Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

From Washington to Columbia

November 14, 2013

Most of the way from Washington, Georgia, to Columbia, South Carolina, is two-lane. We decided to pull over to reinspect the map, and luckily, there was a handy pull-over spot.

In front of a church.

With historical markers.

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Smyrna Methodist

Church

     ORGANIZED IN 1785 OR 86 BY

TWO PRESBYTERIAN MINISTERS REV.

JOHN NEWTON & REV. JOHN SIMPSON.

FIRST HOUSE OF WORSHIP ERECTED

IN 1793 ON LAND GIVEN BY SIR JOHN

TALBOT IN 1820 PRESBYTERIAN MEM-

BERSHIP TRANSFERRED TO WASHING-

TON AND OFFERED SMYRNA TO THE

METHODISTS.  REGULAR CHURCH

SERVICES HAVE BEEN HELD ON THIS

SITE WITHOUT INTERRUPTION SINCE 1793.

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SMYRNA CHURCH

Smyrna Church was organized about 1786, by the Rev. John Newton

and the Rev. John Simpson, Presbyterian ministers under the

jurisdiction of the South Carolina Presbytery.  Services were

at first held in the homes of the members.  The first Smyrna

church edifice, built on this site in 1793, was of logs, with

a steeple.  The first regular pastor was the Rev. John Springer,

who preached here until 1801.  About 1820, the church membership

decline to fifteen, and these removed to Washington to affiliate

with the Washington Presbyterian Church.

At this time, the Smyrna Presbyterians, through their elders,

tenered the use of the church edifice to the Methodists, who

accepted and soon established a flourishing Methodist Society

here.  The old church was in use until 1860, when it was torn

down and a new building erected.  On October 6, 1886, the title

to Smyrna Church was passed from the Trustees of the Washington

Presbyterian Church to the Trustees of the Smyrna Methodist

Church.  In 1911, a new building was constructed, the third

Smyrna on this site.

In the 1840s, an encampment was prepared near the church, and

was used as a camp ground by both Presbyterians and Methodists.

 

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SMYRNA CHURCHYARD

This burying ground was laid out in 1788 when

Sir John Talbot gave two acres of his vast

estate for use as a Presbyterian Church and

churchyard.  Sir John was descended from the Earl

of Shrewsbury.  His own son, Matthew Talbot, served

as a Superior Court judge, President of the

Georgia Senate in 1811, 1817-22, and as Governor

of Georgia from Oct. 24 to Nov. 5, 1819.  Both

are buried here.

W.H.T. Walker, Confederate General killed in the

Battle of Atlanta, was a descendant of Sir John

Talbot.

The Presbyterians moved to a new building in

Washington in 1825.

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And taking photos of both sides of the markers, even though they are identical, shows interesting details of the landscape, like how near the highway is, or the foliage.

Or Sugar sitting in the car, pushing food in his face.

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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Now we’re ready for another drive-about.

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HOLLY COURT

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.

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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.

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Then a bit more driving around to the Public Library.

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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.

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The view over the side gate.

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The side porch.

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The zoomy view of the garden from the side gate.

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CAMPBELL HOME

  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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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HOME OF

SARAH HILLHOUSE

*****

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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?)

The Gilbert-Alexander House in Washington, Georgia

November 2, 2013

This is the second part of a series. You can read the first part by clicking here.

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GILBERT – ALEXANDER HOUSE
In the 1780’s Felix and William Gilbert, Virgin-
ians, camped in a beautiful grove here and were
so pleased with the scenery that they returned
later to take land grants. In 1808 they erected
the brick portion of this house, one of the
oldest brick structures north of Augusta. Their
descendants are the only families who have
occupied it. The burial grounds on the property
attest the continuity of the family for more
than 150 years.
The Alexanders, descendants of the Gilberts,
served with distinction in the War Between
the States. Porter Alexander, who lived here, was
a Brigadier General of Artillery in the Confed-
erate Army.

Porter Alexander was Sarah Alexander Lawton’s brother.

The opposite side of the historical marker is the same, but a bit brighter to read since it faces the sun.  Here it is for your viewing pleasure.

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Y’all know that tree photos are coming. And probably gravestones. Yeah, definitely gravestones.

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Then I did something that I usually don’t do. I drove down their driveway.

Let me explain more about the terror I feel about driving down someone’s driveway unannounced.  When I was growing up, and we would be out for a drive in the country and ready to go home, you never, ever (repeat never) turned around in someone’s driveway.  It’s rude, and it’s like an unspoken code.  You might drive miles out of your way looking for a likely turnaround spot, or a church parking lot, or a road intersection, but that’s just the way it was.  Imagine the panic I feel when I not only pull into the driveway, but continue on.  Illegal trespassing could get you shot, but strangely has never happened to us.  But still, suppressed panic.

So Sugar is egging me on (Drive down the driveway!  There’s no sign!), which is easy for him to say, since he’s not the one doing the driving.  I get all big-eyed in terror (No sign!  We’ll never get this chance again!), and what the heck.  The car creeps forward like a trundling ottoman down the allee of young trees (Look!  They’ve got an allee!  They want us to drive down!), humping over a few tree roots, and he screeches, “There’s statues!  Over there!  To the back of the house!  That’s the cemetery!  Get a picture!”  I grip the wheel a little tighter, and screech, in a whisper, right back at him, “No!  I’m driving the damn car!”, and he wants me to drive closer and closer until we’re almost at the front porch.  We decided that was far enough, even though I’m sure that I could gun it and tear across the front of the house and shoot out the other end of the driveway back onto the street, because it appears to me that the driveway in actually an upside-down “U” that connects to the street in two places.  Sugar wasn’t so sure, so we decided to back up, which would be quite a driving feat for me since we’ve already traveled down the driveway the length of a football field.

I start to back up, and my car antenna catches on a low-hanging branch of a giant tree.  “Spronnnngggg” vibrated the car, and by now we’re sure that there are no occupants in the house, because they surely would have come outside to view the two old people arguing in the bright yellow car that is vibrating like a tuning fork.

We run like hell.

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And what does Sugar want to do now? Why, that’s right, he wants to go to the other driveway entrance and approach from that side.

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Yes, we crept forward from that side, too, but I was able to agree to try one last photograph and used the zoom feature on the camera. He assured me that people probably constantly drive down the driveway taking photos of the house.

Then I turned the car around and headed out. Pronto.
More driving around. More history.

In Which Sugar & YoursTruly Go To Washington. Georgia, That Is.

October 28, 2013

We are in love.

That’s right, you heard it here first.  Sugar and I are in Love.

With Sarah Alexander Lawton.

She was from Washington, Georgia, and after all the research  and reading of her journal about the death of her daughter Corinne Elliott Lawton, and then the Bonaventure Cemetery Tour, we had to go.  WeHadToGoRightNow.

*****

A few years ago, Sugar was researching some of his Garnett ancestors, and he came across Eliza Frances “Fanny” Andrews, a famous botanist.  She was the daughter of Annulet Ball and Garnett Andrews from Washington, Georgia, and the more we read about Washington, the more we realized that Washington, Georgia, was an early center of settlement, and culture, and expansion.

*****

I was able to get a few days off from work, and Sugar managed to snag a day extra, so it was going to be a quick trip to Washington then on to Columbia, South Carolina, to go to the Caroliniana Library and look at some archives.

Now the problem comes for us, what with only being able to get away on a Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, is that many things are closed.  LIke the local historical museum in Washington, Georgia.  (insert rolling of eyes and muttering under breath.)

We went anyway.  Y’all get on board our crazytrain.

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This parking lot is to the rear of the building. The downstairs corner of the house that is closest to you has a museum bookstore. That was closed. Sugar kept pressing his face to the glass. “There are books right there. Should we break in?” Uummm, no.

What a beautiful day for history.  Many of the following photos are of the same object, only once with a landscape orientation, and then with a portrait orientation.

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This building was to the rear of the house behind where we were standing.  We mused as to what it was, and we decided that it was a kitchen house, since it was next to a well, and we are scholars and all.

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The well was covered with a metal grating to keep people from leaning in.

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I was feeling bold since the metal grate was in place, and if I positioned the camera just right, I could see the water below.  You can see my reflection in the water.

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This little gazebo felt so comfortable that I hated to leave it. But history calls.

 

Now I’m really confused about the kitchenhouse.  There don’t seem to be many windows, and who would want to work in that?

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‘Cause it’s not a kitchenhouse, fool.

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It’s a carriage house.

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We continued on around the grounds where another building was being renovated.

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This ancient stump makes a lovely natural planter.

 

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Sugar lends a hand so that you can see how big this tree must have been. He’s an average guy with an average hand.

 

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We have no clue what this was/is, but I’d like to live in it.

 

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This is the side of the house away from the street. There’s the door to the downstairs bookstore where no one has broken in.

 

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Now we’re at the front of the house.

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The brick walkway.

 

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This is under the front porch.

 

And now we’ve circled around and are back at our starting point.  The bookstore is still not open.  (Insert sad face.)

 

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WASHINGTON – WILKES

HISTORICAL MUSEUM

*****

This museum shows the splendors of plantation life in Georgia

before the War Between the States, displays relics, mementos and

keepsakes of the era that tried men’s souls, and adds a fine

collection of Indian relics for variety.

Washington had many ties with the Confederacy.  The Confederate

Cabinet held its last meeting just down the street.  President

Jefferson Davis met his wife and daughter in this city at

the end of the war.  Mr. Davis’ field desk and camp chest

are on display.  The well named Last Cabinet Chapter of the

U. D. C. has on display many precious keepsakes and mementos

of the war, together with Joe Brown Pikes, guns, swords,

pistols, documents, and pictures.

The big house dates back to about 1800.  It was occupied after

1857 by Samuel Barnett, first Georgia Railroad Commissioner,

and W. A. Slaton, forty-year occupant.  Washington’s benefactor,

Dr. Francis T. Willis, half-brother of Mr. Barnett, lived with

him here.  Francis T. Willis moved to Richmond, Va. in his

later years but told his sons that he wanted his ante-bellum

furniture returned to Washington when there was a place

for it.  Edward Fauntleroy Willis brought the furniture from

Richmond.  It makes a beautiful display.

*****

 

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We toured around a bit more, then went to the B&B to check in.  After chatting with our hostess, we headed out for some supper and more touring.  Supper first, since our hostess told us that the sidewalks would be rolled up by 4:30PM.

This plaque was across from the grocery store.  I love the zoom feature on the camera.

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It’s an easy town to get around in, just made for touring.  Washington was not burned by Sherman, and there are over 100 antebellum homes to see.

We found this cemetery, and since Sugar needed to call home to check on the dogs, we stopped here.  It was a Catholic cemetery.

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Elise Mertz was all alone, so I stopped to make a memory of her, so far from home.

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Then we saw a road sign that said Alexander something-or-other, and Sugar said, “This is it.”

This is what?  He’s doing it again.  He has a plan, and I have no clue what he’s talking about.

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Of course.  The Gilbert-Alexander house.  And here’s the reason why we’re here.  Sarah Alexander Lawton.

Of course.