For the Preservation Pop Quiz, Georgia edition. If you’re following the comments, you’ll see that the answer has already been revealed (from the knowledgeable Andrew P. Wood). However, for those who do not track comments, read on.
The mystery structure is a smoke house that was part of the Granite Hill Plantation in Sparta, Georgia. The answer (as well as the quiz) comes from Chad Carlson.
The plantation was owned by Andrew Jackson Lane in the 1850s. At the time of the Civil War it had 74 slaves, 22 structures, on 2200 acres. The smoke house was the last remnant of the plantation. The main house was moved to Macon, GA, in 1968, and was destroyed by a fire very soon thereafter. (You can see the smokehouse in the background of the main house.) Most thought it was a jail for slaves because of the bars on the windows. I came across an article on Granite Hill Planation from the “Southern Cultivator” magazine from 1859 wherein it mentions “a two story smokehouse of finely dressed granite.” Since meat would have been the most valuable commodity on the plantation the bars were placed in the windows to keep people out. Given the size of the building it was probably also used for storage of other commodities as well.
The Sparta Kaoline Corporation bought the property in 1998 to mine the granite beneath the building. Stonemason Brent Kickbush was hired to destroy the smokehouse. His attempts to find someone to have the smoke house reconstructed on their property were unsuccessful and the building was torn down.
Want to learn more? Check out this video from Chad.
3 thoughts on “Georgia Pop Quiz Answer”
I watched the video and learned a few things. I also had a couple laughs wrt the bee scenes. But it was the last 2 minutes that I found most poignant and distressing. I really felt the loss of this historic site (not just the octagon building), even though I live nowhere near the state of Georgia, and even though its not a part of MY history.
Reblogged this on tjphull.
Its interesting to note that Octagonal structures were a brief fad in the 1850s. A phrenologist, named Orson Fowler, advocated for their construction as a kind of 19th century feng shui.
According to Fowler, an octagon house was cheaper to build, allowed for additional living space, received more natural light, was easier to heat, and remained cooler in the summer. These benefits all derive from the geometry of an octagon: the shape encloses space efficiently, minimizing external surface area and consequently heat loss and gain, building costs etc. A circle is the most efficient shape, but difficult to build and awkward to furnish, so an octagon is a sensible approximation. Victorian builders were used to building 135° corners, as in the typical bay window, and could easily adapt to an octagonal plan. (source: Wikipedia)_