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Holiday Tour of Homes

Each home on this year’s Barnesville Women’s League Tour of Homes has its own charm, from features still evident after 100 years or so to the attractive innovations made by current owners. Here are brief descriptions from histories compiled by Jeffrey Stephens and from interviews with the occupants. 880 Johnstonville Road This is the home of Cynthia Smith, her daughter Amber Smith and son Cole Wheeles. It was built in the late 1800s for Ethelbert and Fannie Rumble. Ethelbert was a farmer, merchant and postmaster in Goggans. The Rev. S.R. England, founder of Marvin Methodist Church, boarded with the Rumbles. Ethelbert donated land to Union Primitive Baptist Church to expand its property. When he retired in 1919 and moved to California he sold the home to John Glenn Bush and Lou Askin Bush. John Bush became the Goggans postmaster in 1919. Owner of a general store, John was a Barnesville Savings Bank trustee and charter member of the Lamar County board of education. He retired in 1940 and one of his seven children, Ralph Bush, continued in his footsteps. Cynthia Smith says she bought the home from her good friends Al and Lee Sanders, who had done a lot of renovation to the old home. (The present Sanders home at 1027 Johnstonville is also on the tour.) When Smith’s husband Ray died, she and Amber decided to ‘stay out in the country … we have horses and we really enjoy the area.’ Cole is a nephew adopted by the Smiths. The home now sits on five acres. Cynthia’s changes have included a brick back deck, new countertops and remodeling of the master bath and an upstairs bedroom. 1027 Johnstonville Road Al and Lee Sanders are the owners of the Walter C. Johnston house, built by Walter’s great-great-uncle John Johnston about 1829. It is a Southern Pyramid/ Second Empire design which gives it a unique roof shape. Originally it was built with a breezeway separating the dining room and kitchen from the front of the house ‘“ that area was moved to other Johnston property. Lee says she and Al bought the house in October 2012 and have spent the last year ‘accomplishing numerous renovations’ inside and out. An old barn was removed to make room for a garage but most of the barn wood was salvaged and used for a tractor shed. ’When we moved in the house was in pretty good shape,’ says Lee. ‘I’m sure the several successive owners after the Johnstons each made changes reflecting their tastes.’ The Sanders’ have restored oak and heart pine flooring, added a ‘dream master bath’ with a clawfoot tub, refurbished the 1930s kitchen cabinets and added a back porch spanning the width of the house. ’We think it’s the perfect blend of old and new. We’re eagerly anticipating the tour,’ she adds. 637 Greenwood Street The home of Stephen and Angela Allen was built around 1890, Angela says, and is known as the Hammond home. It is thought to have been built for Annie Lambdin Hammond as a wedding present from her parents when she married Pierce Hammond, a Barnesville merchant. Her parents were Charles E. and Annie Middlebrooks Lambdin. Charles was a founder of Gordon. With four bedrooms, two and a half baths, kitchen, front room and large foyer and dining room/office, the house has plenty of room for the Allens’ children Zachary, 15, Bryce, 12, and Gracie, 10. Angela says the house has ‘secret attics that make great storage.’ The Allens bought the home from Angela’s mother, Jane Huguely. Angela has redone several mantels over the six fireplaces (not in use), made curtains, painted and redecorated in a style that suits Angela ‘“ blending old and new. Her holiday decorations will include seven Christmas trees. 870 Thomaston Street Known as the Murphey-Bush house, this home was purchased by Frank and Joan Ogletree in 1994. It was built in 1850 and was the home of Ada Bush and Alberta Bush Weldon, after Alberta’s husband James Lafayette Weldon died. Ada Bush taught at Milner Consolidated School, earned a bachelor’s in education from Georgia College for Women and taught in the Lamar County school system for 39 years. The Bush daughters’ father, Albert, bought the home from H.V. Fillingin, manager of the Barnesville Hotel. He had bought the house from E.T. and Susan Rose, who had bought the home from J.T. Murphey. The Federal style house has flat-lap siding on the front and lapped siding on the rest of the house. The front door has lights at the top and on both sides. The windows are handblown nine-on-nine. Frank is a widower who gets plenty of help doing things, especially decorating for the Christmas tour. His son Matt, daughter-inlaw Beth and grandsons Bo and Payne Ogletree have been involved in helping Frank get ready. ’It’s their second home,’ Beth says. ‘They’re over there all the time.’ 536 Thomaston Street ’A dream fulfilled and goal accomplished’ is how Jan Hatten describes what happened when she renovated her whole house, known as the Cook house. Edgar L. and Annie Redding Cook lived in the home in the late 1890s. Their daughter Sara Cook Smith later lived there with her husband, Walter Byron Smith Jr. Another occupant was a grandson of Edgar L., attorney Edgar Byron Smith, who became Superior Court Judge of the Flint Judicial Circuit in 1989. ’I bought this home in a dilapidated project state when I was 24 years old. It was an ongoing maintenance challenge but no blood, sweat or tears was spared,’ Jan said. Highlights of the house include original heart pine and hand-carved woodwork throughout, with all the floors refinished heart pine. The curved heart pine staircase features elaborate stick-and-ball woodwork and is adorned with stained glass windows. Stained glass is found in many places in the 13-room home which also has a fireplace in every main room. In the kitchen, custom built heart pine cabinets complement the granite countertops and Victorian tin ceiling. Jan’s additions to the house include redoing the baby room after her daughters were no longer infants. It’s now a master bathroom suite with all modern comforts and a claw-foot tub to maintain the style of the era. Historic paint colors and wallpapers were sought from experts to authenticate the refurbishing. Jan recently tackled yet another project herself, redoing the exterior deck. Then an in-ground swimming pool was added. Both of her daughters, Victoria Ann, 14, and Alexandria Elizabeth, 12, were born while the house was being renovated. ’It’s always been home to a family of Hatten girls,’ says Jan. Barnesville First United Methodist Church Founded in the earliest years of Barnesville history, the church now known as First Methodist began worshipping in Josiah Holmes’ house. Holmes is known as the founder of the congregation called ‘Methodist Episcopal Church South.’ Soon a tiny church was built where the courthouse now stands, then a larger building faced Greenwood Street where the old Carnegie Library is. As the congregation grew, another new church was built around 1870 at the present site. Josiah Holmes’ church bell tolled the funeral of Barnesville’s founder Gideon Barnes in 1871. The congregation mourned the loss of its beautiful building after a devastating fire in August 1939. Undaunted, the members raised funds and contracted for the present building. The first service there was held Sept. 1, 1940. A fellowship hall and more Sunday school rooms were added in 1965. Nearly 75 years after the fire, the congregation still prospers. The worship committee including Wayne Cook is decorating the church just before the Tour of Homes, ‘because we use everything fresh ‘“ the greenery and everything,’ said Cook. Pastor Dana Overton-Garrett commented, ‘We’re proud and pleased to be the church chosen for the tour and look forward to welcoming everybody.’

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