Friday, October 9, 2009
Places in Peril: Rock House,Thomson
The Story: This two-story 1780s house is constructed of twenty-four inch thick field stones and is recognized as the oldest surviving stone house in Georgia. The house was constructed by the Ansley family who received the land in 1783, fifteen years after the town of Wrightsborough was founded as the southernmost settlement of Quakers in America. The house remained privately owned until 1966, when the Wrightsborough Quaker Community Foundation purchased and restored the house with the intention of using it as a museum.
The Threat: Now the house is closed, vacant, and unstaffed. Located in rural McDuffie County with no occupied houses near it, there is a minimal amount of security. Vandalism and a lack of maintenance funding have added to the overall threat to this historic structure.
The Solution: In December 2007, the Watson-Brown Junior Board issued an emergency grant for the repair of windows, historic sashes, and doors, but the house and its associated Ansley Cemetery are still in need of a solid overall preservation plan that would address issues of use, maintenance, and security.
Update: The Trust is working with the Wrightsborough Foundation and the Thomson-McDuffie County Convention and Visitors Bureau to find funding. Securing this 18th century building is critical as vandals have gained access to the property.