Tag Archives: Georgia Stone Veneer/Granitoid Buildings

Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm, Jackson County

This property was originally settled by Joseph Shields and sons James and Patrick in 1802.

Date Plate from Restoration of Main House [1914]

With two slaves, they cleared and cultivated the land.

Log Cabin

When Joseph died in 1818, he willed the land to his son, James and by 1860, 20 enslaved people worked the land.

Commissary [1900]

James died in 1863 and in 1865 his widow, Charity, signed a contract with three of her former slaves, providing them housing and food in exchange for their work on the farm.

Blacksmith’s Shop & Carpenter’s Shop [1900]

When James and Charity’s son, Joseph Robert Shields, returned home from the Civil War in 1866, he built the main house and soon applied the sharecropping system to the entire farm, managing many of his former slaves alongside poor white farmers.

Tractor Barn

By 1890, the farm had grown to 1000 acres.

Warehouse

In 1897, Joseph Robert’s daughter Susan Ella returned to the farm with her husband Ira Washington Ethridge.

Cotton Gin [1910]

Joseph Robert Shields died in 1910 and Susan Ella and Ira inherited the house and surrounding property.

Gin Office [1930]

To hedge his bets against increasingly unstable cotton prices, Ira Ethridge built a self-sustaining sharecropper’s “village” near the main house.

Gin Office Interior

In 1914, “Mr. Ira” transformed the main house from its historical Plantation Plain appearance to it present Neoclassical appearance by adding columns and raising the porch.

Gristmill

The structures seen today were built between 1900-1930. Most of the sharecropper housing is gone today, but a few scattered examples survive.

Seed House

When Ira died in 1945, his son Lanis understood that the farm would soon be changed by mechanization.

Teacher’s House

He diversified and in the early 1950s began breeding cattle and slowly expanding pastureland on his acreage.

Well House [Reconstruction]

At his death in 1970, the sharecropper’s village was long abandoned.

Water Tower [1913]

His widow, Joyce Ethridge, began documenting the history of the farm.

Corn Crib

In 1994 she and daughters Susan E. Chaisson and Ann E. Lacey gave 150 acres of the farm to the Shields-Ethridge Farm Foundation to preserve the site as an agricultural museum.

Shields-Ethridge Family Cemetery

Joyce’s research also led to the listing of the property on the National Register of Historic Places.

Milking Barn

The Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm is the most intact collection of historic farm structures in their original location in Georgia.

Mule Barn [1913]

It is truly awe-inspiring and worth a visit.

Garage

As someone who has spent years seeking out structures like these, I can’t tell you how important this place is.

Wheat Barn [1910]

You must see it for yourself.

Tenant House

National Register of Historic Places + Georgia Centennial Farm

Note- This replaces a post originally published on 11 July 2021, necessitated by formatting issues.

Historic Storefronts, Lexington

The historic building on the right is clad in granite, a common building material in this area, which is located near the western extent of the Lexington-Oglesby Blue Granite Belt.

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Vinson’s Pharmacy, 1910, Byron

This structure was built by Dr. Moultrie Warren as a medical office and drug store. It was later home to Vinson’s Pharmacy and then Robertson’s Pharmacy. It has been repurposed today as the Drugstore Deli.

Byron Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Old Stone Church, 1852, Ringgold

This congregation was organized on 2 September 1837 as the Chickamauga Presbyterian Church and is believed to be the first church in what is now Catoosa County. A log cabin and nearby home served as the first meeting places. The organizers were a group of Scotch Irish Presbyterians from Tennessee or the Carolinas and the charter members were Robert Magill, James H. McSpadden, Robert C. Cain, Sarah Black, Alfred McSpadden, Fanny Magill, Susan McSpadden, Winfred Cain, Margaret Cain and Nancy Tipton.

In 1850 construction on this structure began. Member Robert Magi and his brothers hauled limestone quarried at White Oak Mountain to this site and the church was completed in 1852. The church served as a Confederate hospital during the Civil War, and was also commandeered for use by Union troops. The name was changed to Stone Church in 1912 and in 1921 it was transferred to a Methodist congregation. It was used by other congregations subsequently and is now owned and maintained by the Catoosa County Historical Society.

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

Lithonia Lodge No. 84, F & AM, 1916, DeKalb County

The cornerstone notes that the Lithonia Lodge was chartered on 14 October 1849. Like many Masonic lodges, this structure likely also housed businesses on the first floor.

Lithonia Historic District, National Register of Historic Places & Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area

First United Methodist Church, 1911, Lithonia

Lithonia First United Methodist Church was established on 14 October 1860 as Lithonia Methodist Episcopal Church, South, with the Reverend Newdaygate B. Ousley serving as first pastor. As with so many Georgia churches, Lithonia UMC began services in a brush arbor and then built a one-room meeting house for services. In 1911, the present structure was dedicated and has served the congregation ever since. It was designed by local born architect John Parks Almand and used local Lithonia granite in its design. Almand left Georgia soon after he designed this church and began his practice in Little Rock, Arkansas. [Interestingly, this church does not appear on most lists of Almand’s work. I don’t know the reason for this oversight.]

Lithonia Historic District, National Register of Historic Places & Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area

Antioch Baptist Church, 1911, Lithonia

Established by a group of Freedmen in 1869, Antioch-Lithonia Missionary Baptist Church [known originally as Antioch Baptist Church] is thought to be the oldest African-American congregation in Lithonia and DeKalb County. The church first met in a brush arbor and built their first permanent structure circa 1871. It was replaced by this structure, clad in local stone, in 1911, and served the congregation until 2004, when a larger facility was built at another location.

Reverend Adam Daniel Williams, the maternal grandfather of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., served the congregation at one time.

Lithonia Historic District, National Register of Historic Places & Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area