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Madison Tour

This information came from The Historical News, Volume 21, No. 43-GA, June, 2001, pages 7 and 8. The information in this article may or may not be accurate. If you have a problem with it, take it up with The Historical News.

Copyright 2001, The Historical News. Written permission granted to place on this web site by Beverly Rogers, Half-Owner and Vice President, Southern Historical News.

The town of Madison has been popular with visitors since its incorporation as the seat of Morgan County in 1809. The young community was described in an early 19th century issue of "White's Statistics of Georgia" as "the most cultured and aristocratic town on the stagecoach route from Charleston to New Orleans."

Madison boasts a wealth of antebellum and Victorian buildings, from modest cottages and opulent town houses with formal boxwood gardens, to nationally recognized public buildings. These fine structures stand today as monuments to an era when cotton was king.

Designated by the U.S. Department of Interior in 1974, the Madison Historical District was one of the first in Georgia to be so recognized. The Madison Historic District remains one of the largest designated historic areas in the state, encompassing most of the town and indicative of Madison's special place in the history and culture of Georgia.

Your self-guided walking tour includes a 1.4 mile/2.25 kilometer route through Madison's most noted historic district, and includes information on many significant historical and architectural structures. You will also find additional historic routes which you may prefer to drive. All sites are within a one-mile radius of Madison's downtown square, but please keep in mind that some may be further than you might like to walk. We encourage you to set your own pace and tailor your tour to suit your special interests.

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  1. Madison - Morgan County Chamber Of Commerce - 115 East Jefferson Street, c. 1887. This two-story brick building served as Madison's City Hall and Fire Station until the new City Hall was built in the mid-1930s. The building was purchased in 1989 by the Madison-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc. and was fully restored for use. The original fire bell has been returned to the building's cupola.

  2. The Madisonian - 131 East Jefferson Street, c. 1875. Currently home to both the "Madisonian" and the "Lake Oconee Free Press," this building is an excellent example of Federal architecture. Of special interest is the elaborate garden located on the side of the building named "Editors Walk" to honor those editors who have served Morgan County.

  3. Morgan County Courthouse - Hancock Street, c. 1905. This outstanding example of Beaux Arts design has been described as "one of the most unusual site orientations for a courthouse." The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  4. The Rogers House - 179 East Jefferson Street, c. 1810. This plantation Plain style home is a prime example of the early architecture in the South. The house was recently restored and furnished by the City of Madison and Morgan County and is open daily for tours. Adjacent to the Rogers House is the Rose Cottage, also available for touring.

  5. The Dovecoat House - 201 South Main Street, c. 1830.

  6. Heritage Hall - 277 South Main Street, c. 1835. Built by Dr. Elijah E. Jones, who served as a doctor with the Confederacy, this home serves as one of the most sophisticated examples of Greek Revival Architecture in Madison. As headquarters for the Morgan County Historical Society, this authentically decorated home is open for tours and features window etchings and a ghost bedroom.

  7. First United Methodist Church - 296 South Main Street, c. 1914. This impressive Neoclassical church is based on a Classical Greek Cross with a dome at its center.

  8. Duckworth House - 304 South Main Street, c. 1835.

  9. Baptist Church - 328 South Main Street, c. 1858. This church is constructed with bricks made by slaves on the Morgan County plantation of John Byne Walker. Tradition has it that Union soldiers stabled their horses in the basement of this church in 1864.

  10. The Magnolias House - 356 South Main Street, c. 1860. This Queen Anne style home has recently undergone extensive renovations after serving as home to the St. James Catholic Church. During a previous renovation, a trap door was discovered leading to a tunnel extending towards the Madison Presbyterian Church. The tunnel remains a mystery, but it is speculated to have been part of the underground railroad.

  11. Presbyterian Church - 382 South Main Street, c. 1842. Old English in design, this church features Tiffany stained glass windows. In 1866, Ellen Axson, the daughter of the church's pastor, was married to President Woodrow Wilson. She was Wilson's first wife.

  12. Atkinson - Rhodes House - 408 South Main Street, c. 1893.

  13. Bell House - 391 South Main Street, c. 1850.

  14. Madison - Morgan Cultural Center - 434 South Main Street, c. 1895. Constructed as one of the first graded public schools in the South, this Romanesque Revival style building now serves as home to the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, a center for the performing and visual arts. The original school bell still rings for the many visitors who tour the Center daily.

  15. Foster - Thurmond House - 454 South Main Street, c. 1890.

  16. Baldwin - Williford - Ruffin House - The original building of the Georgia Female College, this house is the only remaining building of this well known Baptist school chartered in 1849. The house is Greek Revival in style.

  17. Porter - Wade - Fitzgerald - Kelly House - 507 South Main Street, c. 1850. This home, boasting Neoclassical features, originally faced Old Post Road (then known as South First Street). In 1901, Mr. Fitzpatrick reversed the orientation to face Main Street.

  18. Thomason - Miller House - 498 South Main Street, c. 1883. Built in 1883, this elaborately detailed home was erected on the site of the main building of the Georgia Female College. Primarily Victorian in style, the house underwent extensive renovations in the early 1980s and was recognized by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation for its outstanding example of restoration.

  19. Hunter House - 580 South Main Street, c. 1883. This Queen Anne style house is the most photographed home in Madison. All millwork on the inside and outside of the home was handmade in Madison. The elaborate spindle-work porch is the most distinctive feature of this house.

  20. Douglas - Hutcheson House - 615 South Main Street, c. 1850.

  21. C. W. Richter House - 638 South Main Street, c. 1836.

  22. Fitzpatrick - Walker House - 605 South Main Street, c. 1890.

  23. The Sam Leseur House - 637 South Main Street, c. 1860.

  24. Austin House - 612 Old Post Road, c. 1860.

  25. Oak House - 617 Dixie Avenue, c. 1897. This Classic Revival house was built on the site of the Godfrey-Walton House which was built in the early 1800s and burned in 1890. Extensive renovations were completed in 1994 by the present owners, tripling the size of the original house. The home was named Oak House as a tribute to the many oak trees on the property and to the oak carvings in the original stairway banisters which remain in the house today.

  26. Laflora - 601 Old Post Road, c. 1895.

  27. Stage Coach Inn - Cornelius Vason House - 549 Old Post Road. c. 1800. One of the oldest structures in Madison, this house was an inn when Old Post Road was part of the stagecoach route between Charleston and New Orleans. During stagecoach days, it had wings on either side. These were later moved to the side property for use as guest houses.

  28. Joshua Hill Home - 485 Old Post Road, c. 1835. This house was once home to Senator Joshua Hill who is credited with persuading General Sherman to spare Madison on his "March to the Sea." Hill was elected to Congress in 1856 and the U.S. Senate in 1868.

  29. Stokes - McHenry House - 458 Old Post Road, c. 1822. This late Federal-Greek Revival style house has been occupied by descendants of the original owners for seven generations. The house is noted for its old manuscripts and first editions.

  30. Broughton - Sanders - Mason - McWilliams House - 411 Old Post Road and Academy Street, c. 1850. A blend of several stylistic periods including Greek Revival and Victorian, this house was built to face two streets. It still retains its original boxwood gardens.

  31. Holly Hill - 434 Academy Street, c. 1830.

  32. Boxwood - 375 Academy Street, c. 1851. This fine old home features an Italianate entrance facing Academy Street and a Greek Revival facade facing Old Post Road. Note the symmetrical boxwood gardens on the east side of the house.

  33. The Owen House - 386 Academy Street, c. 1859.

  34. Church Of The Advent - 338 Academy Street, c. 1842. This Gothic Revival church building was built in 1842 as a Methodist Church and purchased in 1960 by the Episcopalians. The original slave gallery is now used to house the organ.

  35. Barnett - Parish House - 338 Academy Street, c. 1842. This house is thought to have been constructed for the Madison Female Institute, a Methodist women's college. The house underwent extensive exterior additions during the late Victorian era, but was stripped down to its original facade when the Episcopalians bought it in 1967.

  36. Frederick Foster House - 292 Academy Street, c. 1818. Built as a two-room cabin, Judge Frederick Foster added the main part of the house to the original cabin in 1840. Other additions have been made to the house over the years and it is now mainly Victorian with French overtones.

  37. The Cooke House - 287 Academy Street, c.1819.

  38. Judge A. H. Winter House - 258 Academy Street, c. 1895.

  39. Somerset Cottage - 244 Academy Street, c. 1880.

  40. Calvary Baptist Church - 184 Academy Street, c. 1833. Originally built as a white clapboard building for the Madison Baptist Church, a white congregation, this property was sold to the Freeman's Bureau after the Civil War for $400 and bought by the black congregation. The Madison Baptist Church had moved to its present location on South Main Street in 1858. During the 1870s, the congregation "came down the hill," made the bricks on the grounds, and constructed the present building.

  41. Morgan County African American Museum - 156 Academy Street, c. 1895. Located in the Horace Moore House, the Morgan County African American Museum opened its doors in 1993 to preserve the heritage and promote cultural awareness of the contributions of African Americans to the cultures of the South. The house was moved in 1993 to its present site in the Round Bowl Spring area in Madison's Historic District where the town was founded.

  42. Old Livery Stable - 174 West Washington Street, c. 1895. Originally housing Madison's Livery Stable, this building has been adapted to house Madison Hardware and Supply.

  43. Tuell Townhouse - 110 Tuell Court, c. 1918. This former mule barn, cotton warehouse, paint shop and auto dealership has been converted, since 1986, into a unique residence with a charming courtyard. It has been declared "adaptive use (of a historic building) at its very best."