Warthen, Georgia

Washington County's First Community

Warthen Tour Brochure

Warthen Historic SitesSelf Guided Tour

1. Wicker-Warthen-Burgamy

Enormous chimney dominates small log house covered with clapboards. Columbus Warthen made a record five bales of cotton per acre on this farm in the I870's. Circa - before 1800. Private residence - photo unavailable. 

2. Hooks Cabin

One of the few remaining structures of the early Warthen settlement. Hopewell Hooks established Hooks' Dairy a few miles east. This cabin is an excellent example of 18th-century craftsmanship with square logs and dovetail construction. Moved adjacent 10 #12 and restored. Circa - 1785.

3 - Warthen School

Bethlehem Academy was the earliest chartered school in the county. A new school was built (1904) after the original structure burned. Note the arched front door surrounded by coffered panel; originally a two-storied school building; currently used as the Warthen Community Center. Circa 1904.

4. Bethlehem Baptist Church

This structure built in lime to celebrate congregation’s centennial; replaced church destroyed by windstorm. Pleasingly asymmetrical with steeple and tower; triangular design above windows compliments steeply pitched roof. Cemetery contains graves of one War of 1812 veteran and several Confederate veterans. Circa - 1890.

5. Warthen United Methodist Church

Thomas Warthen gave land and had this church built so his wife would have a place to worship. Originally two doors opened from a broad porch. Stained glass windows are a recent memorial to Mr. and Mrs. Bolden Cobb. Circa - 1886.

6. May-Cook

Entry captures the eye with lights (windows) overhead and on sides. Date unknown. 

7. Bethlehem Baptist Pastorium

Tall pyramid roof dominates this comfortable, roomy home. Circa 1900.

8. Burgamy-Turner-Daniel

This house, built by Jim Burgamy, once had a wrap-around porch. Circa - 1900.

9. Duggan-Bateman

T.R. Duggan, farmer, and store owner built this house. Carbide gas was made in the yard for interior lighting. Circa 1904.

10. Harrison-Cobb-Brown

Twin scalloped gables with fish scale shingles; broad porch supported by craftsman posts. A bridge over the Ogeechee River was named for Mr. Cobb. Now home of Cobb’s granddaughter. Della Cobb Brown, and family. Circa - 1904

11. Akridge-Cordry

Symmetrical prophets’ rooms suggest an early history. Mr. Whaite, occupant around 1900, was a dog trainer. Date - Unknown.

12. May-Woods

Hubert May (Warthen‘s barber, c. I940-1960) and his family-owned and occupied it until the late 1990s. Purchased and restored in 2002 by Al Woods. Circa - The early 1900s.

13. Methodist Parsonage

Exaggerated sleep gable roof dominates home built along with the church for its minister. Privately owned since c. 1999. Circa - 1886. (Sadly this property was purchased at a tax auction. The current owner is allowing the house to deteriorate.) 

14. Garner-Plumley

Enchanting playhouse out the back of this modest home. Circa - 1935.

15 - Warthen-Turner-Wolfe

Two old houses bolted together by Richard H. Warthen, said to have hosted Aaron Burr’s military escort (see #25). Warthen began Bethlehem Academy, boarding girls on one side, boys on the other. no connecting doors. 1953 remodeling removed broad front porch and half of 1he left structure. Circa - Before 1880.

16. Franks-Warthen-Tapley-Howard

Walter Franks lived here when he invented a cotton duster and a cotton stalk chop per. Just two of his farming innovations which were in wide use over the region. Hip roof features small gable above porch. Circa, 1920.

17. Turner Store

Builder was Walter H. Franks. In 1928, J.J. Turner. Sr. purchased and operated a general merchandise business for 49 years. Hexagon sidewalk pavers, made by Warthen Brick Company of Keysville, Georgia, under porch. The property remains in the Turner family. Circa 1908.

18. Utopia-Brown Store

Under covered porch, commercial structure bears columns of alternating, rusticated stone, and red brick. Utopia Drug Store was a popular hang-out for the young. Later, it became Brown’s Store. Circa 1920s.

19. Branch-Turner-Archer Market

Respected black butcher Tom Archer operated a meat market in chis brick shop with gable roof. John Branch, then Louis Turner. operated businesses earlier. Torn down in 1999 to construct Warthen Volunteer Fire Department.

20. May’s Row

Brick corbelling at top, cast iron doorways and transom lights over from windows distinguish these scores. Covered hexagon sidewalk at The Warthen Banking Company, later Mincey’s Store.   When widowed, Miss Bessie ran it alone until the age 94. Second office from right was Dr. Ed T. May’s, other stores included a restaurant and fish market. Circa - 1916.

21. Farmers & Merchants’ Bank-Post Office

Cast iron store front market. Cornerstone identifies builder J. Chafin. structure was used as Post Office, c. I960. Vera Cummings was postmaster for 38 years and succeeded by her husband Oscar. Restored in 2004 by Carl Cummings. Circa - 1911.

22. Warthen Family Cemetery

Peaceful, Victorian retreat is final resting place for Warthen family, including community leaders such as George D., Richard Lee, and Macon Warthen. Earliest grave is Richard Warthen, d. 1861. Several marked Confederate graves.
Peaceful, Victorian retreat is final resting place for Warthen family, including community leaders such as George D., Richard Lee, and Macon Warthen. Earliest grave is Richard Warthen, d. 1861. Several marked Confederate graves.

23. Thomas Warthen & Brother Mercantile Store

This was one of a chain of stores in Georgia owned by Thomas and his brother Macon II. Only this structure remains of the original building. (Replaces building as early as 1822, where Richard Warthen’s mercantile and pose office first gave the community its name – “Warthen’s Store Post Office”.) Circa - 1911.

24. Augusta Southern Railroad Depot

 Narrow gauge line from Augusta joined rail network in Tennille and opened a vast market. Hooks’ Dairy shipped milk and butter. Remodeled as a residence for a while, then as an office in 2009 by Carl Cummings. 1886 - 1933.

25. Old Warthen Jail

First county courts held in Warthen, 1787. Aaron Burr was confined overnight enroute to Richmond, VA trial for treason. Oldest jail in Georgia today; hand-hewn logs, wood shingle roof, vent above single door. Restored, 1998. Circa - 1787.

26. Warthen-Willis

A craftsman bungalow, considered a modern home at chat time, was built by J. Chafin for Thomas Warthen, a partner in the mercantile store (1/23). Circa - 1916.

27. Warthen-Jordan

Stylish, two-story Victorian home has many characteristics of its period, including the dental molding on the roof line. Macon Warthen II was a partner in the mercantile store (/123). Since 1998 the Jordans have restored and repurposed the home, keeping many of its original elements. Circa - 1906.

28. May-Turner

Built by J. Chafin for Dr. and Mrs. Ed T. May. Pipes for carbide gas lighting remain in the ceilings. The May’s ” Hotel” always took boarders. Circa - 1916.

29. Brown-Uslan

A pyramid roof characterizes this cottage, owned by Lamar Brown, who also owned Brown’s Store (#18). Circa - before - 1920.

30. Redding-Garner-Warthen

Twin chimneys and a steep roof top this home built for Dr. C.D. Redding, one of three practicing doctors at Warthen’s peak. Carbide gas lights; rock wall in front yard marks old road. Restored 2005. Circa - 1906.

31. Warthen-Davis

Vernacular home has off-center front door and square columns. Several outbuildings remain. Macon Warthen, I built this home for his wife, giving her a gold door key as a betrothal gift. He was teacher, principal, school board member and earliest local historian. The home of Benjamin Tennille, great uncle of Macon Warthen I, was on this site in the late I700 ‘s. Washington County’s first Superior Court was held in his home. Circa - 1868.