Tag Archives: Endangered Places in Georgia

Poultry Farm, Habersham County

I believe this farm now serves another purpose, but the old barns recall the earlier days of commercial poultry, Georgia’s dominant agricultural commodity. I believe Northeast Georgia is still the top region for production and was an early leader in innovation.

Penny Savings Bank, 1925, Augusta

The Penny Savings Loan and Investment Company was formed by a group of Augusta’s leading Black businessmen in 1910. This structure, based on designs by architect G. Lloyd Preacher, was built in 1925. An anchor of the Black business district known as the “Golden Blocks”, it closed its doors in 1928 as a result of economic woes and the looming Great Depression. Though stable, the structure has been long abandoned and attempts at rehabilitation have not materialized.

Laney-Walker North Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Future of Milledgeville’s Lamar House Remains Uncertain

Zachariah Lamar House, Circa 1806-1810

This house has been in rough shape for as long as I can remember, having been a rental property for many years, but I always knew it was architecturally significant and of historical importance. Despite having lost all its historic interior elements and featuring a non-historic rear addition, the house is an important link not only to the earliest days of Milledgeville but to two important families integral to the political and cultural life of 19th-century Georgia and is worth saving.

A couple of years ago my friend David Bray noted that plans for demolition were on the horizon, and preservationist Scott Reed recently reached out to let me know that hearings on its fate were moving forward. The present owners of the property, Georgia Military College (GMC), have plans to turn the property into a parking lot but Bray notes that as of now, demolition of the house has been stopped, largely due to efforts of the Milledgeville Historic Preservation Commission and concerned citizens. He notes that GMC is willing to save the structure. Still, plans for its future, which involve several options, remain uncertain. Proposals are being considered at this time. [This is an ongoing process, and updates will be included as they become available].

As to the history of the house, an exact date is unknown, but it was built for Zachariah Lamar (1769-29 October 1838), who purchased the lot on which it stands in 1806. Considering Lamar’s involvement with the committee which designed the plans for the city of Milledgeville [established 1804], it seems the house is likely contemporary to his purchase of the property or soon thereafter, placing it circa 1806-1810.

In addition to his interests in retail, taverns, saloons, agriculture, and banking, Lamar served as a judge and in the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate. He was directly involved with the formation of the Bank of the State of Georgia, the first “upcountry” bank in the state. He was also one of the managers of the ball which honored the Marquis de LaFayette* on the occasion of his visit to Milledgeville in 1825.

[The 1 April 1825 edition of the Milledgeville Georgian notes of the visit of 27-29 March: “General Lafayette arrived in Milledgeville on Sunday last, at noon. It is needless to say he received a hearty and enthusiastic welcome…he was met by the Cavalry of Baldwin County, who escorted him into the town, and that his approach was announced by the firing of cannon, ringing of bells, &e. The General rode in an open carriage, accompanied by the Governor, and followed by the military and civil procession, as previously arranged. In the evening he attended service at the Methodist Chapel- the town was illuminated, and on Monday he was to dine with the citizens, in an extensive arbor prepared in the State House square. A splendid Ball and supper were to be given him in Monday evening- the Senate Chamber and Hall of representatives having been tastefully prepared for the occasion. Several volunteer companies from the neighboring counties had arrived to assist in paying honor to the Guest of the Nation.]

Zachariah Lamar House, Perspective view showing non-historic rear addition

At his death he owned around 15,000 acres of land, dependent on the labor of 220 slaves. One of his sons, John Basil Lamar, served in the Georgia legislature and very briefly in the United States House of Representatives, and died at the Battle of Crampton’s Gap during the Civil War. He was also one of the so-called Georgia Humorists. His daughter, Mary Ann Lamar, was married to Howell Cobb [the namesake of Cobb County].

Folk Victorian Farmhouse, Cherokee County

Shingle House, 1880s, Cherokee County

The iconic “Shingle House”, so named for its shingle siding, is the last remaining structure related to the Franklin-Creighton Gold Mine near Ball Ground. The mine had its origins circa 1832, when Mary G. Franklin obtained 40 acres along the Etowah River in the Gold Lottery of 1832. It became the Franklin, or Franklin-Creighton Mine circa 1883 and was said to be one of the most productive in the area, until1907, long after other area mines were long exhausted. The structure has reportedly served as a commissary, post office, and boarding house.

The community that grew up around the mine was known as Creighton, and the post office was operational from 1887-1918. The property is part of Gold & Grass Farms today.

Stancil’s Store, 1912 & 1952, Cherokee County

The little shotgun store at the corner of Yellow Creek and Conns Creek Road is a landmark in Cherokee County. Bill Ringle notes on his blog, Remnants of Southern Architecture: The old store was opened in 1912 by William and Mary Ann (Holcomb) Stancil. On February 24, 1915, their tenth child of eleven was born and named Broughton. A fixture of the store, Broughton was a World War II veteran having served in the U.S. Army fighting in the Pacific against the Japanese in British New Guinea. During his time there, he was cited for courageous conduct in action. Mr. Stancil passed away November 30, 2011, just shy of the 100 year anniversary of the store.

He also identifies the store across the road: The demands of the small store became so great that they had to build a larger store on the eastern side of the road in 1952. The rural location…allowed it to thrive during the “old days”. However, the combination of the rise of the automobile, and the era of the large big-box stores, forced the family to close the doors in 2012.

General Store, Chestatee

This was a crossroads store at one time, I believe. It’s one of just a few rural resources of this type remaining in Forsyth County, the fastest growing in Georgia over the past decade.

Bruce Street School Ruins, 1938, Lithonia

Also known as the Lithonia Colored School, the Bruce Street School was opened in 1938 as the first public school for Black children in Lithonia. It was built as a community effort, with granite from local quarries. These ruins are presently the subject of community input for future use.

Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area

Dial Mill, Circa 1830, Rockdale County

Allen Summers built the three-story hand-hewn structure known today as Dial Mill after purchasing three fractional lots at a public auction in the 1820s. It was one of the first commercial mills to be built in this region. The property is bounded by the historic Hightower (Etowah) Trail to the north and Little Haynes Creek to the east. Though the traditional date of construction is believed to be circa 1830, Summers may have begun construction of the mill earlier. Oral tradition has suggested that the dam for the mill was complete before 1830. Summers died in 1845 and the property was deeded to his son, James M. Summers, by his wife. The younger Summers leased the property to John Wells and William Puckett, with later assistance in the operation of the mill being provided by William’s brother, Pleasant Puckett. Pleasant’s wife Winnie is said to have protected the mill from Union troops during the Civil War.

In 1875, James M. Summers sold the mill to E. B. Rosser, who made a great success of the operation. In 1898, metal rollers replaced the grinding stones and the mill became known as Princeton Roller Mills [Princeton was in reference to the community which grew up around the mill]. In 1909, the mill was sold to George Dial and Sons, and though they only owned it for nine years, the name Dial Mill remains in use to this day. The Fowler family owned it from 1918-1942, and it was sold to the Costley Brothers , who owned it until 1964.

The mill is presently in need of stabilization.

National Register of Historic Places

Franklin Store, 1896, Starrsville

This structure is the last remaining store building in the historic Starrsville community, which was settled circa 1821. It has had several uses throughout its history and is also referred to as the Franklin and Banks Store. One resource notes that it was used as the Starrsville post office for a time, but I haven’t been able to confirm this yet.

Starrsville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places