Wonderful article in Augusta Magazine on Stallings Island:
Wonderful article in Augusta Magazine on Stallings Island:
The Annie de Prairie Appleby Branch Library will be one of the featured homes on the 2014 Summerville Tour of Homes. Saturday, October 18-Sunday, October 19
If one type of architecture could be singled out as indicative of the Old South, the Greek Revival style would immediately come to mind. Derived of classical form, Greek Revival has an almost confectionary quality, but a stateliness all the same. Of the three orders, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian, the Annie de Prairie Appleby Branch Library is best described as a neoclassical adaptation of the Doric order. Proportion and ratio are fundamental principles of classical architecture, and Appleby Library, also known as the Montgomery Place is a lovely example of such perfect arrangement. Painted a crisp, uniform white, the wood frame structure boasts twelve fluted Doric columns, which symmetrically flank both the north and south facades. The tapered columns extend the full height of both stories, and support a substantial architrave, through which six double-hung, sash windows look out on a lawn abundant with antique boxwoods, old growth hardwoods, and a recently donated Italianate fountain.
Local lore suggests the structure was built circa 1830 by Judge Benjamin Warren. Situated on the corner of Walton Way and Johns Road, at the Western edge of what was once a vast pine barren, the home was among the earliest found in Old Summerville, a hilltop community designed in the 1780s by George Walton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Milledge, former governor of Georgia, and Thomas Cumming. During much of the nineteenth century, the area became the destination of affluent Augustans who desired an inland escape from the oppressive heat and humidity of city neighborhoods situated just steps away from the Savannah River; at a higher elevation, and verdantly wooded, Summerville offered a reprieve from the stagnant summer months of the riparian low lands.
The Warren family was the first of four families to own the home, and indeed the house served as a summer residence, as Benjamin Warren also owned a magnificent home in downtown Augusta on the Southeast corner of Greene and Sixth streets, which has since been torn down, and a plantation at Bedford, which includes much of what we now know as National Hills. Judge Benjamin Warren was a notable figure among the Augusta elite; with considerable business and political acumen, he was actively involved in the Whig Party, and in the construction of the Augusta Canal. Warren owned the 200 acres on which the Confederate Powder Works was built, served as a Richmond County Probate Court Judge, and served on the board of directors for the Georgia Railroad. Judge Warren died on March 31, 1870 and was buried in the family cemetery near the present day Augusta National.
Following his death, the home was sold to Janet Blair Montgomery, widow of W.W. Montgomery, and remained in the Montgomery family until it was sold to former Augusta mayor, William P. White on October 1, 1919, and following his death, sold to Scott B. Appleby on October 22, 1928. As Mr. Appleby himself once aptly stated, the home should be known as “the Montgomery House” because it was associated for so many years with the Montgomery family, particularly Anna Montgomery. A story handed down through the years tells of a catastrophic fire which destroyed the Montgomery home while the entire family attended Sunday service at St. Paul’s Church. Upon returning, the family found their home a smoldering ruin, and shortly thereafter acquired the house on Walton Way. Whether the story is true remains a mystery. However, it is known that following her husband’s death, Janet Montgomery moved from Spring Hill on Butler Creek to Summerville to be near her mother. She and her children lived in a sand hills cottage on the southwest corner of Milledge Road and Pickens Road, until she purchased Appleby. For years, the house passed through a succession of hands, but remained in the Montgomery family until 1919. General Edward Montgomery, grandson of James Gardner Montgomery, one of the last of the family to own the home, was born in an upstairs bedroom, and recalled vivid memories of food being served from the outside kitchen and of playing with friends on the palatial lawns.
Scott B. Appleby bought the house from May White, the widow of William P. White in 1928, and immediately gifted the home to his wife, Annie de Prairie. Although Mr. Appleby made several alterations to the home, ones mostly of comfort and convenience, like the addition of bathrooms, closets, and a kitchen, its architectural integrity was never compromised. The upper gallery rail, which was added to the house by Mr. Appleby, synchronizes with the elegant design of the columns at the lower floor level. The stair rails are of the same style. The home remained with the Appleby family until 1954 when it was gifted by Scott B. Appleby to the city of Augusta to serve as the Annie de Prairie Appleby Branch Library in honor and memory of his late wife.
On Monday, May 30, 1955, during the dedication ceremony, Scott B. Appleby with his son, James Scott Appleby marked the occasion as, “one of deep, emotional significance” for his family. He said his late wife, Annie de Prairie Appleby, loved Augusta and its people “and her spirit will always be with this library.”
This year celebrates the 60th year of the Annie de Prairie Appleby Branch Library, and marks the advent of “Evenings in the Appleby Gardens,” a summer concert series which continues, rain or shine, to the present day.
Georgia Heritage Room
Augusta-Richmond County Public Library
Erick Montgomery—Historic Augusta
Winter, Mary Carter. Classic Beauty Characterizes Appleby House on Walton Way. The Augusta Chronicle, Sunday, April 25, 1954, Section C, Page 1.
Appleby Library Branch is Deeded to City, County. The Augusta Chronicle, May 31, 1955, Page 21.
The Appleby—Summerville’s Library. Summerville Post, Volume 9, Number 3, July 1984.
Jones, Charles C. Memorial History of Augusta, Georgia, D. Mason and Co., 1890.
Callahan, Helen. Summerville: A Pictorial History, 1993.
Appleby Library Brochures
Beginning Tuesday, 21 October 2014, at 10 am the GA Heritage Room will be offering basic Genealogical Research tutoring lessons. During the one-hour course we will go over the basic rules of research and briefly discuss various resources you can access and how. Some of these resources are Web-based so basic computer skills are required. We will also practice filling out a Pedigree Chart and Family Group worksheet, the building blocks of family research. Class sizes are limited; please call (706)826-1511 to reserve your spot. These classes will be offered on a weekly basis.
Shine a Light on GRU Ghosts
Back by popular demand! Join Carol Waggoner-Angleton, Special Collections Librarian at Reese Library, for a walking tour to explore the sites of Georgia Regents University’s famous ghosts. Hear their stories and learn about their ties to people of the past. The tour will begin in front of Bellevue Hall on the Summerville Campus on Thursday, October 30 at 7 pm.
For more information, contact Carol Waggoner-Angleton at 706-737-1475 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cultural Interaction, Migration, and Displacement: Native Peoples of the Savannah River
The Savannah River acts as the border between the states of Georgia and South Carolina, but in the eighteenth century it acted as a trading area and buffer zone between Native American and European communities. The native groups that occupied these river areas were not a homogenous unit, and displayed great cultural variety; this is especially evident in the construction of ceramics. During the winter of 2010 a study of Native American ceramics began that attempted to both distinguish differences between Native American created wares, and to determine if the effects of cultural interaction, migration, and displacement could be recognized on their pottery. A combination of archaeological methodologies, statistical analyses, and extensive historical research were utilized to reveal differences in ceramic style. These investigations led to a greater understanding of the formation of individual ceramic cultures and aided in the identification of at least one Native American group’s distinct style.
November is Native American Heritage Month, so please join us on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library as Maggie M. Needham of Georgia Regents University discusses the cultural history of prehistoric and historic native groups who once lived along the Savannah River. Please call (706) 826-1511 for details.
Historic Augusta Downtown Church Tour
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Noon – 5 pm
Fourteen historic Augusta downtown churches have partnered to host a tour of churches on Sunday, October 26, 2014 from noon until 5 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Please note that each church has its own opening times. Visit them in any order you wish. At each open location, you will be greeted by tour guides and receive more information on the churches. Light refreshments will be offered at some of the sites. Also, for more information on each church, please visit their websites. Any further questions prior to the tour may be answered by calling St. James United Methodist Church at 706-722-8373.
The Windsor Spring Water Company was established in 1905 by William H.T. Walker, Jr., son of Confederate Major-General W. H. T. Walker, killed during the Civil War in the Battle of Atlanta, and grandson of prominent United States senator and Augusta’s first mayor, Freeman Walker. Although the Company was established in 1905, the spring itself was allegedly named for Windsor, England by British soldiers encamped in the area during the American Revolution. In the mid 1800s, Valentine Walker, brother of Freeman, built Seclusaval on the grounds, which in 1988 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1907, the Greek Revival home became the dwelling of George M. Clarke, his wife, Fannie Perrin Clarke, and their children, Ella Irene, Frances Louise, Minnie Leticia and George Miller, Jr. Walker and Clarke were business partners until 1920, when Walker sold his portion of the business to Clarke.
Under the ownership of the Clarke family, the Windsor Spring Water Company boomed, providing not only Augusta, but Savannah, Charleston and Aiken with the “purest water the earth affords.” 15,000 gallons flowed from the spring daily, and was advertised in 1909 as “containing less solid matter per gallon than the celebrated Poland Spring Water” of Maine. Promotional material published in the early twentieth century provides testimonials from scientists and doctors attesting to the water’s “exceptional purity”, its beneficial use in the treatment of a number of health disorders, including, “indigestion, dyspepsia, biliousness, malaria, chills and fever, lumbago, neuralgia, and rheumatism.” The spring water, which at the time was said to flow from an unknown source, was also a favorite of President William H. Taft, who reportedly traveled with a dozen five gallon bottles on both of his visits to the Panama Canal during its construction.
George M. Clarke died in December of 1933, and his wife, Fannie Perrin Clarke took over the business, and single-handedly saved it from ruin. Clarke’s death occurred in the midst of the Depression, at which time the family became unable to pay off a mortgage of $15,000.00 Clarke had taken out on the property in 1925. With Windsor Spring Water Company and Seclusive Val in jeopardy, Mrs. Clarke traveled to Warm Springs, Georgia where President Franklin D. Roosevelt was seeking treatment at the time for infantile paralysis, and met with Presidential Secretary, Marvin H. McIntyre. During the visit, she secured a homeowners loan, and was able to pay off the mortgage and save the business. Fannie Perrin Clarke operated The Windsor Spring Water Company until her death in 1961, when her daughter Ella Clarke Nuite took over the Company, and continued bottling spring water by hand well into her eighties. Mrs. Ella Clarke Nuite died on June 15, 2007 at the age of 103, her long life surely a testament to the purity of Windsor Spring waters. The century old business closed upon her death.
Pictured are Ella Clarke Nuite, nee’ Ella Irene Clarke, and her brother George Miller Clarke, Jr. The photograph was taken by a private photographer hired by Mr. Clarke. The setting is the original springhouse, built from locally quarried rockd by Paul Fitzsimons, then owner of Windsor Spring. This image is included in an exhibit of historic photographs on loan from the Augusta Chronicle to the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library through the month of September.
The Windsor Spring Water Company memorabilia was graciously donated to the Georgia Heritage Room by Charlotte Nuite Kitchen, daughter of Ella Clarke Nuite.