Category Archives: Houses

Harville House, Bulloch County

Built in 1894 as a one-story home, the Harville House is a fascinating example vernacular architecture. The second floor was added in 1904. Abandoned for decades, the home and property is still owned by Harville ancestors. If you decide to visit, you can only photograph from the road.

Lyon Farmhouse, Dekalb County

The Lyon Farmhouse, built around 1820 and restored in 2019, is considered one of the oldest remaining homes in Dekalb County, Georgia. Members of the Lyon Family occupied the home until 2007, even though ownership was transferred to the county in 2003. Prior to the end of the Civil War, the slave census records indicated that the Lyon family enslaved 17 people. After the Civil War, the freedmen and women of the Lyon family stayed in the area to start one of the oldest Black communities in the state. The community named Flat Rock served as an important support system to create a thriving community.

Notable descendants of the families who formed Flat Rock are Willie Gault (football player), Chris Tucker (comedian), and Warren Moon (football player).

Amanda America Dickson Toomer

This is Amanda America Dickson, who became one of the wealthiest African American women after her father left his wealth to her. This was an unusual act because most white planters did not recognize the children born of the women they enslaved. Dickson’s relatives contested the will, but the Georgia courts ruled in favor of Ms. Dickson.

The plantation where Amanda was born and her mother, Julia, was enslaved still exists in Sparta. I’ve been told that the house shown is the house that Amanda Dickson lived in with her mother and sons. It sits on Dickson Plantation on the outskirts of Sparta. David Dickson owned significantly more land than what makes up the modern day Dickson Plantation.

Through the woods, near the plantation, is the St. Paul’s CME Church where Julia worshipped. If you visit, you will notice the graveyard is filled with Dicksons. The mother is buried there, but she seems to be without a headstone because I’ve been unable to locate it in my visits. The congregation is still active with a newer brick church down the road from this building.

After winning her court case, Amanda moved to Augusta with her sons and mother and lived in the yellow home on Telfair Street. Amanda married Nathan Toomer (Toomer was the father of Jean Toomer, the author), but she died only one year after they got married.

Her funeral was held at the Trinity CME Church in Augusta. Her final resting place is in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Augusta. Even though her husband remarried, he rests next to Amanda.


This is a small look into Amanda’s life. There is a book about her life written by Kent Leslie. There’s also a movie, starring Jennifer Beals of Flashdance and L-Word fame, called “A House Divided.” It’s available via YouTube.

Nolan House, Morgan County

Built in 1906, this house is part of the Nolan plantation, Morgan County, Georgia. It is the second Nolan home on the property. The other one is supposedly still standing but isn’t easily accessible. The Nolan family built their wealth on the backs of enslaved labor prior to the Civil War. After the war, they switched to a sharecropping method of farming. There’s been talk for several years to preserve the home, but restoration has not been started. The Madison-Morgan Conservancy have been trying to get work done. The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

Gold & Grass Farms, Cherokee County

Gold & Grass Farms- That’s the sign you see from the road, but this is the last remaining building from the Creighton/Franklin Gold Mine in Ball Ground, Georgia. Built in 1890, the “Shingle House” served the area as a commissary, post office, and a boarding house.

Snow-Wasden House, Brooks County

If you’ve ever been to Quitman, Georgia, this home sits on the edge of town. It has been empty for years. It’s a home with a great deal of interest in it due to it’s imposing size on an open field, and due to it being a the site of a double murder. Jamie Snow Branch, and her husband, Lee Branch, were murdered by her brother Livingston Snow on December 17, 1937.

Dossann Acres, Coweta County

Built in 1832, the Leavell family, one of the first families to settle Turin, used slave labor to build this antebellum home, referred as Dossann Acres. Sitting on many acres of land, this farm was mainly used for cotton. According to the 1860 Slave Census, Leavell used the enslaved labor of 28 people, ranging in ages of 2 to 48, to farm the land.

Leavell willed this land to his stepson, Dr. Herbert Page. Thanks to Traci Muller Ryland of The Adventures in Cemetery Hopping, I was informed of an interesting story of Dr. Page taking care of two Union Soldiers that ended with two Union soldier headstones being placed in Tranquil Cemetery and the attempts to find the families of those soldiers. The Atlanta Journal Constitution shared the story in 1996. You can read the story here.