The handsome Second Empire Newton County Courthouse in Covington is Georgia’s most recognizable, from its appearance in numerous television series and films. Designed by the venerable firm of Bruce and Morgan, it was an ambitious structure for its time, reflecting the prosperity of the county it represented. Most people will recognize it from the hit television series, In the Heat of the Night, which filmed in Covington for much of its run. It was also used as the Hazzard County Courthouse on the first five episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard.
The Carmichael House is a landmark of the Queen Anne style in Georgia, featuring all the ornament and specialized carpentry that epitomize the era. Victorian stained glass can be found throughout the house. It was designed by the prominent Atlanta firm of Bruce & Morgan, who were simultaneously building the Butts County courthouse. Subdivided for use as apartments during the Great Depression, the house was later restored and served as a bed and breakfast. It serves as an event venue today.
John Robert Carmichael was a wealthy businessman, known for his high quality buggies. In 1887, he began the production of wagons and buggies at the Carmichael Jackson Buggy Company. One of the largest buggy manufacturers in the South, they produced about 4,000 per year.
Butts County was formed in 1825, with Jackson becoming the first and only county seat. Three or four (the history is unclear) courthouses served the county before the Civil War, when the courthouse at the time was burned by Union forces during Sherman’s March to the Sea. The present structure was built in 1897-98.
Designed by the Atlanta architectural firm of Bruce & Morgan, Haralson County’s historic Queen Anne courthouse is a sight to behold and a wonderful anchor for this small downtown. Though a more modern courthouse was built in 1972, this structure still serves the public as a library.
I’d like to thank Donnie Boswell for his hospitality during my brief visit and for sharing some of the history of Buchanan. He serves as the Main Street Affiliate Representative for Buchanan and is very enthusiastic about his community. He also let me know that the town name is pronounced buck-hanon not bew-canon.
Though the Brooks County Courthouse is generally noted as having been built in 1859, that date is misleading. Construction began that year, but due to the Civil War and the death of contractor Charles H. Remington in 1862, the courthouse was not completed until 1864. It was extensively remodeled in 1892 by the firm of Bruce & Morgan, in the Italian Renaissance Revival style.