Thursday, July 30, 2009

Endangered Property: Housworth-Moseley House

7241 South Goddard Road
Lithonia, GA 30038
c. 1843

Philip Housworth came from South Carolina in the 1820's and settled in the Klondike area with his sons, eventually purchasing large tracts of land in the region. In 1852, his son Michael purchased the house, believed to have been constructed c. 1843 by Abraham or John Housworth.

Originally built as a hall and parlor house with a detached kitchen, it has since experienced several additions. For over 160 years this house remained in the Housworth family. The Housworth-Moseley House is believed to be one of the oldest houses in Dekalb County and is part of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area and the recently designated Klondike National Register Historic District.

The 1,200 sq. ft. home sits on 7.4 acres near the Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve. Outbuildings include a corn crib, grain shed, smokehouse, sorghum evaporator, and livestock pen, all constructed in the 19th or early 20th centuries. The lot features a large front yard and behind the house are mature woods and a small picturesque creek.

The house has two bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, and family room. Features include two fireplaces, original hardwood floors, original wooden walls and ceilings. The house will require rehabilitation, including updating systems, wood repair, and window repair.

The Housworth-Moseley features a largely intact historic interior, including extensive original woodwork, with pine wallboards up to 19 inches wide and historic pine tongue and groove floors throughout much of the house. Surrounding the house is a noteworthy compilation of outbuildings dating from the mid 19th to the early 20th century. Such a fine example of an early farm complex is extremely rare in Georgia.

As part of the Klondike National Register District, the house is eligible for several financial incentives, including an 8 1/2 year tax abatement and tax credits for substantial rehabilitation. In addition, buyers may qualify for a tax write off when they purchase the home with a preservation easement.

New Price: $250,000
Reduced From: $269,500

For more information contact
Kate Ryan, Programs Manager at 404.885.7817

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Member Spotlight

The Trust maintains two distinct and beautiful house museums, Atlanta's Rhodes Hall and Macon's Hay House. In Macon, Sarah Green, a veteran docent and member, helps visitors discover the beautiful Renaissance Revival mansion, a place that has been dubbed the "Palace of the South."

Sarah has been a member of the Georgia Trust for over 15 years- volunteering her time as a docent of the Hay House and also the Sidney Lanier Cottage. Sarah is a native of Lowndes County, Georgia. In addition to her work in Macon, Sarah supports preservation initiatives in South Georgia through her membership in several Valdosta area historical societies.

Her interest in preservation stems from her fascination with the Bodin Station, a historic mail center outside Macon, where she and her husband of 65 years made their first home. Sarah, the first female mail carrier in Georgia, has a professional and personal interest in postal history. Sarah pursued her passion for historic places in her free time, and that passion has led her to do great service for the Georgia Trust.

Sarah remembers visiting the Hay House when it was still a private residence. Her knowledge of the Hay House and Macon enriches her tours, which she gives on Wednesdays through the year. All of us at the Trust are grateful for the generosity and loyalty Sarah has shown. It is an honor to benefit from her experience and commitment, and we are delighted to have the chance to spotlight her work on our behalf.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Hay House, please call 478-742-8155 or email Brenda Dobson.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

2009 Fall Ramble to Washington, Georgia

The Georgia Trust 2009 Fall Ramble
Washington, Georgia
September 18 - 19

The Georgia Trust 2009 Fall Ramble is less that two months away! We are very excited to have the chance to share the charm and beauty of Washington, Georgia with our members. Chartered in 1780, Washington was the center of Georgia's first major back-country settlement. Washington has the most antebellum homes per capita in Georgia and is also home of the Mary Willis Libray, the first free, public library in Georgia.

Friday Activities
Registration will take place at the Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center (29 West Square) from 11 - 5. There are several delightful restaurants surrounding the square in which to enjoy a delicious lunch before starting the Friday Ramble.

The Friday Ramble will take participants on a ride through the countryside and explore Washington's outlying areas including the picturesque hamlet of Danburg in North Wilkes County.

A New Member Reception will take place at a spectacular private home where light hors d'Ĺ“uvre and drinks will be served. Any member that brings a new member to the Ramble is also invited to attend this reception. Please indicate on your invitation if you are bringing a new member and have your guest do the same.

Dinner will be at Peacewood Plantation, a fabulous home that still boasts several of its original dependencies. A delicious barbecue to feast upon under the stars will be provided.

Saturday Activities
Saturday's activities will begin at the First Baptist Church (105 West Robert Toombs Avenue) with registration, breakfast, and a brief orientation.

Ramblers will then be invited into the gracious homes and downtown attractions of Washington, the county seat. Lunch will be available for pick up from 12 -2 at the United Methodist Church.


We would like to that our Local Committee for all of their hard work and help with the planing of what will most definitely be a fantastic weekend.

Betty Slaton, Chair
Ashley Barnett
Peggy Barnett
Jane Bundy
Betty Jackson
Katharine Sanders

Please contact Mary Railey Binns at 404.885.7812 or if you have any questions.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Member Spotlight

Sherry Miles at the Fall 2008 Ramble to Newnan and Coweta County.

To say it is a pleasure to work with a volunteer and member like Sherry Miles is to understate the privilege of having her in this office. A dedicated aide to the Trust, Sherry donates hours of her free-time to come in and help all of us at Rhodes Hall each week. Sherry's natural eye for detail has been particularly helpful as she has been instrumental in a comprehensive office reorganization and clean-out, as well as providing much appreciated clerical assistance.

A Georgia native who lives in Duluth with her thirteen cats, Sherry is generous with more than just her time. She recently donated funds for the development office to buy a new printer, a time-saving tool that will provide printed materials of far greater quality. Sherry is a second-generation Trust supporter, her mother, the late Glenrose T. Miles, was another cherished supporter. Her four siblings, three sisters and one brother, are also members of the Trust.

Sherry is a naturally gracious and incredibly valuable volunteer at Rhodes Hall. Her efforts on our behalf have made all our jobs easier, and we cannot begin to thank her enough for all she has done.

You can find more information about our upcoming Ramble to Washington here. If you are interested in volunteering with the Georgia Trust, call 404-885-7805 or email Lindsay Cronk. We are always grateful for your help, and we can always find work for you to do.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Update from the Friends of Crum and Forster

Dear Friends of Crum Forster:

The Crum Forster Building remains in every bit of danger of demolition as it was last summer.

Currently there are two issues at hand with regard to saving the Crum and Forster – neither issue is settled or finalized:

The process to designate the Crum and Forster as a Landmark Building through the City of

Fighting/opposing the Georgia Tech Foundation’s Appeal of the denial of the demolition permit. (The GTF continues to pursue demolition of this great building.)

Landmark Building Status:
This Thursday, July 23, 2009, 6 p.m., City Hall, is the ZRB (Zoning Review Board) Meeting to review the proposed Landmark status for the Crum and Forster building. This will be the last meeting where public comment will be heard by the Zoning Review Board.

You can show your support in two ways:

Attending the meeting on Thursday, July 23rd, at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall – a good crowd will be critical to show community support.

Writing a letter to the Zoning Review Board in support of the Landmark designation for the Crum and Forster building

Please refer to details below. It is important that the letter be in business letter format, and signed. Please plan to fax or email your letter to the Atlanta Preservation Center. The APC will present the letters received as part of the presentation document to the ZRB.

An email to the City or to the APC is better than nothing, but a REAL letter is what makes the difference.

In addition to sending a letter to the Atlanta Preservation Center you may also copy the City.

Your letter to the Zoning Review Board should:
Be faxed or emailed to the Atlanta Preservation Center no later than July 22, 2009. We will ensure that your letter is presented to the Zoning Review Board.

APC fax: 404-688-3357
APC email:

Use standard business letter formatting with this inside address:

City of Atlanta Zoning Review Board
Attn: Ms. Charletta Wilson Jacks
Bureau of Planning
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 3350
Atlanta, GA 30303
Fax – 404-658-7491 or email Ms. Jacks through Brenda Warner at

Include your statement of the importance and value of the building to both Atlanta and the Midtown neighborhood; the importance of both the local architectural firm (and the NY architectural firm that designed the building) to Atlanta and the nation. The value of the building in contrast to recent re-development efforts in Midtown.

Background information on the Crum and Forster building:
Designed in 1926 and constructed1927-28, the Crum and Forster building is the earliest building of its kind to be constructed in the Midtown area of Spring Street. It housed the first regional office of a national insurance company to construct its own building in Atlanta. Prior to the construction of the Crum and Forster building, this section of Spring Street was residential or undeveloped.

The design of the building is a collaborative work between the New York architectural firm of Helmle, Corbett & Harrison and the Atlanta architectural firm of Ivey & Crook. The principals of Helmle, Corbett & Harrison produced designs which were major contributions to two phases of 20th century American architecture: first, the period of the American renaissance working in Beaux Arts historicist styles and second, in the development of Modernism. Over a four decade long practice, Ivey and Crook produced some of Atlanta's most distinguished residential and commercial architecture.

Thank you for your continued interest in saving the Crum and Forster!

With best regards,

Friends of Crum Forster

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Member Spotlight

Dr. and Mrs. Allen and their dog, Sue, participating in the first annual Rhodes Race

Trust members, volunteers, and supporters, David and Beverly Allen of Atlanta, recently helped us decorate Rhodes Hall in the fashion it deserves. The two retirees, both Emory alums who worked together at their oral and maxillofacial surgery practice, are the proud parents of three girls. Having previously donated both time and energy to the Trust, the Allens stepped forward to donate a rug to Rhodes Hall. This gift, unlikely as it may sound, is a true boon for the Trust.

Readers of this blog may recall that Michael Purser and Gregg Limbird have put significant time, energy and effort into Rhodes Hall's floors. With the woods of this house gleaming with health, staff members soon realized we needed more rugs to help protect that work and to display Rhodes Hall as it was meant to be shown.

Dr. and Mrs. Allen have interceded on behalf of this great house. Obviously, Rhodes Hall, a home built by a furniture magnate, deserves to be outfitted graciously as it would have been originally. By giving an in-kind donation of a rug, the Allens have helped us to honor this house and its history.

If you are interested in making a donation of furnishings to Rhodes Hall, please call 404-885-7809 or email Laraine Lind.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Volunteer uncovers unknown soldier’s ID

Five-year search finds Kennesaw Mountain battlefield grave belongs to Illinois infantryman

For the AJC

Monday, July 13, 2009

Private Mark Carr, U.S. Army, sounds like the kind of guy who’s the backbone of any military unit — the loyal, consistent grunt who does the heavy lifting.

Enlisting shortly after the outbreak of war, the farmer and day laborer from the northwest Illinois town of Dixon served his volunteer hitch, then re-upped. The record shows he was never absent from duty for illness, or any other reason.

Janet Peters/Special to AJC

Tragically, the blond, strapping infantryman was killed while charging an enemy position.

It’s a story whose ending could have come recently in Baghdad, Mosul, or some Afghan byway. But Carr was killed on the Kennesaw Mountain battlefield, at Cheatham Hill, on June 27, 1864.

Until last month, he was the “unknown soldier” in a solitary grave near the Illinois Monument.

Buried where he lay, Carr, a Union casualty, somehow escaped re-internment at the Marietta National Cemetery. His remains were unearthed in 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, but his identity by then was a mystery. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park officials ordered a headstone proclaiming him the “unknown soldier” of Cheatham Hill.

The split-rail fenced, rock-covered grave became a local landmark, well-known among those who toured, jogged or hiked past the spot. Matters rested until late last month: That’s when Brad Quinlin — a historian, Marietta Trolley tour guide and Kennesaw battlefield park volunteer — culminated five years of detective work by identifying Carr.

It’s quite a feat that Quinlin has pulled off, says Willie Johnson, Kennesaw battlefield park historian. “It’s very unusual for a volunteer to devote the persistence and amount of time needed to accomplish this kind of thing. “I don’t know of another instance where it’s been done, particularly outside the confines of a national cemetery itself.”

A genial, bearded and noticeably pumped-about-his-subject Massachusetts native, Quinlin says the project grew out of conversations with Johnson and the park curator.

“We used to sit around and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to find the identity of the unknown?’ ” Quinlin says.

Not long after, they got a break. Another researcher, David Evans, unearthed detailed records kept by a chaplain and quartermaster sent from up north after the war, information used to re-inter Union soldiers buried at the Marietta National Cemetery.

Carr, a “groundpounder” with the 34th Illinois Infantry, was killed attempting to breach Confederate earthworks, and would have been reburied, but was missed.

Johnson and Quinlin think Carr’s initial listing as a POW may have created confusion.

The chaplain’s records numbered graves sequentially and gave detailed information about what was found on the bodies, thus making Quinlin’s research possible.

“[Kennesaw historian] Johnson and I walked the battlefield,” Quinlin says, “and talked about the regiments that made it to the area where the unknown was at. I then made a complete list of all the men in the larger brigade, Mitchell’s Brigade, who were killed on that day.”

What followed were painstaking records searches at Kennesaw, in Washington and in Illinois, where Quinlin studied the re-internment records and the regimental records of units from Illinois and Ohio. He also spoke through an intermediary with a descendant of Carr’s who lives in Illinois, seeking more information. Other letters and diaries confirmed the Illinois brigade was the only unit to reach the base of the Southern earthworks where Carr was cut down.

Cross-referencing with records from the national cemetery, Quinlin narrowed down the identity possibilities to three men from the 34th. But when it was determined that two were either captured or died at a battlefield hospital, Carr stood alone.

“It was an extremely challenging project,” Quinlin says, and in five years , “you hit brick walls, but when you hit a brick wall, you walk away and re-organize.”

The payoff: During the 145th Kennesaw battle commemoration in late June, he led a tour to reveal the name, and dozens of residents of a nearby subdivision turned out, intrigued to learn more about a site that some of them had walked by for years.

Quinlin said his motivation stemmed from the fact that “I hate unknowns.” His great-great grandfather, a Union soldier from Indiana, fought in the siege of Vicksburg in 1863 and, due to bad weather that ruined necessary paperwork, his ancestor wound up buried in an anonymous grave on the battlefield.

“These men fought and they died,” he says meditatively. “Don’t we at least owe them a name?

“As a researcher and Civil War student, to think that we could do something like this after 145 years is incredible.”

Officials say that, at this late date, there are no plans to transfer Carr’s remains, if indeed any survive, to the Marietta National Cemetery. The possible lack of remains, Quinlin adds, dims the potential for DNA testing to further nail down the identity.

Instead, a wayside marker will be set up detailing the search for the unknown.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Member Spotlight

Gregg Limbird pictured working at Rhodes Hall.

All of the Trust staff in Atlanta recognize how lucky we are to work in a castle, but Rhodes Hall demands a great deal of up-keep and TLC. When we need someone to look after this great house's phenomenal woodwork, we turn to Gregg Limbird.

A native New Englander with more than 30 years of experience as a craftsman, Gregg is a dedicated and meticulous worker who has spent much of that time restoring trim carpentry, paneled rooms, and historic book cases in Atlanta and the Southeast. He enjoys and excels in his craft. Here at the Trust, we also appreciate his sense of humor, another quality which is requisite given the unexpected and often inexplicable difficulties that one encounters in preservation efforts. (See picture above.)

An avid preservationist and athlete, Gregg is also living with lung cancer, which has not stopped him from collaborating with Michael Purser on many historic buildings in Atlanta and cycling in races to raise funds for cancer research. He is an active and dedicated advocate for Rhodes Hall, and we at the Trust celebrate his zest for life and his skill in his craft.

If you would like to volunteer your time at Historic Rhodes Hall, please fill out this form and return it via email or snail mail it to Lindsay Cronk at 1516 Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.