Originally constructed for Presley and Rachel Thedford Yates, this house near Yates Springs is one of the few remaining antebellum homes in Catoosa County. Presley Yates received the land in the Cherokee Land Lottery of 1832, and the house was completed in the late 1830s, with later additions made in the early 1900s. Active in politics, Presley Yates served as a delegate to the Georgia Secession Convention in 1861 and voted against secession. He remained loyal to the Union throughout the Civil War and after the war, served on the Southern Claims Commission and was appointed a delegate to the Georgia Constitutional Convention of 1867 (the Reconstruction Convention). He owned a modest number of enslaved people, whose descendants still live in the community and bear the Yates name.
Because of the house’s location next to a critical water source, which provides much of Catoosa County’s clean water supply, public access and intensive rehabilitation are not currently viable. The house has been vandalized on several occasions and needs improved security. The options for saving the Yates House may be limited, but the property owner, local historical society and community advocates are eager to collaborate on opportunities to preserve this early resource and its unique history.
Images by Rich Sainato