Tag Archives: Georgia Landmarks

Stately Oaks, Circa 1839, Jonesboro

This house, built by Whitmill Phillips Allen (6 November 1811-January 1868), was once the center of a plantation located four miles north of Jonesboro on the Atlanta Road. Allen sold the property to Robert McCord in 1858; McCord answered the call to Confederate service not long after settling onto the property. During the Battle of Jonesboro, Union soldiers set up camp on the grounds. The house survived the Civil War and when McCord returned home, he resumed operations of the farm, selling the property in 1879. My understanding is that the next owner was John Columbus Orr. It remained in the Orr family until Emily Orr Haynie transferred it to Historical Jonesboro, Inc. In 1972 the house was moved to its present location and is operated as a museum today. Georgia architect Edward Vason Jones was responsible for the restoration and noted of Stately Oaks: The house is a simple but well-proportioned country house done in the Greek Revival style. From the provincial quality of the details, it appears to have been built, as well as designed, by a capable but untrained carpenter-builder about the year 1840…The mass of the house is pleasing and the plan basically good, being typical of the majority of the rural Greek Revival houses throughout Georgia…

Some contend that the house was the inspiration for Tara in Gone with the Wind, though this can’t be proved since Margaret Mitchell didn’t confirm it [to my knowledge]. She would have known this house, however, and it is certainly of the type she would have drawn inspiration from when writing the book.

National Register of Historic Places

Clayton County Jail, 1869, Jonesboro

The old Clayton County Jail is quite old as surviving Georgia jails go, and has one of the more unusual forms I’ve seen. The parapetted facade is common enough, but the narrow overall depth is unusual.

As can be faintly seen in the photo below, an off-center, narrow wing containing jail cells protrudes at the rear of the structure. It is even narrower than the front of the building.

The structure has most recently served as the home of the Clayton County History Center.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Clayton County Courthouse, 1899, Jonesboro

The third Clayton County Courthouse served the community for a century. Designed by the firm of Golucke & Stewart, it was replaced by a modern facility in 1999.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Clayton County Courthouse, 1869, Jonesboro

This structure replaced the original Clayton County Courthouse, built on this site in 1860 and burned during the Battle of Jonesboro. It was decommissioned in 1898 and has served as the Jonesboro Lodge No. 87 F & AM ever since.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Shotgun Office Building, Jonesboro

At the intersection of vernacular and commercial there is a once-common Georgia form known as the shotgun office or shotgun store. These structures were often used as lawyer’s offices in the 19th century and were clustered around town squares but they also served as stores in many towns. Some still survive in scattered locations. Though this appears to have a retail purpose today, it likely originated as an office. For all I know, it could have been moved here, but I’ll wait to hear from someone who knows; either way, it’s a good illustration of vernacular commercial usage

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Main Street Storefronts, Jonesboro

These late-19th/early-20th century storefronts are located just down Main Street from the Davis Block. The red brick structure is home to the wonderful Arts Clayton Gallery, where I was honored to serve as a judge for an Atlanta Celebrates Photography exhibit a few years ago.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Davis Block, Circa 1868, Jonesboro

The corner building here is identified as the Davis Block. It’s likely among the oldest surviving commercial structures built after the Battle of Jonesboro left much of the town in disarray. Other early storefronts are visible in this view along Main Street.

Cannon & Evans Drug Company and Evans Dry Goods were among the Davis Block’s best known tenants over the years.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Central of Georgia Railway Depot, 1880, Jonesboro

Most sources note that this depot was built in 1867, which it was, but it wasn’t built in Jonesboro. During the Battle of Jonesboro, on 31 August 1864, Union troops burned the original 1846 Macon and Western Railroad Depot and the rail bed turned into what came to be known as “Sherman’s neckties”.

As Todd DeFeo notes, It’s not enough to say Jonesboro’s depot was built in 1867. The structure seen here was built for the Macon and Western in Barnesville in 1867 and moved stone-by-stone and rebuilt at this location in 1880. By this time, it would have been a Central of Georgia-branded property.

It’s home to the Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Road to Tara Museum.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Granite Store, Circa 1900, Klondike

A post office was established at Klondike in 1898, and this structure, clad in local granite, is representative of this industry. This is the oldest of just a few surviving commercial structures related to the community. According to a Georgia State University resource survey completed in 2016, it once served as a granite store and was most recently used as the Oak Grove Junction Convenience Store. It is a critical resource for the community and should be preserved.

[This view was made from the rear of the building. The front is nearly identical.]

Klondike Historic District, National Register of Historic Places & Arabia Mountain National Heritage Preserve

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