Tag Archives: Georgia Vernacular Architecture

Globe Hotel, 1827 & 1882, McDonough

The Globe Hotel originally stood a half block away on the courthouse square and was moved in 1938 to its present location. It is the oldest commercial structure in McDonough. The original section [the right side in the photos] dates to 1827 and the gabled wing [left side] was added circa 1882.

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

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

Lyon Farm, 1820s, DeKalb County

Side view of Lyon House, showing attached kitchen and restored smokehouse

The house pictured above originated as a log cabin, built by Joseph Emmanuel Lyon in the 1820s. It was expanded in 1853 and again in 1893, when it took on its present appearance. It is one of the oldest houses in DeKalb County and Lyon family descendants remained on the property until 2007. Slaves from the early days of the farm remained in the area and later established the Flat Rock community nearby.

Front Elevation

The house is reminiscent of the Plantation Plain style, but with two bays on one side and one bay on the other, is a bit unusual in its layout.

Gate posts

The gateposts are local granite, as are the boundary stones and flower bed areas.

Raised flower bed

Grape arbors were common features of many farms; this one was likely added in the 20th century.

Grape arbor

The historic smokehouse, thought to be the oldest overall structure on the farm, was recently restored.

Lyon smokehouse

Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area

T. A. Bryant, Sr., Homestead, 1917, Flat Rock

Bryant Farmhouse

A thriving community of African-Americans existed around Arabia Mountain in the years following the Civil War, but by the early 20th century, a mass exodus saw many families joining the Great Migration in search of better conditions in the North.

Mule & Storage Barn

There were a few communities, such as Flat Rock, that continued to thrive. T. A. Bryant, Sr., born in 1894, was a leader of this community, his church, and a Master Mason, and he worked hard to keep it intact.

T. A. Bryant, Sr. Photograph Courtesy Flat Rock Archives

He bought his first 43 acres from J. W. South, a descendant of slave owners, in 1925, and saved the Flat Rock community in the process. For over 60 years, Mr. Bryant bought and sold land to people in the community in an effort to keep it intact. Flat Rock actually grew during the Great Migrations, while many historic African-American communities completely vanished.

Smokehouse or Corn Crib

His small working homestead was self-sufficient and typical of similar farms in early 20th century Georgia.

Privy

The property is now home to the Flat Rock Archives, a museum of local African-American history, and open by appointment.

Watering Trough

Maps will locate this at Stonecrest, a recently incorporated city in DeKalb County, but as with other such locations in Vanishing Georgia, I prefer to help keep the historical name alive, hence my location of the Bryant property at Flat Rock.

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

Georgian Cottage, Circa 1890, Conyers

The overall form of this home is unmistakably Georgian Cottage, but the Folk Victorian element is quite dominant. Like many homes throughout the area, it has a yard boundary of local granite or similar stone.

Conyers Residential Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Aaron & Margaret Parker, Jr., House, Circa 1830, Rockdale County

Aaron Parker, Sr. (1758-1831), and his family migrated from Caswell County, North Carolina, to Georgia in the 1820s. His son, Aaron Parker, Jr. (12 November 1788-5 January 1881), and his wife Margaret Browning Parker* (30 June 1789-6 August 1871), bought three land lots on the east side of Panola Mountain in what was then known as the Brushy Knob District. It was part of Henry County until 1870.

*-I have learned that I am a cousin of Margaret Browning Parker.

Aaron, Jr., and Margaret were successful in Franklin County (now Clarke County) and were eager to invest their capital in the Georgia frontier. The Plantation Plain house they built circa 1830 became the center of a 2700 acre cotton farm, worked by as many as 24 slaves, and represents the first wave of white settlement into newly opened Native American lands.

The house was restored in 2016 and is part of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. It is among the oldest standing structures in Rockdale County.

National Register of Historic Places

General Store, Jasper County

This was either a general/grocery store, or a commissary. “Shotgun stores” like this were once very common in the Georgia landscape.

Sardis C. M. E. Church, Jasper County

A larger church now stands near this structure, so I believe this was an older church used by the congregation.