Tag Archives: Georgia Federal Architecture

Middlebrooks House – Sparta Female Dormitory, 1832

According to local sources, this was one of three dormitories of the Sparta Female Model School, built between 1831-1832. In contrast to the other existing dormitory, this one is in good condition and has been a residence for many years.

Sparta Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Sparta Female Dormitory, Circa 1815 & 1832

The Sparta Female Academy was established in 1832 by Sereno Taylor of Vermont. [Various sources also refer to it as the Taylor Female Academy, Sparta Female College, and Sparta Female Seminary]. It was supported by the Baptists. This and another renovated dormitory are all that survive of the historic boarding school. A preliminary evaluation by architect Brandy Morrison suggests that the rear section of this house is the earliest, circa 1815, with the front being added circa 1831.

A broadside dating to 8 December 1838 heralds the school’s reorganization and an enlargement of the course of study. The seven disciplines: Language; Mathematics; Cosmics; History; Geotics; Government; and Philosophy. Sereno Taylor was superintendent and a teacher in the Literary and Musical Departments. Five assistants were on staff, as well, with the expected arrival, in early 1839, of Madame Salmon Hantute of Paris, for the teaching of the French Language, Piano Forte, and Singing.

Annual tuition varied, dependent upon the level of instruction. It ranged from $25 for primary instruction to $125 for collegiate instruction. Musical instrument training was also on order, beginning with the piano forte, advancing to guitar, harp, and finally, organ.

Sparta Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

James & Cunningham Daniel House, 1810s, Wilkes County

One of the great landmarks of Federal architecture in Georgia, this highly stylized brick I-house may be unique in the state. This house type is much more common in Virginia and, to a lesser extent, North Carolina but this is the only one I’ve encountered in my travels in rural Georgia. The dedication of family members and later guardians to preserve the house has been central to its continued survival.

James Allen Daniel, Jr., (1740-1821) was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia. With brothers John, William, and David, James migrated through the Carolinas and served as a dragoon in the American Revolution during this time. James was one of three Daniel brothers who married three Cunningham sisters of Amelia County, Virginia [James married Elizabeth Cunningham (1749-1819) in 1767]. In 1791 he was among the early settlers of Wilkes County and one of the fathers of the Presbyterian church in the eastern Piedmont region. Family records indicate that James built the home for his son Cunningham (1768-1839) but may have occupied the property until his death. From Cunningham the home passed to his son James Ewing Daniel; from James Ewing Daniel to his daughter Frances Daniel Dillard; and finally to Frances Dillard’s son, Roy Dillard, who was the last Daniel descendant to occupy the house (1954). The house was unoccupied until 1967 when Roy Dillard’s heirs sold it to the David and Diana Blackburn, who subsequently named it “Kettle Creek Manor” for the three branches of Kettle Creek which run through the property and the nearby Revolutionary War battle site of the same name.

National Register of Historic Places

Solomon-Smith Farmhouse, Circa 1823, Macon

Built by pioneer settler Henry Solomon as the centerpiece of a 50-acre working farm when it was “out in the country” from Macon, this Early Republic style home is the second oldest structure in Bibb County. It was nearly lost to neglect and deterioration but was rescued and restored in 2002.

Vineville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Terrell-Stone House, Circa 1822, Sparta

Built in the early 1820s for Dr. William Terrell (1778-1855), this remarkable Federal house displays a strong Palladian influence. A front porch extending the width of the house was removed during renovations but was likely not original to the structure.

A stone-sided kitchen survives on the property, as does an office said to originally have been a billiard house [below]. Obviously, it was built in the Victorian era and the side room is a later addition.

Dr. Terrell was a leading citizen in early-19th-century Sparta, serving in the Georgia legislature and later as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives. He was the founder and first president of the Sparta Planters Club, an agricultural and social consortium of prominent landowners which aimed to improve farming practices. He endowed the first serious chair of agriculture in the United States at the University of Georgia. Terrell County in Southwest Georgia is named for him.

Sparta Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Eagle Tavern, Circa 1801, Watkinsville

When the Eagle Tavern was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, it was thought that it was constructed sometime around 1820, but subsequent research has set the date around 1801, possibly earlier. The location of present-day Watkinsville was still a part of the Cherokee and Creek territories when the tavern was built and the seat of the original Clarke County before Athens existed. It’s one of just a few stagecoach, pre-railroad era public structures surviving in Georgia. In 1836 Richard C. Richardson bought the tavern and made numerous additions over the years. In 1934, the tavern was saved from destruction by Lanier Richardson Billups, who deeded it to the state of Georgia in 1956. Under the direction of architect G. Thomas Little, Richardson’s additions were removed, revealing the Plantation Plain original section we see today. It is now home to the Eagle Tavern Museum.

Tompkins Inn, Circa 1812, Putnam County

George Bird purchased this land for $300 in 1810. In 1812, it was purchased by Giles Tompkins (1766-1841), an original settler of Putnam County, for $2000. Due to the increase in value of the land, it’s believed that Bird may have actually built the Inn, but since its history is irrevocably linked to the Tompkins family, it is known as the Tompkins Inn. After Giles died, his widow, Sarah, operated the Inn until the 1850s, when it passed to a granddaughter, also named Sarah. The inn passed to Sarah’s husband, Josias Boswell in 1856. Debt forced the sale of the Inn to A. R. Zachary in 1862. In 1874, Boswell’s second wife, Emmeline, purchased the Inn. Upon Emmeline Boswell’s death in 1910, it was willed to Mary Anderson.

The historical importance of the property was noted as early as 1924, as evidenced by this granite slab, placed by the Samuel Reid Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution during that year. Apparently, the marker was buried in red clay for many years and was uncovered during renovation.

The Federal Land Bank of Columbia (South Carolina) assumed ownership of the site in 1927 and it was purchased, along with many large tracts of land, in 1936. It was then rented as private residence until 1970. In that year, Mrs. T. H. Resseau traded a parcel of land for the Inn and 3 acres and deeded it to the Town & Country Garden Club in Eatonton. Jene Welch notes that it’s now owned by the Eatonton Putnam Historical Society.

It is presently being stabilized. It’s located near Eatonton on US 441.

As of 2021, the inn has been restored.

Walker-Peters-Langdon House, 1828, The Oldest House in Columbus

Historic Columbus GA Walkers Peters Langdon House Early Prefabricated Architecture Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Prefab housing of the 19th century? This simple but sturdy Federal cottage was built for Colonel Virgil H. Walker by Nathaniel Peters and is believed to have been fabricated offsite, then constructed at this location. Thought to be the oldest house in the original city limits of Columbus, it was likely a town house for Colonel Walker’s large family, who were prominent landowners in neighboring Harris County. Colonel Walker sold the house and lot in 1836 to Mrs. Dicey Peters. In 1849, Mrs. Peter’s daughter Frances, who had married Will Langdon, obtained the house. Members of the Langdon family occupied the house for over a hundred years. Today, the property is owned by the Historic Columbus Foundation. It’s open for tours, but only by appointment.

National Register of Historic Places


Federal Style House, Circa 1835, Columbus

This amazing survivor is located next door to the Pemberton House.

Columbus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Grey House, Circa 1790, Wilkes County

Built by Job Callaway to replace the family’s first dwelling (akin to the log cabin seen in previous post), this Federal Plain-style house was home to the Callaway family until 1869, when the larger plantation house was constructed. Originally located across the highway on the site of the Washington-Wilkes County Airport, it was moved here in the 1960s. It’s furnished with period antiques today.

National Register of Historic Places