The Neoclassical details on the porch and transom and sidelights add architectural interest to this otherwise simple house. It’s located near the historic Johnson Lodge.
Category Archives: Walthourville GA
Johnson Lodge No. 37, Walthourville
Donated and built by John Walt, this was the meeting place of the International Free & Accepted Masons and Order of the Eastern Star, known as Johnson Lodge No. 37. It was an African-American lodge. A list of Walthourville’s historic resources in the most recent Liberty County Joint Comprehensive Plan dates it to circa 1845, but I believe this to be an error. If it was originally a white lodge, it could date to the antebellum era, but the style of construction doesn’t support that date. Furthermore, its African-American association precludes that date as such organizations and gathering places for blacks were illegal at the time. My guess is that it was built in the late 1800s. Whatever its history, it’s an important landmark and should be preserved.
Ralph Quarterman House, Circa 1937, Allenhurst
This was the home of businessman and Civil Rights leader Ralph Waldo Quarterman. It’s located adjacent to Mr. Quarterman’s grocery store.
Ralph Quarterman Grocery, Allenhurst
This neighborhood grocery was owned by Ralph Waldo Quarterman, a leading African-American citizen of Liberty County and founder of the local branch of the NAACP. I believe this area was once part of Allenhurst but changing boundaries now place it in Walthourville. His home is visible to the right of the store.
Walthourville Baptist Church, 1923
A marker placed by the Liberty County Historical Society in 2003 notes: Founded in 1809, the North Newport Baptist Church has had several homes over the years. In 1923, the Church moved to this location and in 1952 the Church voted and renamed the church Walthourville Baptist Church. The original Church did not have a building of its own, so it shared facilities with the Sunbury Baptist Church. In 1864 the church building was burnt by General Sherman’s army as a signal for gunboats anchored in the channel. Before the building was burnt, the original Bible of the North Newport church was saved by members of the church.The present sanctuary was built in 1923. This building has two unique features; solid brick walls and a theater style floor made of heart pine. In 2000 the original tray ceiling and pine floor were restored.
Colonel Edward Payson Miller House, Circa 1845, Walthourville
I identified this as the Miller House, using a photograph in Virginia Fraser Evans’s Liberty County: A Pictorial History. Colonel Edward Payson Miller was a Confederate veteran associated with the Liberty Independent Troop and one of the most prominent members of the community, serving as a leader in the Walthourville Presbyterian Church. It is also known as the Miller-Dryden House.
Pyramidal Cottage, Circa 1904, Walthourville
Craftsman Bungalow, Walthourville
The photo dates to 2012. The house was razed a couple of years ago.
General Store & Post Office, Circa 1925, Walthourville
Jonell Blitch notes that in the 1950’s this was a general store that sold dry goods and linens and home delivery groceries. You could run monthly tabs to buy needed supplies. [It was] owned and operated by Jimmy and Betty Blitch. I believe Wallace and Johnny Mallard were earlier owners. It also served as the Walthourville post office.
Walthourville Presbyterian Church, 1878
The first retreat of the Midway colonists was located about fifteen miles inland, on higher and sandier ground. Initially, it was known as Sand Hills. Midway member Andrew Walthour built the first dwelling in the area in 1795 and was soon joined by a multitude of others. By 1800 the settlement became more permanent, and the name was changed to Walthourville. In 1820 a Union building was erected, since the retreat population were still congregants of Midway. At first, they went back and forth to the main church for baptisms and communion, but eventually the congregation at Walthourville was established. A new church was built circa 1845, and in 1855 they officially became Presbyterians. At this time they were given independence from Midway, but still maintained a spiritual bond. They were vastly successful as a congregation, being the second largest in the Savannah presbytery and the largest in terms of benevolent gifts. The journal of Judge John LeConte Harden, who spent much of his boyhood in the 1840s in Walthourville, fondly recalled a place called Tea Grove Farms. It was one of the most prosperous in the county, and quite early for a commercial farm; everything from tea, which was in cultivation in several locations around Liberty County at the time, to peaches, pears, apples and scuppernongs was produced at Tea Grove. The descendants of the Midway congregation who now made Walthourville their home were quite industrious and also grew sugar cane and were pioneers in the Southern naval stores industry. Fire destroyed the 1845 church and the present Walthourville Presbyterian Church was built in 1877-78. [The church building itself is actually located in Long County, just over the Liberty County line, but is associated with Liberty County and Midway and therefore included here].
Though the present church was built after emancipation, the slave gallery was retained in the architecture. I’m not sure if this was just an attempt to copy the design of the earlier church, or simply to accommodate larger crowds from time to time.
National Register of Historic Places