Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Hillhouse’

In Washington, Georgia

November 13, 2013

Do you love Washington, Georgia? We do, too. After we toured around the old section of Resthaven, we headed back to the B&B. It was dark, and Sugar wanted to stroll around. There were no sirens, no booming car stereos, no loud neighbors.

The house next to the B&B was once owned by some relation of Sugar’s (of course.)  It was on a large corner lot, and well-protected by trees, bushes, and foliage.  We decided we’d have to go all stealth the following day to get a good photo.

We sat on the back screened porch at the B&B and talked about the day, and made plans for tomorrow.  I attempted to get a wireless signal from the Wi-Fi, but the security code didn’t work, and I wasn’t about to disturb our hostess in her apartment.  I twitched a little while we decompressed.


The next morning we went to the car to load a few things before breakfast.  Who is waiting outside for us?  A resident cat.  Apparently there are several neighborhood cats that roam about.  This one was quite comfortable.




You already know that I have some cat treats in the car.


We sat down to breakfast with our hostess, who filled us in on the comings-and-goings of the state of things in town.  Then we went on our stealth walk.  In broad daylight.


This is the driveway to the B&B.  The house is to the right.  On the left side of the photo is another driveway.  That’s the house we are curious about.



In front of the house bordering the sidewalk is the most amazing camellia hedge that I’ve ever seen.  Ten feet high?  More?


I parted the camellias to see that they are concealing an ironwork fence.




Thank goodness for the zoom feature on the pointy-shooty camera.


These photos would have so much more meaning if I could remember which relative they belonged to.  Perhaps someday I’ll remember, or perhaps someday I’ll ask Sugar.  Perhaps.


Impossible to get a good shot of the front of the B&B, even from across the street.  Immm-possible.






Now we’re ready for another drive-about.



This lot, originally sold by the Town Com-

missioners in 1804 to John Griffin, was

later owned by Henry Anthony.

This structure combines two separate houses.

The back part probably dates from 1817;

the front was moved by oxcart from 7 miles

out in the County by Dr. Fielding Ficklen

in the 1840’s.  In this house, Mrs. Jefferson

Davis and her two children spent a few days

awaiting President Davis’ arrival after the

fall of Richmond.

Dr. James Pettigrew Boyce, Co-founder and

first President of the Southern Baptist

Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky., married

Elizabeth L. Ficklen here, Dec. 20, 1848.




I had parked across the street from the Holly Court by another beautiful house.  Beautiful houses are everywhere.  All I could think:  That’s a lot of paint…

I’ve heard of big, old houses referred to as “women killers”.  All the work – the dusting, the cleaning, the polishing, the fires to be maintained, the carrying of items and the organizing.


Then a bit more driving around to the Public Library.



Our hostess at the B&B had told us about this next house.  I took a lot of photos.  At one point the police drove by while we were walking all around the porches, and did not stop to question us.  Apparently we looked harmless enough.



The view over the side gate.


The side porch.


The zoomy view of the garden from the side gate.



  This was once the home of two distinguished

Georgians – father and son.

Duncan G. Campbell was noted for drafting the

treaty that removed the Cherokee Indians from

Georgia and also for introducing in the Georgia

legislature the first bill providing for higher

education for women.  John Archibald Campbell,

born here in 1811, was an Associate Justice of

the United States Supreme Court from 1853

until 1861, when he resigned to become Assist-

ant Secretary of War for the Southern Confederacy.

After the war he practiced law in New Orleans.

This house is really two houses in one.  It

has two identical front doors and the wain-

scoated panels under the front windows open.





This thermometer that is mounted to a column has been painted over. The large hook has a corresponding hook mounted to the house, most probably for a hammock.




Look! Two front doors! Because it’s two houses in one!


The lower panels, painted red, can be fully opened from the inside. It’s like having many doors to the outside. But no screening.


Next stealth move, again in broad daylight.  The Sarah Hillhouse house.  Our hostess at the B&B said that some elderly folks still live there.  The property was theirs, but was sold and now belongs to the state of Georgia who allows them to live out their years there.











This Federal style house was begun in 1814, by Sarah Porter Hillhouse

who came to Washington in 1786, from Connecticut with her husband

David.  In 1801, David purchases the town’s first newspaper The

Monitor, and when he died in 1803, Sarah became the first woman in

Georgia to edit and publish a newspaper which she continued to run

for more than a decade, along with the print shop her husband had

established.  Here she also printed the official records of the state

legislature.  Articles in The Monitor, which generally had a circulation

of 700 to 800, give a vivid account of events of interest to the people

of Washington in the early 1800’s.  Mrs. Hillhouse’s other business

interests included trading in land and commerce.   Her letters provide

an interesting insight to life in early Washington.  She was a successful

businesswoman at a time when women were seldom active outside the

home, and she helped to build a frontier village into a thriving community.

Her home was enlarged to its present form in 1869 when Gabriel

Toombs acquired the property, and moved the end rooms from the

Toombs Plantation on log rollers and added them to the house.

Toombs and his descendants lived here for more than a century.


Yes, I am standing right in front of these people’s house, right in their front yard, taking a photo of this marker.  The people across the street at the Chicken Shak don’t seem to notice.  It’s lunchtime, and the smell of fried chicken is heavy in the air.


You might be asking why I take so many photos of the same thing, like historical markers.  I capture each side, which sometimes means moving branches of trees out of the way, like for the Campbell House.  I’ve gotten home after a trip, and found that the one photo I took was out of focus, or there was glare, or it was just a bad photo.  It seems a waste not to publish them here, and the blog is free, so you get extra photo goodness.



Plus when am I ever again going to stand brazenly in the front yard of Sarah Hillhouse’s house?  Ummmm, never.



Sadly, we leave Washington, Georgia, and head to Columbia, South Carolina.  Sugar is satisfied that we got to see all there was to see about his relatives.

Onward to Columbia!  (Did Sherman say those words, too?)