Originally known as the Herald Building, for its first tenant, this Sullivanesque commercial landmark was designed by local architect G. Lloyd Preacher and opened in April 1917. It was a centerpiece of the effort to rebuild the downtown area after the Great Fire of 1916. The building was purchased by the Augusta Chronicle in 1955 after it merged with the Augusta Herald. It serves as the headquarters of Morris Communications today.
Broad Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
This was the home of Helen Williams Coxon (1899-1989), a pioneer journalist,editor, and publisher (The LudowiciNews). Known statewide as the “Lady from Long”, she served in the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate. She was also the first woman on the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, serving the year it was created (1943). The home, known as Auburn, was built by Helen’s father, Harry Guston Williams (1864-1937), who came from Warren County, North Carolina, to Georgia, and eventually operated thirteen sawmills. It remains in the family.
Helen Reid Williams Coxon [Public Domain Photograph, via Georgia Department of Pardons and Paroles]
In 1819, the Cherokee began meeting at Newtown, Georgia, where the Coosawattee and Conasauga Rivers meet to form the Oostanaula. They changed the name to New Echota in honor of Chota, Tennessee, and established it as the national capital of the Cherokee Nation in 1825. It was the only national capital ever located within the boundaries of present-day Georgia. The capital was moved to Red Clay, Tennessee, in 1832 after Georgia began passing laws to abolish the Cherokee government, against previously established treaties. In 1835, Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot signed the Treaty of New Echota without the support of Principal Chief John Ross, surrendering Cherokee lands for a territory in the west. The Cherokee government protested this decision until 1838, when President Martin Van Buren ordered the army into the Cherokee lands. Thus began the infamous Trail of Tears. Once they were in the Indian Territory, the Ridges and Elias Boudinot were killed by a group of men who had been opposed to removal. Beginning in the 1950s, the state of Georgia began reconstructing the capital as the New Echota State Historic Site. It is also a National Historic Landmark.
Cherokee Nation Council House
The Council House was the center of power in New Echota, essentially the capitol building of the Cherokee Nation. A bicameral legislature was adopted. The National Council (Lower House) met on the first floor of the Council House, with four representatives from the eight districts of the Cherokee Nation. These representatives elected the National Committee (Upper House), which met on the second floor. The National Committee elected the Principal Chief, Vice-Principal Chief, and Treasurer. While the Cherokee were in Georgia John Ross served as Principal Chief.
Cherokee Nation Supreme Courthouse
Beginning in 1823, the three judges of the Cherokee Supreme Court met annually in October to hear cases that had been appealed in the lower courts.
In 1960, this structure, based on a description by Dr. Benjamin Gold, was built to replicate the original court house built in 1829. It also served as the community schoolhouse when court wasn’t in session.
Cherokee Phoenix Print Shop
Sequoyah developed the Cherokee syllabary between 1809-1824. With the help of Samuel Worcester and the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Elias Boudinot obtained a printing press and created a typeface in Sequoyah’s syllabary. On 21 February 1828, the first issue of the Cherokee Phoenix [ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅᎯ] was published at New Echota, with Boudinot as its first editor. It was the first newspaper published in the United States in a Native American language. The Cherokee Phoenix has been revived and is now published electronically.
Georgia realized the power of the newspaper among the Cherokee. As a result, they made new laws against whites working with the Cherokee. The Georgia Guard later attacked the office and destroyed the press.
Samuel Worcester House, 1827
The only structure original to the property at New Echota is the home of Samuel Worcester (19 January 1798-20 April 1859), the missionary who came to the capital with his wife Ann in 1827. The Worcesters established a mission and school and Samuel also served as postmaster and worked with Elias Boudinot on the Cherokee Phoenix. He was a tireless advocated for the Cherokee. His arrest by the state of Georgia in 1831 for failing to obtaining a work permit to work among the Cherokee lead to the historic Worcester v. Georgia (1832) case in the United States Supreme Court, which was decided in his favor, though President Andrew Jackson and Governor George Gilmer ignored the ruling. He was pardoned by Governor Wilson Lumpkin but by 1836 was living in the Indian Territory. Worcester later translated the Bible into Cherokee.
Relocated from present-day Forsyth County to New Echota in 1955, this was built on Chief James Vann’s Chattahoochee Plantation in 1805. Its original location is now under the waters of Lake Lanier. Vann (1765-1809), the son of a Scottish father and Cherokee mother, was granted the right to operate a ferry on the Chattahoochee as part of the Treaty of Tellico and his tavern was the first stop for travelers heading west of the river. It was but one of many of his enterprises; he was among the wealthiest men of the Cherokee Nation who had great influence on the culture in his short lifetime. He was a leader of his people, as well, forming a triumvirate with Major Hicks and Charles R. Hicks.
Cherokee Middle Class Farmstead
Unlike Western tribes, who lived in tipis, the Cherokee originally lived in log roundhouses. Later, as they began to assimilate to the colonists who were encroaching upon their homeland, they employed the common vernacular styles of the era. This re-creation of a middle class Cherokee farmstead looks much like that of the early settlers of North Georgia.
This authentic rough-hewn farmhouse was relocated from elsewhere in Gordon County.
Corn was of great importance to the Cherokee; corn cribs were found on nearly every farm.
Barns and smokehouses were also typical of the common rural architecture of Georgia at the time.
Flower gardens were also a common feature of middle class farms, for their beauty and the abundance of pollinators they supported.
Cherokee Subsistence Farmstead
In the countryside beyond New Echota, large numbers of subsistence farms made up the bulk of the Cherokee Nation. The houses were usually utilitarian and quite small.
A corn crib was nearly always present, but smaller than the one seen on the middle-class farmstead.
This is a recreation of a stable common on subsistence farms.
In 1882, John D. Colley and Thomas B. Hollenshead established Lincoln County’s first newspaper, the Lincolnton News. It was purchased by James H. Boykin in 1897 and renamed The Lincoln Journal. It remains the town’s official news source.
Lincolnton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Located on private property and inaccessible, Turnwold is among the most historic plantations in Georgia. Likely dating to the 1810s-1820s, the present house, known as the Alexander-Turner House, has undergone many modifications over the years. [There is some question as to the actual date of the house today]. In 1805, brothers William and Joseph Turner received property here in the 1805 land lottery and immediately began improving the property. Little is known of William, but Joseph was well-known for publishing The Countryman. It is thought to be the only such periodical published on a plantation during the course of the war. It was as a printer’s devil for Mr. Turner during the Civil War that Joel Chandler Harris heard stories in Turnwold’s slave quarters that would become the basis for his Uncle Remus stories.
An outbuilding at the entrance gate is quite interesting in its own right, likely an early tenant house.
Just to emphasize again, this is private property and can only be viewed or photographed from the right of way.
Jan Gelders writes: This house wasbuilt by William Stewart, father of Maud Stewart Gelders, in 1904. The Gelders house is on W. Central Avenue across from The Massee Bed and Breakfast and was built by William Stewart as a wedding gift to Maud and Isidor Gelders in 1898. Maud Gelders was the first teacher in the colony, in addition to writing the History of Fitzgerald along with many other accomplishments in the field of journalism, as co-editor with her husband Isidor in the Fitzgerald Leader Newspaper, the original descendant to the first colony newspaper.