Category Archives: –TALBOT COUNTY GA–

Rose Hill Seminary Headmaster’s House, 1850s, Talbotton

If the resource I’ve used is correct, this structure was known as the Johnson cabin and expanded circa 1855 into the present Greek Revival form for use as the headmaster’s home. It is the last surviving significant structure of the Rose Hill Seminary, established by Zion Episcopal Church founder Reverend Richard Johnson, who came to Talbotton in 1846. The expansion of the house may have taken place at the direction of Reverend Wesley Gahagan, who came to Talbotton in 1852 to manage the school. Reverend Gahagan died in 1857 and the school closed soon thereafter. [Thanks to Jim Bruce for further confirming some of this history].

Trae Ingram notes that the house suffered serious damage during a tornado a few years ago.

Horeb Primitive Baptist Church, Talbot County

Horeb was constituted in 1835 and built a house of worship before 1841. It’s possible that this structure dates to that time, but my resources aren’t sufficient to confirm at this time.

Governor George W. Towns House, 1828, Talbotton

According to the 1973 nomination form which added this property to the National Register of Historic Places: Construction of the house began in 1828. It is an amalgamation of two two-story…houses to which was added a mid-19th century portico and several 2oth century rooms…[the house] is an example of what happened to vernacular architecture in Georgia as a family and its needs and stylistic wants grew and changed…

The house is also known as the Towns-Persons-Page House. After Towns left the governorship and moved to Macon [circa 1852], the house was sold to the Persons family, who occupied it until 1968, when it was purchased by the Gary Page family.

George Washington Bonaparte Towns (1801-1854) was born in Wilkes County, though his family soon moved to Greene County, and then on to Morgan County. He moved to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1821, and operated a pub while studying law. He was admitted to the bar in 1824. He also briefly owned a newspaper, the Alabama Journal. His first marriage, to Margaret Jane Campbell in 1826, ended tragically. His bride, who had been in poor health, died just a few days after the ceremony. [He married Margaret Winston Jones of Virginia in 1838].

Towns moved to Talbotton in 1828 and served as one of its first commissioners. He was also one of the first attorneys in the new town, owning a very successful practice. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1829 and 1830. He served in the state senate from 1832-1834. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1835 but resigned in 1836 over concerns that the legislature might be forced to pick a Whig as President in the upcoming election. Instead, a Whig won Towns’s seat, but he successfully won re-election to the seat in 1837 and served until 1839. He continued to practice law and served one more term in Congress, in 1846, but lost re-election to John W. Jones, a Whig.

In 1847, Towns was elected governor of Georgia in a highly contested race against the Whig candidate, Duncan L. Clinch. He served until 1851 and died in Macon in 1854.

National Register of Historic Places

Thomas Lumsden House, Circa 1854, Talbot County

The Greek Revival plantation home of Thomas Reid Lumsden is truly exceptional, featuring carved columns and 12-over-12 windows. It has remained in the same family throughout its history.

In his monumental history A Rockaway in Talbot: Travels in an Old Georgia County [Hester Printing, 1985], William H. Davidson notes that Lumsden made his way to Talbot County when he married his second wife, Virgina Pierce Leonard in 1853. They lived for a time in Floyd County but were back in Talbot, building this house circa 1853-1854.

Davidson also points out the influence of Andrew Jackson Downing’s 1850 pattern book The Architecture of Country Houses. He notes The verandah of the Lumsden house was very likely adapted therefrom by Urban Cooper Tigner, contractor and builder of the house, his own nearby plantation house, and the Collinsworth United Methodist Church. Thanks to Jim Bruce for sharing scans from Davidson’s book.

Thanks to Trae Ingram for the identification.

Noel House & Well House, Talbot County

This simple vernacular form probably dates to the 19th century. The well house is later, but a notable survivor.

 

Joe Mike House, Talbot County

Though it’s owned by the Hill family, this tenant house near Junction City is best known as the home of Joe Mike. Thanks to Sherry Rigsby for the identification.

She recalls: I knew the couple that lived there years ago. They always helped my daddy kill hogs or whatever he needed done. A lot of memories. Joe Mike’s wife had a blind brother who lived with them.

A barn also survives on the property. Ken Hamil notes that it was a smokehouse and there was once a hog pen located adjacent to it.

Schoolhouse, Talbot County

Wesley Matthews writes: This school’s original location was next door to Crossroads Church on George Smith Road. The entire school house was moved by Johnny Matthews in the 1950s to present location on Pobiddy Road where he used it as a warehouse to store fertilizer and lumber . It was built by county school system in the 1920s or 1930s.

Callier’s Store, Po Biddy Crossroads

This iconic crossroads store was owned by Betty & Maro Callier. In trying to answer where the crossroads got its name, Norman Carter wrote in The Pobiddy Joke Book (1995): Nobody knows exactly how Pobiddy got its name. I remember when my good friends Betty and Maro Callier had a store at Pobiddy and Maro drew a little chicken on the front of the store and underneath wrote “Pobiddy”. Other people say there were some people sitting on the porch of a home in Pobiddy when a little chicken ran across the road and a car hit it and killed it. Someone on the porch said “po biddy!”.

Collinsworth United Methodist Church, 1834, Talbot County

The South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church notes: Collinsworth was organized prior to 1830, by a band of Methodists meeting at the home of George Menifee. The first church was a log cabin called Menifee’s Meeting House. They built the present structure in 1834 and named it for Reverend John Collinsworth, a former pastor. The dedication service, by Reverend Lovick Pierce, wasn’t held until 1859.

Collinsworth is a fine example of a vernacular Greek Revival church, evident in the locally executed Ionic capitals (above). The builder was Urban Cooper Tigner, owner of a nearby plantation and a self-taught architect/contractor. Tigner also built the Lumsden House.

Saddlebag Tenant House, Talbot County

This is a nice example of this once widespread form.