Tag Archives: National Register of Historic Places

The Herndon Family

Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia
The Herndon Home Museum

Completed in 1910, the Herndon Home was the residence of Alonzo Herndon and his family. Herndon was the first Black millionaire in Atlanta, and one of the first in the United States. He built his wealth by running several successful barbershops in Atlanta and starting the Atlanta Family Life Insurance Company.

Herndon was born into slavery in 1858 in Social Circle, Walton County, Georgia. After Emancipation, he left Social Circle and began work as a farmhand and learned how to barber in Jonesboro, Georgia.

He eventually moved to Atlanta where he began his barbershop business. He helped save a mutual aid association which eventually evolved into the Atlanta Life Insurance Company.

Designed by Adrienne Herndon, a professor at Atlanta University and Alonzo’s first wife, the two-story, 15-room Classical Revival mansion with Beaux Arts influences, was built by local Black craftsmen. It was simultaneously added on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2000.

Upon his death, Herndon’s son Norris took over Atlanta Life Insurance and built upon his father’s success by turning it into a multi-million-dollar business.

The Herndon family are all buried in Southview Cemetery.

Coins left on a grave are left to show that someone recently visited and paid their respects.
Alonzo Herndon’s second wife

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.

Plum Orchard

Cumberland Island, Camden County, Georgia

Built in 1898, this Georgian Revival home was built for George and Margaret Carnegie by George’s mother, Lucy. This grand home, at 22,000 square feet, features an indoor pool, a squash court, and many other features considered cutting edge at the time it was built.

In 1971, the home was donated to the National Park Foundation by the Carnegie family.