ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Washington, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Washington, Georgia
Washington, Georgia
The Robert Toombs House, a landmark of Southern
history, is one of a remarkable number of
antebellum homes in Washington, Georgia.
Holly Court in Washington
Now a bed & breakfast inn,
Holly Court played a special
role in the final days of the
Confederacy.
Historic Homes
More than 100 antebellum
homes still stand in the
charming city of Washington.
Callaway Plantation
A stunning example of
antebellum architecture, the
historic Callaway Plantation is
now owned by the city of
Washington, Georgia.
Washington, Georgia - Historic Sites & Points of Interest
Antebellum History & Homes
Washington, Georgia
Centered around a historic
square, Washington is known
for its unique and charming
downtown.
Photos by Martha A. Bailey
Founded before the American Revolution, the
charming city of Washington is one of the
most beautiful and historic in
Georgia.

Home to more than 100 antebellum homes
that miraculously survived ravages of time
and the War Between the States, Washington
was founded on January 1, 1774 as a frontier
stockade built on land obtained by treaty from
the Creek Indians. Originally called Fort
Heard,  the stockade stood just north of
today's town square and was named for
John Heard, the head of the first group of
settlers.

Many of the frontier settlers of the area soon
became involved in the American Revolution.
Most fought on the Patriot side, although a
few were Tories and stood with the British. A
major battle of the Revolution took place just
outside of Washington in 1799 when Patriot
forces led by Andrew Pickens, Elijah Clarke
and John Dooly smashed British troops at
the Battle of Kettle Creek. Legend holds that
the Georgia heroine Nancy Hart took part in
the fight.

The battlefield at Kettle Creek is marked by a
memorial park and monuments and is
located on Warhill Road twelve miles from
town.

The modern community of Washington
became a reality in 1780 when its founding
was approved by the Georgia legislature. By
1783, the town had been surveyed and was
growing around the stockade of Fort Heard.

Over the decades that followed, Washington
grew into a prosperous and successful town.
A center of commerce, politics and social life
during the antebellum era, it was the home of
a magnificent array of beautiful homes on the
eve of the Civil War.

When the secession of Georgia was
announced on January 19, 1861, a blue flag
with a five-pointed white star was raised over
the city. It had been secretly made by the
daughter of a prominent Unionist. Over the
next four years, numerous local men
marched off to fight for the Confederacy.

Among the most famous was General Porter
Alexander, who commanded the artillery in
General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern
Virginia, and General Robert Toombs, who
served as the first Secretary of State of the
Confederacy and as a Confederate brigadier
general.

As the Confederacy collapsed in the spring of
1865, Washington became a focal point in
the flight from Richmond of President
Jefferson Davis, his cabinet and family. Mrs.
Davis and her children stayed briefly at Holly
Court, a beautiful antebellum home that is
now a bed & breakfast inn. The President
himself and several members of his cabinet
bedded down in the old Georgia Branch
Bank Building.

Although Davis had held the last meeting of
his full cabinet days earlier in
Danville,
Virginia, he met for a final conference with
those still accompanying him at Washington
shortly after his May 4, 1865, arrival. He left
the city after only a brief stay and was taken
prisoner at Irwinville, Georgia, on May 10,
1865.
One of the great mysteries of the last days of
the Civil War surrounds Washington. When
President Davis and the other Confederate
officials reached the city, they had with them
a significant part of the Confederate treasury.

The gold and silver was last seen in
Washington and much of it has never been
found. There are various theories as to what
happened to it, but the missing treasure has
never been accounted for with positive
evidence.

Washington today is a thriving community
rich in heritage and noted for its dozens of
antebellum homes, unique shops and bed &
breakfast inns. Many of the latter are located
in historic antebellum structures.

Among the key attractions is the Robert
Toombs House Historic Site located at 216
East Robert Toombs Avenue. Built in around
1837 and incorporating an earlier cabin
dating from the late 1700s, the house was
home to General Robert Toombs. A political
leader and soldier, he was a U.S. Senator,
Secretary of State of the Confederacy and a
brigadier general in the Confederate Army.

The Toombs House is open from 9 a.m. to 5
p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Admission
is $2-$3.
Please click here for to learn more.

The Callaway Plantation, located five miles
west of downtown on U.S. 78, is owned by
the city of Washington. Open from Tuesday
through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the
house was once the center of a 3,000 acre
cotton plantation. Visitors can also tour
several other historic homes on the grounds,
including a log cabin built in around 1785.
The cost to visit is $2 for children and $4 for
adults.

Please click here to learn more about the
historic sites, attractions and places to stay
in Washington, Georgia.
Home of Robert Toombs
Now a museum, this 1837
structure was the home of
Gen. Robert Toombs, first
Secretary of State of the
Confederacy.
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
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