The Georgia Trust

BRANTLEY-HAYGOOD HOUSE ADDS NEW CHAPTER

The Brantley-Haygood House as it stood
when the Revolving Fund first acquired
the property in 2001 (above). While the
previous owner completely restored the
exterior (below), there is still much to
be done inside.

Most historic sites in Georgia have a link to Sherman’s March to the Sea. For the Brantley-Haygood house, it took the form of Mary Brantley. Legend has it that her plea to General Sherman himself not only saved her own house, but also kept most of Sandersville from the Union general’s flames.

New owners-to-be James and Diane Davie of Woodbridge, Va., have Mrs. Brantley to thank for their new home, which they intend to fully restore to its turn-of-the-century Queen Anne appearance.

The story begins more than 150 years ago. Originally built as a Plantation-Plain house in the 1850s by Dr. Solomon Brantley, the house was remodeled in 1899 by noted architect Charles E. Choate to a Queen Anne style popular at the time. The architect’s signature touch can be seen in the porch brackets and a small knob near the top of the staircase.

“A Choate-remodeled house is very rare to find, and coupled with the house’s historical significance made this a property the Trust felt was worth investing in,” says Frank White, former Revolving Fund director.

By the time the Revolving Fund acquired the 5,400-sq.-ft. house in 2001, it had been subdivided into four apartments. The National Register-listed house still retained its original wide floorboards and doors, Victorian-era mantels and 11 fireplaces, but paint peeled, chimneys crumbled and ceilings leaked.

In February 2002, Hal H. Fowler of Snellville purchased the property and rehabilitated the house’s exterior, including a new roof and paint, foundation stabilization, extensive wood repair, rebuilding chimneys and landscaping. By the time he turned his attention to the interior, he had found out he could no longer stay in the area and so he generously donated the property back to the Trust.

Today, the house’s history continues to the next chapter. With the Davies’ new purchase, restoration efforts will resume once again. Interior work will include plaster repair, new kitchens and bathrooms, rewiring and plumbing, and HVAC installation. The couple then plans to move into the house once most of the interior restoration is complete.

Mary Brantley would be thrilled to know that nearly 150 years after its first close call, the house has been saved once more.

Do you know of an endangered historic property in your town? The Georgia Trust may be able to help.
Contact Kate Ryan at 404-885-7817.

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