Sunday, January 17, 2010

17 January 1872: Cedar Hill Place for Sale

On this day in 1872, the following ad ran at the bottom of the front page of the Southern Watchman:

The "Cedar Hill Place," the residence of Gov. Wilson Lumpkin for the last thirty-five years. It contains one hundred and sixty three acres of land, more or less, all within the corporate limits of Athens. About the centre of the land, on a high eminence, most beautifully situated, is an excellently built stone house, containing 12 rooms, with fireplaces. The place is near a square, and bounded on the east by the Oconee river, on which is a shoal with fall of water sufficient to carry on a cotton Factory or Mill. One half of the shoal belongs to the place.

There are no liens or mortgages on the property, and good titles can be given.

Anyone wishing to buy or know more, can apply to M. W. Lumpkin, on the premises. I am desirous of selling all the place together but would sell the shoal and a very convenient way to it separate.
Former Governor Lumpkin died December 28, 1870. The "M. W. Lumpkin" who placed the ad is likely his daughter, Martha Wilson Lumpkin, who inherited the property. She sold off acreage to the expanding University over the years, but would not sell the last of it, including the house, until 1907. As part of the sale contract, the house must be kept in its original location and never be manually destroyed, or else the land's ownership would revert to the Lumpkin family heirs. UGA bought the land for $12,000.00 with plans to build a new agricultural building on the property.

The house is one of few still around made with the metamorphic bedrock called Athens Gneiss that underlies most of Clarke County. It is no longer used for building, as it tends to break irregularly and browns from an original creamy white color with age. The original "Cedar Hill Place" had much smoother, lighter exterior walls.

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