A local treasure in danger of demolotion

The Tallapoosa Historical Society is raising money to save the Holcombe house, the oldest standing structure in Haralson County. 

Shrouded from view from Georgia 100 where it has sat since 1845, a log cabin, the oldest home in Haralson County, according to the Tallapoosa Historical Society, is in danger of demolition if donors don’t step forward soon.

The historical society is trying to save the house, but has just a few more months, said Mary Tolleson, one of the members.

The home was originally built more than 150 years ago by Terrell White, she said. It’s named for one of White’s descendants, Hampton Holcombe, who purchased the house in 1908, she said. The homestead, including 162 acres, the house, a “falling-down barn,” corn crib and outhouse, was used as a farm, Tolleson said.

The property remained in the Holcombe family until about a year ago when four families purchased the acreage to be split up into four estates, Tolleson said. The family that owns the portion of the property with the house wants to build a new home there. So now, the county is in danger of losing the historic property, she said.

Today, bushes that have grown up around the front and side of the house along with an untrimmed hedge running alongside the driveway in front of the house, hide the home from the road. It may not look it, Tolleson said, but the house is an important remnant of the county’s history, she said. White built it shortly after the area became part of Georgia in 1827.

“He was one of the first settlers in the area,” Tolleson said.

It was originally built in the dog-trot style, with two identical one-room cabins connected by a wooden porch in between them. Each cabin had it’s own rock fireplace and they are still in the home, she said.

“There are not many of those left in the state,” Tolleson said of the cabin.

To save the structure, the historical society is hoping to move it into the city of Tallapoosa in the general area of the West Georgia Museum of Tallapoosa to serve as a tourist attraction and educational site. The house is well-preserved and should survive the relocation, she said. To make the move though, the metal roof will have to be removed and the fireplaces disassembled and reassembled on site, she said. The project will cost about $43,000, Tolleson said. The society is also hoping to get a donation of property or use of a city property to site the house, she said. So far, the society has raised about $3,000, Tolleson added.

The group has a contract with the new owner, listed as Kathryn P. Logan and others on property tax records, to move the house and clear the area by the end of spring, so time is drawing short, she said.

Time takes its toll on old buildings, Tolleson said. The county is lucky to have a home that has survived more than 150 years.

“We just want to try to keep the things that we do have left,” Tolleson said of the society.

Now it’s up to the community to commit to protecting the house.

Donations can be made to: The Tallapoosa Historical Society, P.O. Box 51, Tallapoosa, GA 30176.

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