Wednesday, February 11, 2015

FitzSimons-Hampton House, c. 1815, Augusta, GA

Photographer facing north, 2/8/2015
 7/3/2018 - Update: A trip to the SC coast this past May took me through Augusta, GA, and sadly I saw that this home has been completely demolished. What a loss for Augusta, and the State of Georgia. Apparently this happened almost two years ago. You can read about it here.

This home has also been known as the Goodale Inn, though the home apparently never functioned as an inn. It is located on the two remaining acres of land that was a plantation once as large as 700+ acres. The original owner of the plantation was Thomas Goodale who received a land grant of 500 acres, later discovered to only be about 460 acres. He operated a grist mill on the property, grew grain, and operated the Sand Bar Ferry.

 He sold the property to Francis Macarten and Martin Campbell in 1754. The property eventually ended up being sold to Christopher FitzSimons of Charleston, SC in 1799. It was then that the plans were drawn up for the construction of the home. The home and plantation was given to FitzSimon's daughter Ann as a wedding gift when she married Wade Hampton, Jr. in 1816. The home stayed in the Hampton family until 1835, even though they never lived in the house.

There is an extensive history of the home written in 1976 by Martha Norwood for the nomination form to have the property placed on the National Register of Historic Places. See  The nomination was successful, however things have taken a turn for the worse in recent years.

Collapsed wall, photographer facing east, 2/8/2015
After being operated as a restaurant called The Goodale Inn, in the 70s and 90s, the home has slowly deteriorated. It was sold for $15,250 in 2009 to an investor whose heart seems to be in the right place, but whose pockets are not deep enough to ensure that the necessary restoration and maintenance are performed.

In 2011 one of the chimneys on the north wall collapsed bringing down most of the wall with it. Four years later, the wall is still open and exposed to the elements. It appears that the preservation of this Georgia landmark is in serious jeopardy. In 2014 a judge ordered that the property be repaired or torn down. Neither has been done. Lets hope for the former and not the latter.

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