Archive for September, 2014
Pretty Dead Thing
September 25, 2014
SOLD- a Cool Plantation in Talbot County, Georgia
September 5, 2014
Our home in Box Springs, Talbot County, Georgia, USA, World, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Universe Number 1 is now advertised for sale. If I had the money, I would certainly buy it! Check out the pictures at our real estate broker’s website: johnbunnrealty.com/featured-properties/407-richardson-road-historic-home-sale-ga/
Astute historians (and our closest friends) will recognize this as the Parker-Wall/Jenkins-Richardson-Mortgage Company-Mortgage Company-Elliott House, or “Rocquemore”. Now you can add your name to the list, or simply stick with the short name we gave it. There you can rock out and rock more or simply chill and watch the [here follows a partial list of aminules we observed while living there]:
Armadillo (9 banded)
Black Rat Snake
Canadian Goose (eh?)
Dog (Canis familiaris)
Green Tree Frog
Red Tailed Hawk
White Tailed Deer
Zinjanthropus [no not really, but I needed to end with a Z animal]
Here is a short history of the place:
The Parker-Jenkins/Wall-Richardson-Mortgage Company-Elliott House
By Daniel T. Elliott and Rita F. Elliott, 2014
It is likely that James Parker, Sr. was living on this property (land Lot 87) by 1830. Parker, a North Carolinian then living in Screven County, Georgia, followed the 1827 land rush of white settlers into the region that would be later designated as Talbot County. An ancient Indian trail (Moore’s New Road) ran several hundred yards north of the Parker home [near the modern red fire hydrant on Richardson Road]. This route was traveled by the Cusseta Creek Indians living in scattered settlements known as Upatoi Town. The eastern limits of that Native American town extended more than a mile east and five miles southeast of the Parker home. When relations between the State of Georgia and the Creek Nation soured in 1825, the Upatoi Creeks were pressured to move west to Alabama and Oklahoma.
A courthouse fire in Muscogee County destroyed records that would demonstrate how and when Parker acquired Land Lot 87, but U.S. Census records suggest that by 1835 Parker had completed his impressive Greek revival home. Pleased with his workmanship, Parker carved his initials into exterior clapboard. Those faint letters, “JA R P” are still visible on the northwestern corner of the house.
By 1850, the plantation had expanded to cover just over 300 acres, with the addition of Land Lot 86. It is likely that his son, John Lewis Parker was running the plantation by this time. There were four members of the Parker family here, as well as several boarders, a farm hand, and approximately ten African Americans who were enslaved workers.
In April 1865, a Union Cavalry Corps of 17,000 horsemen commanded by Major General James Harrison Wilson blazed a path from Selma, Alabama to Macon, Georgia. That raid left Columbus’ industry in ashes, as well as the bustling town of Geneva (several miles east of the Parker property). The route Wilson’s raiders took led them directly past the Box Springs community and the Parker plantation, which was spared the torch. The effects of the Civil War were devastating to the Parker family economically. The once enslaved labor force, including Henry Parker and his family, may have remained in the area, possibly working as farm hands for the Parker landowners. John Lewis Parker, son of landowner James and Eda Parker continued as a planter in Talbot County until his death in 1899.
Sometime after 1880, ownership of the Parker plantation passed from the Parker family to Rufus Hampton Jenkins and his wife, Martha A. Pate Jenkins Wall. Rufus died in 1898. Sometime between 1900 and 1910 Martha married John Solomon Wall. By 1928, Martha Wall had moved to Columbus, Georgia. At that time she deeded 80 acres of Land Lot 86 and all of Land Lot 87 to her son, Roy H. Jenkins.
Judge Roy Jenkins owned the property from 1928 until 1944 when it was sold to J.W. Lavender and P.W. Richardson, Jr. Mr. Phillip W. Richardson, Jr. was the postmaster at Box Springs and Juniper, Georgia. The Richardson family consisted of P.W. Jr., his wife Emma Hall Richardson and sons P.W. III, and Eugene. The Richardsons installed dropped ceilings in three rooms, and added an indoor toilet at the end of the central hall. Following her husband’s death, Emma Richardson lived in the house until her own death in 1993. The dwelling and about 10 acres surrounding it were inherited by P.W. Richardson, III. The following year, the house and four acres were sold by P.W. III to his son Terry Stuart Richardson. Terry used the dwelling as collateral in a business venture that failed forcing the Richardson’s to lose the home.
The property was repossessed in 1997 and sold at public auction to a mortgage company. The James Parker home was purchased by Daniel Thornton Elliott and Rita Folse Elliott in 1998, who are the current owners. From 1998-2004, the Elliotts made numerous improvements, striving for rehabilitation/sensitive restoration to the home. This included removing the dropped fiberboard ceilings throughout the house; removing the bathroom at the end of the hall; and upgrading the kitchen with cabinets, tile, and modern conveniences. The had a bank of closets and drawers constructed in the new downstairs bathroom/dressing room, and added more than 500 square feet of built-in bookcases in the hall and library/bedroom. Whenever possible, construction was done without damaging the historical fabric of the house, and installed around historic moldings.
The Elliotts enlisted renowned Columbus, Georgia architect Sia Etemadi who designed a second story room and bathroom, with dormer, stairs, and landings. This design again took the historic nature of the house into consideration and is not visible from the front view of the home. Master builder Michael Aderhold undertook construction of the second story, in addition to other upgrades throughout the house. The Elliotts also constructed a large deck on the rear of the house, the addition of three HVAC systems, the installation of a new steel roof and attic insulation, the additional wiring of the electrical system, and renovation of the dilapidated commissary and smokehouse into a rustic guest/bunkhouse.
In spite of the various owners and occupants of the Parker Home, it retains its breathtaking historical character and understated elegance. Hand-hewn adze marks, 24 inch wide planks, heart pine timbers, tall windows, 12 foot high ceilings and Greek Revival design elements grace this unique structure. The house and plantation are featured in two Talbot County histories by Jordan (1971) and Davidson (1983). The Parker home has been cherished by four families over the past 179 years and becomes an increasingly historical and unique property through time.
For more information on the history of the Parker plantation, check out Report Number 83 at: http://thelamarinstitute.org/Reports.htm