Augusta State University
Augusta State University traces its roots to 1783 when its parent institution, the Academy of Richmond County, was chartered. Offering college-level classes to prepare students for admission into universities as sophomores or juniors, the Academy performed the role of today’s community college. A fifth year of high school, added in 1909, and a sixth year in 1925, were chartered as the Junior College of Augusta. The Junior College and Academy shared space until 1957 when the College moved to this location. The following year its name was changed to Augusta College when it joined the University System of Georgia. In 1996, it became Augusta State University.
Bobby Jones and the Beginning of the Grand Slam
On the golf links of the Forrest Hills-Ricker Hotel, Bobby Jones won the Southeastern Open of 1930. He went on to victory that year in the British Amateur, British Open, U.S. Open, and U.S. Amateur - golf's Grand Slam and a feat yet unmatched. A lifelong amateur, Jones won four U.S. Opens, five U.S. Amateurs, three British Opens, and one British Amateur, but called his thirteen-shot victory in the 1930 Southeastern Open, Athe best-played tournament I ever turned out in my life. Thirteen of the original Donald Ross-designed holes and the 1926 Golf House survive from Jones' era.
Camilla and Zack Hubert Homesite
Zack Hubert, a former Warren County slave, moved here with his family in 1871. The Huberts were among the first African-American landowners in central Georgia and played influential roles in the area’s African-American community. They named their homesite Springfield. Zack Hubert married Camilla Hillman in 1873. Hubert donated land and helped with construction for Springfield Church and its school, an early provider of technical education to African Americans in Georgia. All twelve of the Huberts’ children were college educated, and two became college presidents. The site includes the Log Cabin Center, maintained by the Association for the Advancement of Negro Country Life. Camilla and Zack Hubert are buried beside Springfield Church.
Church of the Most Holy Trinity
The current sanctuary was constructed from 1857-63 and is one of the oldest Catholic Church buildings in Georgia. It was designed by J.R. Niernsee, architect of the State House in Columbia, South Carolina. The original 1814 structure served as the Sisters of Mercy hospital and orphanage during the Yellow Fever epidemics of 1839 and 1854. It was again used as their hospital during the Civil War. Father Abram Ryan (1838-1886), "poet-priest of the Confederacy," edited The Banner of the South, a Catholic weekly, while serving as pastor of the church during the Civil War.
First Ebenezer Baptist Church
This congregation began when a handful of slaves gathered for services on the Rhodes Plantation in August 1812. In 1851 Absalom A. Rhodes sold a quarter acre of land here for two dollars to the deacon board of Ebenezer Baptist Church. The fifty-six-member congregation joined the Georgia Baptist Association in 1867. First Ebenezer's leadership in the Association was paramount in forming the Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, the first African-American convention. Two new congregations have sprung from First Ebenezer: Second Ebenezer Baptist Church and Spring Grove Baptist Church.
Populist presidential candidate and Georgia political leader Thomas E. Watson purchased this house from Captain James Wilson 1900. Watson extensively renovated both the house and grounds, installing telephones and even constructing a power plant to provide the house with lighting and water for the indoor plumbing. In 1910 Watson constructed a printing plant, known as the Jeffersonian, at Hickory Hill. The plant employed thirty workers and produced his periodicals and books. After the death of Watson and his wife, their granddaughter Georgia Watson Craven owned Hickory Hill until 1947 when Walter J. Brown purchased the house to preserve it in memory of Thomas Watson. Today the house is owned and operated by the Watson-Brown Foundation.
Home of Thomas E. Watson (1856-1922)
After passing the state Bar in 1876, native Thomas E. Watson returned to Thomson and lived in this house with his family from 1881 to 1900. In his first floor office Watson began his law and writing career and entered politics. He served in the Georgia House (1882), U.S. Congress (1890-92), and the U.S. Senate (1920-22). He was nominated for Vice President on the Populist Party ticket with William Jennings Bryan in 1896. Here Watson authored the two- volume Story of France and a biography of Napoleon. In a career often marked by controversy, he was best known as the "Father of Rural Free Delivery."
Joseph Rucker Lamar
Joseph Rucker Lamar (1857-1916) lived in this manse from 1860-1875 while his father, James Sanford Lamar, was pastor of First Christian Church. A prominent attorney, he served two terms in the Georgia legislature and codified the civil code of Georgia in 1893. He sat as an associate justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, 1903-1905. Although a Democrat, he was appointed by Republican President Taft as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1911. President Wilson, his boyhood friend, appointed Lamar to serve on the commission for the 1914 peace negotiation between the United States and Mexico. Lamar died in office at his Washington, D.C. home in 1916.
Lucy Craft Laney
A leading educator of the nineteenth century, Lucy Craft Laney was born into a free African-American household in Macon, Georgia. In 1873 she was part of Atlanta University’s first graduating class. After teaching in Macon, Milledgeville, and Savannah, Laney moved to Augusta, where she founded the Haines Normal and Industrial Institute in 1883. Laney also established the first kindergarten for black children in Augusta, and was instrumental in founding the Lamar Nursing School in 1887. Laney gathered support and recognition from around the country for her work in Augusta. She was buried on the grounds of Lucy Craft Laney Comprehensive High School, site of the former Haines Institute.
Mary Willis Library
This library was Georgia's first free (without a subscription fee) public library. Founded in 1888 by Dr. Francis T. Willis in memory of his daughter, it opened in 1889. Willis also created an endowment for the library and donated his personal collection of books. Atlanta architect Edmund Lind designed the building in the Queen Anne style and the central memorial window was made by Tiffany Studios. The library operated as a privately-endowed institution until 1967 when it became part of the regional library system. Annexes were added in 1977 and 1991.
Paul Hamilton Hayne
Acclaimed poet, editor, and lecturer of the post-Civil War era, Paul Hamilton Hayne was born in Charleston, South Carolina. A contemporary of Sidney Lanier, Hayne edited Russell’s Magazine and the Charleston Gazette and wrote for the Southern Literary Messenger. Following the war-time destruction of his Charleston home, he moved to Georgia in 1865. Here he established a home at Copse Hill, one mile west of this site, and wrote for Harper’s New Monthly and The Atlantic Monthly. Hayne authored three volumes of poetry and is known as one of the most significant voices of the Confederate cause. He is buried in Augusta’s Magnolia Cemetery.
The main cemetery in Sparta was established on property deeded to the town in 1806. Burials illustrate a common nineteenth-century pattern of migration to the area, as settlers from New England and Virginia moved south and west through the Carolinas and into Georgia. Notable burials include Methodist Bishop George Foster Pierce, president of Wesleyan College in Macon and of Emory College in Oxford, Georgia; prominent nineteenth-century statesmen Dr. William Terrell and Gen. Henry Mitchell; and veterans of American wars dating back to the Revolution. Sparta Cemetery also contains examples of funerary art representative of architectural styles of the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries.
Spirit Creek Baptist Church
In July 1800, this church was organized in a canebrake on Spirit Creek by slaves on the Twiggs plantation. The Reverend J.W. Sutton served as the first pastor. In July 1868, the church purchased 14-acres here on Butler Creek and moved to this location. The current and second sanctuary on this site was constructed in 1931. Among the influential pastors who have presided here are Peter Johnson, Frank Beal, Daniel McHorton, and A.W. Vincent. The church was a charter member of Ebenezer Baptist Association and parent church of Corinth Baptist Church.
Stoney Nurse's Home
This building, named for Dr. George N. Stoney, a prominent local black physician, opened in 1939 to house students of the Lamar School of Nursing. The school, founded in 1897 by Lucy Craft Laney and Dr. William H. Doughty, was one of the first nursing schools for blacks in the South and trained students for work at Lamar Hospital, which opened in 1895 for black patients. The building was vacated in 1955 when the school was disbanded, though black nurses continued training at University Hospital. It is presently occupied by the Medical College of Georgia School of Nursing.
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) began in Kentucky in the early years of the nineteenth century. Dr. Daniel Hook and Captain and Mrs. Edward Campfield established Augusta’s First Christian Church in 1835, despite great suspicion and negativity from more established Protestant denominations. Philanthropist Emily Tubman aided the fledgling congregation by donating the first building (later Tubman High School for girls), convincing Georgia lawyer James S. Lamar to study and to become the church’s pastor in 1852, and donating new buildings for the church’s relocation to Greene and McIntosh Streets in 1874. Restoration of the structure began in 1989.
The Sisters of Saint Joseph in Augusta
Members of the seventeenth-century French Order of Saint Joseph of Carondelet were first invited to Georgia at the end of the Civil War to teach and staff an orphanage in Savannah. Working with the children of African Americans, the Sisters of St. Joseph received praise and scorn. After serving briefly at a girls' school in Washington , Georgia , the Sisters came to Augusta in 1912. Here they began Mount Saint Joseph Academy , which operated from 1915 until 1960. The Order's convent stood at this location. Augusta institutions founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph include Saint Mary's Elementary School, Aquinas High School , and St. Joseph's Hospital.
Washington's Southern Tour I
During his Southern tour of 1791, President George Washington attended services at the original Christ Church on Sunday, May 15. While in Savannah from May 12-15, Washington lodged at a house on the corner of Barnard and State streets on St. James (now Telfair) Square, dined at Brown's Coffeehouse with the Society of the Cincinnati, toured the ruins of the Revolutionary earthworks with General Lachlan McIntosh, was entertained at the Silk Filature on Reynolds Square, and attended a large public dinner. After Sunday services, Washington dined with Catherine Greene (widow of Nathanael Greene) at Mulberry Grove plantation north of the city before departing for Augusta.
Washington's Southern Tour III
Traveling from Savannah to Augusta on his Southern tour of 1791, President George Washington stopped in Waynesboro on May 17. Departing from Savannah two days earlier, Washington lodged at "one Spencers" in Effingham County, fifteen miles north of Nathanael Greene's Mulberry Grove plantation. Journeying through modern-day Screven County the next day, he traveled six miles out of his way to visit the city named for General Anthony Wayne, who served with Washington during the Revolution. He noted the town's "6 or 8 dwelling houses" and local efforts to "establish an Academy." After spending the night in Waynesboro, Washington reached Augusta the following day.
Washington's Southern Tour IV
During his Southern tour of 1791, President George Washington visited Augusta--at that time Georgia's capital--from May 18-21. Washington met with Governor Edward Telfair and other "principal gentlemen of the place," including George Walton and John Twiggs; attended a ball at Richmond Academy "at which there were between 60 & 70 well-dressed ladies;" toured the remains of Fort Cornwallis near St. Paul's Church; and visited the falls on the Savannah River. He described the city as "well laid out with wide & spacious streets. It bids fair to be a large town." Washington's return to Philadelphia began on May 21 when he departed for Columbia, S.C.
Ways Baptist Church and Stellaville School
Ways Baptist Church was established in 1817. Originally known as Darcy’s Meeting House, the church was formed by members of the Brushy Creek Church. In 1868 Ways Church organized the Stellaville School, which was active until the mid 1940s. The only high school in the county outside of Louisville, Stellaville drew students from as far away as South Carolina. The school’s faculty included some of Georgia’s leading educators at that time, such as Professor V.T. Sanford of the Sanford family of Mercer University. These instructors were brought to Stellaville by Reverend W.L. Kilpatrick, who served as chairman of Mercer’s trustees, and led the Ways Baptist Church congregation from 1866-1891.