned by Dr. Warren A. Coleman of Eastman and served the school from 1944-1946, while Coleman’s daughter, Marie Coleman Wilson, was enrolled at the University.

Dr. Coleman’s home was located on the site of the present-day Magnolia State Bank in downtown Eastman, and upon his death, Mr. Angel was buried in the yard, hence the location of this monument at the site. The marker notes of Mr. Angel: His beautiful appearance and captivating personality inspired the athletes of the University of Georgia to insist English bulldogs remain as the school’s representative…

Mascot Trivia: Before Mr. Angel, the first known mascot to serve the University of Georgia was “The Goat”, who made appearances at two football games during the 1892 season. The first dog to serve as mascot was a Bull Terrier named Trilby, in 1894. After Mr. Angel, and before the Ugas, three other brindle bulldogs served: Butch, Tuffy, and Mike.

Georgian Cottage, Circa 1870s, Dodge County

This house once anchored a farm on the edge of Eastman. It’s in the Georgian Cottage style and typical of middle class farms that began to prosper in the years following the Civil War. While it has not been identified or dated as yet, its architecture indicates it was likely built in the decade following the war.

The ruins of a tobacco barn on the driveway leading to the main house, as well as a tenant houses at the end of a row of pecan trees, indicate that this was an active farm well into the 20th century. It appears to have been abandoned for many years and is located on private property. I’m lucky to have been given the opportunity to document it and am grateful to the owner for granting permission facilitated by David Bray. David was a great host in showing the property, which ultimately the owner would like to see moved and saved. Unfortunately, it may be too far gone.

The wraparound porch is thought to be a later addition.

It features hand-carved porch posts that give it a bit of a Folk Victorian appearance.

The four interior rooms have been “updated” but still retain wainscot chair rails and what are thought to be the original mantels. The mantels reflect a middle class owner, who used spindles to add ornamentation.

The rear of the house is a mirror image of the front.

I hope the house can be moved and saved, but it would need to happen soon. The owner will give it to someone who will move it; if you know someone with a serious interest, please contact me.

Breitung-Peacock-Fitzgerald House, 1886, Eastman

Perhaps the finest Queen Anne house in Eastman, this beautifully restored landmark is now an event space and bed and breakfast known as Peacock Place. It has connections to Eastman’s founder, William Pitt Eastman, who sold lots from his “Eastman Home Field” property which became the most fashionable neighborhood in town in the 1880s. Eastman sold this particular lot to Edward Breitung of Negaunee, Michigan, on 3 August 1886. Breitung was a railroad millionaire who chose to build a winter retreat in Eastman after making an acquaintance with Judge James Bishop while a guest of the Millionaire’s Club on Jekyll Island. Sadly, Breitung never lived in the house, as he died the night before he had planned to move in. His widow and son returned to Michigan and never lived in the house.

The house sat empty until 1902, when it was purchased by Mrs. Estelle B. Bullock, who owned it for eight years. W. H. Coleman and Mrs. Carolyn B. Bush were short-term owners before it was purchased by the C. H. Peacock family in 1917. Julia Peacock Fitzgerald inherited the house in 1929 and owned it until her death in 1980. Her daughter, Idolene, was the next owner and it remained in the family until 1992.

Wynne-Stuckey House, 1903, Eastman

Andy Hall writes: [This house] was built by Mather Wynne and his wife Nancy Almeda McRae, my 2nd great-aunt. Aunt Nannie and Uncle Mather were Telfair County natives, married in 1882. Members of the Stuckey family were later owners.

Children’s Monuments, Woodlawn Cemetery, Eastman

My great-grandmother was from Eastman and while living there, she lost a baby, Mary Elizabeth Browning, in 1923. Over the years we visited Woodlawn Cemetery on numerous occasions to tend to the grave and pay respects to others. Just inside the gates of Woodlawn, two monuments marking children’s graves always caught my attention for their solemnity and the skills of their sculptors/carvers. (Above: Mathew T. Clark (1896-1901), son of Harlow & L. D. Clark)

This monument marks the final resting place of Cora Weaver (1884-19 October 1885), daughter of Mr. & Mrs. D. W. Weaver.

Children’s monuments, so common in older cemeteries, are a sad reminder of the high rates of infant mortality before the advent of modern medicine.

Folk Victorian House, Eastman

Site of the Original Stuckey’s, 1937, Eastman

This structure, located on the site of Williamson S. Stuckey, Sr.’s (1909-1977) original roadside stand, has the familiar teal blue roof that was a beacon to tourists throughout America from the 1940s until the 1970s. I’m  not sure as to the date of this structure, but it’s probably from the 1940s or 1950s. The Stuckey’s Candy Factory, built in 1948, is located on the property, as well.

In 1937, Mr. Stuckey had a bumper crop of pecans and opened a roadside stand to sell them to the many tourists who passed through town on busy US 23. His wife, Ethel Mullis Stuckey (1909-1991), concocted a rolled pecan confection which quickly became Stuckey’s most iconic treat, the Pecan Log Roll (some love them, some not so much, but their impact on the business can’t be understated). While pecans and pecan-based treats were always the focus, Mr. Stuckey realized that travelers wanted more, and soon added other confections, a restaurant, souvenirs, and gasoline service.

By the late 1960s, there were over 350 Stuckey’s franchises throughout the United States, and their teal blue roofs were as iconic then as McDonald’s golden arches are today. The family sold the business to Pet Milk in 1967, but the focus became more corporate and less personal and changing travel patterns saw the rise of other roadside businesses that were quite competitive. From 1967-1977, Williamson (Billy) Stuckey, Jr., served five terms in the U. S. Congress. In 1985, determined to see his family name return to national prominence, Mr. Stuckey and a group of investors bought back the family business from Pet Milk. Though the familiar Stuckey’s locations of yesterday are no longer in operation, the brand remains strong and store-within-store locations are once again found throughout the eastern United States. In 2019, Stephanie Stuckey took over as CEO with plans of expanding even more, insuring the Stuckey’s name will be known well into the 21st century.