Whitehead Homeplace*

One of the interesting things about genealogy is the property and homes of our ancestors.

Samuel Whitehead, my fourth great-grandfather, built a home in Oglethorpe County before his death in 1844.  I visited it when I was around 10 years old.  My Dad and his sister’s arranged a trip for all of us to go there.  It was a fun trip.  However, I was too young to appreciate exactly what I was seeing.  It is my understanding that home is still there today. I am planning on visiting it this year if possible.  If you look closely at the picture, you can see my toe headed younger brother, Joey.

Tour of the Homeplace

Tour of the Homeplace

I have this photocopy of an article or a book without a citation that actually describes the house that he built. I am in desperate pursuit of the origin of this book with the complete citation (if you know where this came from, please let me know). But in the meantime, listed below is the description:

Whitehead House: Grove Creek District

The original owner of this house, Samuel Whitehead, probably had it built before 1844. The house is more than a 100 years old, according to local tradition, and is one of the three known to have been built under the direction of Henry Paul.

The plan of this house was unusual in Oglethorpe County. It suggests an elaboration of a “possum trot” or “dog run” plan of North Carolina. The second floor is divided into two sections, one side for the girls in the family , the other side for the boys (Source: Unknown)

Whitehead House: Grove Creek District

Whitehead House: Grove Creek District

The description goes on and on. However, this is when things get a bit confusing.

I have article that was published in North Georgia Life by the wife of my Grand Uncle, Emma Chloe Adams Whitehead. In this article, she writes that “Cena and George Whitehead (my 2nd great-grandfather designed a box-like staircase on each side of the entrance hall. One strictly for the girls — the other strictly for the boys. (Source: North Georgia Life, February 17, 1965).”

Whitehead Homeplace

Whitehead Homeplace

I am not sure which is accurate. Regardless, it is the Whitehead Homeplace. In fact, later in the article, Chloe writes that Walter (my great-grandfather) bought the place after his parents passed away. She writes, “He felt the need of ‘This Old House’, and resolved that it would live much longer. He took ‘time to fix the shingles’, he took ‘time to fix the floor.’ Towards the end of the article, Chloe wrote, “Walter passed away in 1951, leaving the homeplace to his son, Walter Joe of Carlton, whose intention is to honor his father’s oft-repeated and last request, ‘Son, don’t ever sell the homeplace.‘”

The homeplace now belongs to my second cousin after the passing of her mother late last year.

Is there a place that you long to visit of an ancestor?  Why?   What makes it special?

Until next time, I will be exploring backwards.

*I purposely used the word Homeplace because this was the way my great grandfather spoke of it.  Some people would separate the words, or call it homestead.  I chose to use his word. 

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