www.shchs.org

SPARTA HANCOCK COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

OLD JAIL, 526 COURT STREET

SPARTA , GEORGIA   31087

Welcome to the Sparta Hancock County Historical Society Website Design.

President – Dan Holtz

Vice President – David Murray

Secretary – Linda Holtz

Treasurer – Gaynelle Cochran

Genealogy – Trudy Lewis

Board Member – Nancy Stephens

Board Member – Helen Martin

Immediate Past President (Ex-Officio) – Catherine Cook

Publicity – Jean Volkmann

Hancock County is located in central Georgia bounded by Greene, Putnam, Baldwin, Washington, Glascock, Warren, and Taliaferro Counties.   It was formed from Washington and Greene counties in 1793.   The first court in Hancock county was held in the home of John Whatley in 1794.   This home is still standing and known as the four mile store.   Sparta became the county seat in 1795.   Hancock County has been the home of many schools over the years.   The Mt. Zion Academy run by the Bemen Brothers.   The Sparta Female Model School on Maiden Lane where two of the old dormitories still stand.   This just names a very few of the fine schools.

A little about us.   We meet once a quarter with some type of program or perhaps a field trip.   Our annual dues are $10.00 per year and are due the first of each year.   We have a quarterly newsletter which will tell of all coming events as well as a financial statement for the Society.   If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call on any one of the officers or board members.

COMPLETED PROJECT!!!!!!

We have completed the roof on the Mt. Zion Church thanks to Mr. John Cleaveland and his crew.   These guys did a really great job and charged us only for materials and $1,000. for labor.   Thank you to David Williams and the late Robert Smith for their $500.00 donation towards the roof.   We still need to do some work on the inside and paint the outside.   The front steps also need some repair.   There are also some windows panes that need to be replaced, and we will be replacing them with old wavy glass.   We have got to check into it some more, but we understand that there may be some grants available to help us out.   Most grants require either some in-kind services or some matching funds, so we’ll keep you posted.

UPCOMING PROJECT

The Graves Barn - Corner of Boland and Adams Streets

The Graves barn also needs some help.   At present it is sitting in a very wet area.   We hope to jack it up and put in a new foundation, but that is in the “how are we going to do this” pile.

 

OUR TOUR OF HOMES WAS A SUCCESS!!!!

On Saturday May 22, 2004, about 175 visitors toured historic homes in downtown Sparta and we took in just under $2,000!  We have received feedback about things we need to improve, so we will make those changes for the next tour.  Watch the site for more info. 

SOME of the homes on the tour were the Alston-Wiley house, the Haynes-Wiley-Hutchings house, the Bird-Pierce-Campbell house, the Harley-Harris-Rives house, the Burwell-Goss house, the home of David and Zel Murray, and Larry and Gaynelle Cochran.   The old jail, the Graves barn, and Pierce Memorial Church were also on tour.  Bill Moffatt gave a lecture about Sparta and Hancock County.  

 Thanks to all of our homeowners who put their homes on tour.   Much work went into getting these houses ready.  

 

Next Meeting and field trip to be announced soon.

 

HARLEY-HARRIS-RIVES HOUSE

The Harley-Harris-Rives House - 720 Elm Street

This home is located at 720 Elm Street.   This house was built as a wedding gift for William Harley and Mary Battle.   House and gardens are   presently being restored.

 

ALSTON-WILEY HOUSE

The Alston-Wiley House - 509 Maiden Lane

This house at 509 Maiden Lane was built prior to 1820 by Robert West Alston.   The front of the house was changed by Captain Richard Bolling Baxter.   He put a bay window where the original entrance to the house had been on the Short St. side.    This house has a wonderful warm, inviting feeling.

BIRD-PIERCE- CAMPBELL HOUSE

The Bird-Campbell-Pierce House - Corner of Broad Street and Maiden Lane

At the corner of Broad Street and Maiden Lane stands the Bird-Pierce-Campbell house.   This house was supposedly built by Wilson Bird around 1830.   The house is presently being restored.   Be sure and check out the wonderful “passion flower” medallions and plaster crown molding.

TERRELL-STONE HOUSE

The Terrell-Stone House - 893 Jones Street

At 839 Jones Street stands the Terrell-Stone house.   The home was built circa 1820 by Dr. William Terrell.   Dr. Terrell established the first fully endowed chair of agriculture in the United States at the University of Georgia .   In addition to the home, a granite kitchen stands in the rear, and a billiard room that has been turned into an office to the side.   The home is currently being restored. This house will not be open to the tour, but we can tour the grounds.

The Old Jail - Corner of Adams and Court Streets

  The old jail is located on the corner of Adams Street and Court Street.   It has recently been restored.

HAYNES-WILEY-HUTCHINS HOUSE

The Haynes-Wiley-Hutchins House - 513 Maiden Lane

This home is located at 513 Maiden Lane .   The left wing was built first circa 1800.   The right wing was added around 1820.   The home is presently being restored.   Be sure to look at the window trim in the parlor.

   

BURWELL-GOSS HOUSE

The Burwell-Goss House - Intersection of Burwell and Hamilton Streets  

This house is located at the intersection of Burwell Street and Hamilton Street .   It was built in 1906 by William H. Burwell.   It is currently being restored.

 

BURDICK- MURRAY HOUSE

The Burdick-Murray House - Corner of East Adams and East Broad Streets  

Built circa 1903-1906 by the Burdick family who sold general merchandise in a store at the corner of Spring St and Broad St where Nicky’s Pizza was located.   In the late 1940’s early 1950’s served as the Lanier funeral parlor and the family lived upstairs.   The house is located at the corner of Adams Street and East Broad Street .   Be sure and see the beautiful stained glass in the house and the tombstone floor in the garage.

 

BURDICK-COCHRAN HOUSE

The Burdick-Cochran House - 344 East Adams Street

The Burdick family lived in this house prior to building the house next door (The Burdick-Murray House, please see above).  When their family grew to include six children they outgrew this house.  The house has a butler's pantry, root cellar, and sleeping porch.  The floors downstairs are oak and upstairs heart pine.  It is presently being lovingly restored.

 

GENERAL RAMBLINGS

  One feature we hope to do periodically is little history items on anything pertaining to Hancock County and Sparta .   Stories of people, houses, places , anything at all you would like to submit.     This time, because I’m putting this together and I have nothing else to put in, I’ll tell you about my house.

  I bought my house in Culverton in the summer of 2001.   It had been vacant for about 15 years and, of course, needed a roof but that’s the story of any old house I’ve ever owned.   I had heard my kitchen used to be an old store and that the Culverton Academy used to stand on the back of my property.   Of course I took off to the courthouse to see what I could find out.  

  I have never seen so much information in deeds before.   I found out that Jeff C. Smith bought the old Culver and Connel store lot (the store having been turned into a dwelling house per the deed) on November 12, 1909 for $416.00.   Yes!   The kitchen and dining room were an old store.   Then on December 16, 1912 Jeff Smith bought the old Academy lot “on which the Culverton Academy had stood for over 50 years” for $50.00.   Well, that answered a lot of questions.   Now I knew why my house was so close to the road, why the back section was older than the front, and why my lot was such a weird shape.  

Then Johnny Smith gave me a picture of the old Culverton Academy .   In the picture on the front of the academy was the same trim that was on the front of my house.   I dug a little more at the courthouse and found out that in 1860 Hardy Culver had given an easement to the Culverton Academy for a road to the school because an upstairs had been added for a Masonic lodge.   Well, the trim looked like it may have been added a little later than 1860 by about 20 years.   But that got me thinking.   I had crawled under the “new” part of the house for some reason or other and noticed that one side of the house has sills that are hand hewn and they are huge.   The other side of the house is balloon framed.   Also hanging from one of the sills is a huge hook.   This makes me wonder if maybe half of the “new” part of the house wasn’t built from parts of the old Culverton Academy , and the sills were pulled up here and set in place.

 Wow!   I had no idea I would find all this out and put all this together from a trip to the courthouse and looking at a few deeds.   I thought I just had an old country Victorian cottage.   What a nice surprise.

  Now back to the old Culver- Connel store.   When I pulled the sheetrock down in the kitchen there were wonderful wide pine boards underneath.   The beams are mortise and tenon (did I spell that right?).   The back door is original with the original strap hinges.   In my pantry you can see were an old door was covered up that went into the dining room which appears to be an addition to the store.   From the outside the dining room is the board and batten part of my house.   You can also see from the outside where the front part of the house was built onto the dining room.

  And in addition to all of this, Jeff’s wife loved to garden.   So far I’ve found a fish pond and a flower pit that I’m very slowly bringing back.   She had a very good eye for landscaping.   The yard around the house is terraced perfectly with beautiful plantings of camellias, bulbs, and all kinds of things I haven’t discovered yet.   I just can’t wait to see what else is here.   The newest mystery is a round circle of dead grass about 6 feet across that has sunk in some.   It may be an old well, but the last time I saw the same thing was at the Graves ’ house and it was a fishpond that had been filled in.   I can’t wait to start digging!

No, my house is not on tour this go around.   You’ll have to come back when we do one out in the county.

 

POSTCARDS OF GOOD OLD SPARTA AND HANCOCK COUNTY

  The Historical Society presently has for sale reproductions of some of Sparta ’s old postcards for $1.00 each.   We have the Sparta School, the Graves house, and the John D. Walker Home .   We hope to have more soon, hopefully in time for the tour.   If you have some you would allow us to scan and reproduce, it would be greatly appreciated.

   GENEALOGY

We also have Trudy Lewis who is great with genealogy.   She does have to charge a fee for this, but she knows the courthouse inside and out.  

   If you have any questions, concerns, interesting tidbits, fieldtrip, program ideas, or things you would like to see on the website, please do not hesitate to call on us.