Log Corn Crib, Fort Gaines, GA. Fort Gaines, Georgia - A Historic Past, A Promising Future. Antique cannon at the Frontier Village.
Thu. - July 28, 2016 You are here: our history » Self-guided Tour
Family Connection.
Clay County Seal.


Self-guided Tour

Map of downtown Fort Gaines
  1. The Fowler House
  2. The J.E. Coleman House
  3. The J.M. Coleman House
  4. The McRae House
  5. The McAlister House
  6. The Brown Cottage
  7. The Walter Ray House
  8. The Grimsley House
  9. Frontier Village
  10. The Bluff
  11. Frontier Cemetery
  12. The John Foster House
  13. The Iron House
  14. Police Dept. / City Hall
  15. The Coleman Opera House
  16. Wayside Inn
  17. The Brown House
  18. The Dill House
  19. The Coca-Cola Sign /
    Sutton's Corner Museum
  20. The Grimsley House
  21. The Sutlive House
  22. The Courthouse
  23. New Park Cemetery

1) The Fowler House
The old, one-legged sea captain who built this house in the 1800s showed his New England roots by giving the roof an unusually high pitch "to prevent the accumulation of snow". Even light snow is rare in Fort Gaines.

2) The J.E. Coleman House
This house was built in the 1880s by a game rooster breeder named Frederick Grist, famous among his contemporaries as well as gamecock breeders today. It is now occupied by Fort Gaines's most enthusiastic historian, James Edgar Coleman.

3) The J.M. Coleman House
Built in 1880, this house is still occupied by a fifth generation descendant of the builder.

4) The McRae House
This house served as a barracks for Confederate officers during the Civil War.

5) The McAlister House
The kitchen of this house, detached from the main building, served as the area courthouse prior to 1850. Later, several Union prisoners were housed here due to overcrowding at the Andersonville hospital.

6) The Brown Cottage
James Mason Brown served in the Confederate Army at age 14. After the war, he couldn't get a ride home from Atlanta, so he walked - over 180 miles - and fell asleep exhausted on his porch when he got home. His family found him the next day, disgusting and dirty, but happy to be home.

7) The Walter Ray House
Originally, this house faced the dusty, busy thoroughfare of Commerce Street. The house's owner didn't like the bustling view from his porch, so he had the house turned around. Now it faces Jefferson Street.

8) The Grimsley House #I
From 1847 to 1904, this was a local Presbyterian Church.

9) Frontier Village
Frontier Village.The buildings around this area are collectively known as Frontier Village.

10) The Bluff
The Bluff at Fort Gaines, GAThis cliff is approximately 130 feet high. During times of war, it gave a commanding view of river traffic and enemy movement. The Alabama state line is on the far bank.

11) Frontier Cemetery
This tiny lot houses the centuries-old graves of Fort Gaines founding father John Dill and John Brown, the 2nd president of Franklin College, which is now called the University of Georgia.

12) The John Foster House
This L-shaped house faces both Commerce and Troup streets. Built in the 1800s, it adjoins the next. To get from one end of the house to the other, you have to go through every room.

13) The Iron House
After the Civil War, the original owner of this house moved to Fort Gaines and built a bar. He often sampled his own "wares" and then stumbled down the street to see how the construction of his new house was coming. Drunk, he was repeatedly convinced the house was leaning, so he ordered the builders to use more and more nails. They eventually used so many that the house was soon dubbed The Iron House.

14) Police Dept. / City Hall
This actually used to be a rough and tumble bar in the early 1800s. Then one night, a fight broke out, a lantern was knocked over, and a fire burned the building down. As they drunkenly watched the flames, many feared he whiskey kegs would blow. Turns out the proprietor, old man Miller, had so watered them down they wouldn't even burn. Without a bar or much of a reputation remaining, Miller left town.

15) The Coleman Opera House
Coleman Opera HouseBuilt in 1880, New York thespians and singers would spend summers here, fine tuning their shows for Broadway in the fall. Later, it was converted into a movie theater. It closed in 1936.

16) Wayside Inn
In 1863, this building served as a Confederate Hospital.

17) The Brown House
Built around 1830, this house has been a private residence, a hotel, and an annex to the Dill House.

18) The Dill House
The Dill HouseThis was the home of General John Dill. Dill's wife was the widow Elizabeth Stewart, one of three survivors of the massacre that sparked the first Seminole War in this area in 1817 - 1818. Built by John Dill, military aide to General Edmund Pendleton Gaines, about 1827. Later remodeled and used as a hotel. Open by appointment only. National Register of Historic Places

19) The Coca-Cola Sign / Sutton's Corner Museum
Coca Cola sign in downtown Fort GainesRestored several years ago, this sign advertises the world famous beverage for only 5 cents. Hard to believe, isn't it?

20) The Grimsley House #II
Two young men once courted the same woman. The "loser" of this love triangle made an unusual vow - that he would marry his competitor's first daughter. And he did! Upon his death, his widow ordered this house from Sears and Roebuck (who sold even houses in those days) and moved in.

21) The Sutlive House
Built in 1820 by John Sutlive, who operated a ferry across the Chattahoochee River until a wooden bridge was built in 1841.

22) The Courthouse
The Courthouse.Most southern towns have their courthouse in the middle of town square - not so Fort Gaines. You see, Fort Gaines is so old it was already laid out and settled before an official government - and the need for a courthouse - was established. Thus the Fort Gaines courthouse became the courthouse long after it was built.

23) New Park Cemetery
Gazebo at the Cemetery at Fort GainesGazebo at the Cemetery. Besides having graves that predate the turn of the century, this old cemetery also boasts a gazebo built on top of a Native American burial mound that dates back to 200 A.D.



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