History & Southern Charm

The 3rd Annual Tour is on October 29, 2017 from 2pm until 6pm.  This is a self paced walking tour, though there are areas to park if you wish to drive, and shuttles between the longer distances.  You will need to begin no later than 4pm to ensure enough time to complete the tour.  If you plan to attend the High Tea at Serendipity house, you will need to allow more time.  Be sure to contact them for reservations (770-966-1301).

The tour ends near Center Street Tavern, which has offered a $5 coupon off of $25 on each ticket.  Please purchase tickets in advance, however there will be tickets for sale on Sunday: $30 cash only, credit cards taken at the first stop.

Tour Map

2017 Tour Homes

J.W. McMillan House
c. 1879
(Abbie & Boyd Parks)

Trans_Parks

James Wilson “Jim” McMillan moved to Acworth from Mars Hill in the 1870s and went into the general merchandise business with his brother-in-law, Jesse Lemon.  Jim purchased an existing, two-room antebellum home and five acres of land from the McEver family.   Shortly before his 1879 marriage to Emma Alice Lemon (1861-1913), he spent $1500 enlarging the home and almost an additional $1500 building the porch and decorative gingerbread detail. [1]

After selling the business venture with Jesse Lemon, Jim formed McMillan Brothers general store with his brother Robert Lee in 1896.  A forerunner of the modern department store, McMillan Brothers sold groceries, hardware, farming tools, dry goods, school books, ready-to-wear apparel, shoes and furniture into the 1930s. [2] 

The business shared a building with the S. Lemon Banking Company now 4817 South Main Street, Miss L’s Sandwich Shop, and 4819 South Main Street, Wild Blossoms. Jim was also a president of the S. Lemon Banking Company [3] and owned the first car in Acworth.  He also sold cars at the store. [4]

Jim’s son, George Huie McMillan, would later hold office as Cobb County Sheriff and Commissioner. [5]

The Jim McMillan home is part of the Collins Avenue Historic District.  In 1971 it was sold to Acworth First Baptist Church, whose lot it adjoined on Main Street.  In 1980 the home was moved one block north of its original location to Collins Avenue.  Only a small portion, a front balcony, remains of the second story, wrap-around porch. [6]

1. Acworth Society for Historic Preservation, p. 15.
2. Ibid., p. 51.
3. Ibid.
4. Scott, p. 122.
5. Acworth Society for Historic Preservation, p. 51.
6. Ibid., p. 16.


Moore-Watson House
c. 1848
(Jenifer & Spencer Herron)

Trans_Herron

Tarleton Moore was one of the original owners of the Moore and Cowan Cotton and Grist Mill, now Gabriels at the Old Mill Restaurant, [1] built with Smith Lemon and John Cowan, after Cowan’s return from prospecting in Montana’s Black Hills. [2]

Moore built this 1948 Gothic Revival home on a 30 acre plantation where he produced cotton and corn to be taken to the mill.  The home has a steeply pitched side gabled roof with two steeply pitched gabled dormers and a rearward shed extension.  It features arched windows and the entrance porch has square columns with arch detail, scroll brackets and balusters. [3]

Moore’s daughter, Miss Annie, lived in the home from its construction until her death, in 1936.  She was well known in the community for her knowledge on literary topics. Tragically, her fiance William N. Kendrick (Will) died in October 1891, at age 30, shortly before the wedding.  She remained a spinster out of loyalty to him.  Miss Annie was a charter member of what later became the Carrie Dyer Women’s Club, and also the president of the local Women’s Christian Temperance Union, largely influential in enacting Prohibition, and still dedicated to the abolition of alcohol. [4]

It was the only “Pastor’s” style house in the area, designed to accommodate itinerant pastors of all denominations.  The original back staircase allowed ministers to come and go without disturbing the family. [5] The home was ideally suited for clergy as it was, and still is, located very close to most of the major Churches in Acworth. [6]

1. Saltarella and Saltarella.
2. Acworth Society for Historic Preservation, Inc. p. 76
3. Ibid., p. 31.
4. Saltarella and Saltarella.
5. Acworth Society for Historic Preservation, Inc. p. 31  
6. Saltarella and Saltarella.


R.L. McMillan House
c. 1900
(Carol & Tommy Allegood)

Trans_Allegood

Another McMillan brother, Robert Lee “Bob” (1866-1947), married Marie Knox of Kentucky, and had six children.  Bob was first a chair maker, then a partner in McMillan Brothers, and later a vice-president and president of the Bank of Acworth.  He also served as Acworth Mayor and as an Alderman, where he was instrumental in bringing water and electricity to Acworth. [1]

The Bob McMillan home on Northside Drive was built in the early 1900s with architecture influenced by folk Victorian and Craftsman style as evidenced by this modern photo.  Six of the original ten acres of property are still intact.  The remake of Footloose was partly filmed here. [2]

Behind the Bob McMillan home sits an older, simpler cottage.  According to local lore, a deaf mute named “Chick” lived here.  Chick, a freed slave, used her hands to communicate and lived in the cottage until her death.   Until recently, the cottage had no electricity or running water. [3]

1. Abbie Tucker Parks, Albert L. Price, and Shirley Fowler Walker, p. 19.
2. Acworth Society for Historic Preservation, Inc., p. 19.

3. Ibid., p. 20.


McEver House
c. 1840
(Malinda Howe/Anchor Realty)

Trans_McEver

The McEvers were some of the earliest settlers of Acworth.   Built in the 1840s, the home style is a type of I-house known as Plantation Plain. An I-house is two stories high, two rooms wide, and one room deep.  Plantation Plain is further elaborated with stylistic detailing and varying porches, chimneys and rearward extensions.  This house was used as a field hospital by Union troops and was spared destruction. [1]

Born in Jackson, Georgia, Thomas McEver married Rachel Eccles, daughter of William Eccles and Margaret Huie, and had 5 children. [2]  They were charter members of the Mars Hill Presbyterian Church. [3]  Jim McMillan purchased his home plus five acres of land from the McEver family in the 1870s. [4]

1. Acworth Society for Historic Preservation, p. 44.
2. Ancestry.com.
3. Acworth Society for Historic Preservation, p. 103.

4. Ibid., p. 15.


Jesse L. Lemon House
c. 1880
(Serendipity House ~ Darlene Knight)

serendipity

This is the stop for the High Tea ($10 RSVP: 770-966-1301)

Jesse L. Lemon was the son of banker Smith Lemon, who was born to James Lemon and his wife Mary.  James was War of 1812 veteran and state representative in DeKalb County.  They moved to Cobb County in 1843, and then to Acworth in 1845. They purchased 800 acres and built the Lemon House. [1]

The Jesse L. Lemon House on Main Street was built in the 1880s by Jesse as a wedding gift for his bride, Elizabeth “Lizzie” McMillan, daughter of Robert Huie McMillan [2], and brother of Jim McMillan, with whom he went into the general merchandise business. [3]

Jesse owned a cotton warehouse and a mercantile store, and served in Acworth’s first government after the Civil War.  The home’s fanciful spindle work and interior staircase featuring carved petit-four laced treads attests to his and the town’s prosperity during the Victorian era. [4]

1. Marcus E. Howard.
2. Acworth Society for Historic Preservation, p. 20.

3. Ibid., p. 15
4. Ibid., p. 20


Honeymoon House
c. 1907
(Jill & Duncan Dunlop)

Trans_Dunlop

The Awtreys, one of Acworth’s earliest families, were well known for social gatherings and merrymaking. [1]  

This large Craftsman bungalow was built on the corner of Dallas Street and Seminole Drive by Lemon Awtrey in 1907 for his bride, Varah Hill. The home contains 13 rooms and 5 bathrooms and features stained glass, decorative shingles and a door with a transom and sidelights.  Lemon was a president of the S. Lemon Banking Company, Mayor of Acworth in 1918-19 and served as a long-time Alderman. [2]

In the late 1930s under the financial pressures of the Great Depression, the Awtrey family was forced to develop their pastureland, and Seminole Drive became Acworth’s first in-town subdivision.  Prior to the sale of the land, by lottery, the Awtreys had a grand barbecue on the property. This barbecue tradition continued during the wartime years when families would spontaneously gather on an empty Seminole lot for impromptu picnics and cookouts. [3]

1. Acworth Society for Historic Preservation, p. 111.
2. Ibid., p. 22.
3. Ibid., p. 124.


Fletcher House
c. 1920
(Nicole & Clay Fletcher)

Fletcher

The original core was built by Capt. James Lyle Lemon for the purpose of recruiting a doctor to town in the 1850-60s. The house went through a major renovation in the 1920s when Helen Sills and her husband Albert L. Mason moved into the house from Connecticut. [1]

In 1923 Helen Sills and her sister Esther had purchased the Acworth Cotton Manufacturing from Orlando Awtrey. The Sills sisters are credited with making major improvements to the mill village housing and even built the 2 room brick school for Mill children, the Eli Whitney School, today’s JD’s BBQ. [2]

1. Abbie Tucker Parks.
2. Ibid.


Burtz House
c. 1880s
(Kay Rachelson)

trans_rachelson.png

Dr. C.W. and Lizzie West Burtz came to Acworth at the turn of the nineteenth century from the Crossroads Community that was located in the vicinity of present day Highways 41 and 92. [1]

Florence Parris taught school for 35 years, beginning at Allatoona where she had been a student, then at Mars Hill, and finally at Acworth where she had also attended high school, riding a buggy one hour each way. The Parris home place was located on 142 acres on County Line Road in the vicinity of the present-day Brookstone housing development.  Her parents farmed and raised their four children on the ancestral land. Her father also worked as a carpenter. [2]

Florence married Dr. Burtz’s son, William, and moved to this Plantation Plain house on Lemon Street that his parents had previously owned. [3]

1. Acworth Society for Historic Preservation, p. 33.
2. Ibid., p. 32

3. Ibid.



Sources:
  • Acworth Society for Historic Preservation, Inc.  Acworth.  Charleston SC, Chicago, Portsmouth NH, San Franscisco: Arcadia, 2003.
  • Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com  (accessed September 20, 2017).
  • Marcus E. Howard, “Lifelong metro Atlanta resident learns of connection to Cobb city.” Marietta Daily Journal, April 11, 2011. Accessed October 1, 2017. http://www.mdjonline.com.
  • Abbie Tucker Parks, Albert L. Price, and Shirley Fowler Walker. Remembering Acworth: Fact, Fun, and Trivia. City of Acworth, 2010.
  • Melania Saltarella and Jim Saltarella.  ActiveRainhttp://activerain.com (accessed September 20, 2017).
  • Thomas Allan Scott. Cobb County, Georgia and the Origins of the Suburban South: A Twentieth-Century HistoryMarietta GA: Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society, Inc, 2003.
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