Sunday, August 2, 2015

Two-story Farmhouse, c.1848, Union County, GA

From John Smith Road East, photographer facing NW
At the edge of  a pasture in northern Union County, GA stands this magnificent, two-story wooden, L shaped home. Built circa 1848, the owner must have been of substantial means. The feature that stands out the most to me is the 2nd story porch that is located on the front of the home. Few homes built in the mid 1800s  had two stories, much less a second floor porch.

From John Smith Road East, photographer facing NE

The property where this home is located also includes a home that was built in the early 70s and is obviously the primary home of the land owner. So many homes like this, if they haven't been torn down, destroyed by fire, or simply collapsed due to age, are typically covered by vegetation. Invasive vines such as Kudzu, Wisteria, Virginia Creeper; thick growths of privet, or other shrubs, and sometimes trees growing up inches from the foundation cause serious damage to these old structures.Thankfully, the owner has made sure that these grounds are maintained around the old home, allowing any passersby a glimpse of the past.

In the second photo, you will notice the mountains in the background, as you look past the house over T Chapel Road, and Hwy 129. These are the peaks of Gumlog and Ballard Mountains. These peaks rise from the floor of Union County, and fall down to the border with Cherokee County, NC.  The individuals that settled the surrounding lands were the heartiest of individuals. This area is still quite remote with respect to the distance to the nearest grocery store. When this house was built, the trip to Blairsville, GA or Murphy, NC by horse would have been an all-day venture.

Northwest side of home, with side porch 
If you're heading up Hwy 129 north from Blairsville, turn left on T Chapel Road, look to the right across the pasture as you approach the stop sign at John Smith Road East. The view will give you a glimpse into the 19th century, and allow you to imagine how magnificent it looked when it was first built.  

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