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See Historic Sites

Robert Penn Warren once said that “History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.” The historic sites in Greensboro reflect the history of the state of Georgia.  These landmarks, plantations and museums chronicle the history of the South, both the good and the bad. Georgia’s lake country offers visitors to Greensboro, GA unique history and mystique coupled with antique shopping that lets you bring some of Georgia's lake country home.

While sightseeing is indeed one of the most popular things to do at lake Oconee, the rich history just might leave more of an impression on visitors than a fading sun burn. The historic homes, and forgotten inns are treasures of Americana. Witnessing The Old Gaol, quite possibly the oldest jail in the state, is a haunting site. The Old Goal stands fortress like behind the courthouse, its formidable appearance reflecting its tortuous past.

 

 

 

 

 

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Greene County Courthouse
113 North Main Street
The county's earliest courthouse was a log structure.  Even though the town was burned by Native Americans in 1787 and a second courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1805, many of the records were saved.  The present Greek Revival structure was built in 1849, designed by Atharates Atkinson of Madison and built by David Demarest of Athens. 

   

The Old Gaol
East Greene Street
Directly behind the courthouse, this granite structure has two foot thick walls, two stories and a trap door above the entry.  Condemned prisoners were hung above the trap door and dropped to their death.  The building has remained virtually unchanged with its castellated roof-line, sloping stone walls, and fortress-like appearance since its completion in 1807.  It is believed to be the oldest existing jail structure in the state.  The cells are veritable dungeons without light or ventillation except for the grated doors downstairs and the small grated windows above.  The jail was used until the 1890's. 
 

The Greensboro City Cemetery
North East Street
The earliest grave is that of a Revolutionary War soldier, Jonas Fauche.  Many prominent people of our state's history have been laid to rest here.  Some of them are Governor Pete Early, U.S. Senators William C. Dawson and Thomas W. Cobb, Revolutionary War soliders, Jeremiah Stanford, Francis Cummings, Benjamin Weaver, Ezekiel Park, and forty-five unknown Confederate soldiers.  Many unique stones and iron work make this cemetery Greensboro's Bonaventure.
 
"The Big Store" 
J.H. McCommons Company

103 South Main Street
The building was erected in 1856-1860 by Charles Alfred Davis, Sr.  There was a blacksmith shop and stable in the rear of the store.  In 1929, J.H. McCommons and Company purchased the building.  The business and building have been owned by four generations of McCommons.  The bell in the front of the store is said to have been used to announce the opening of the store in morning and at midday meal time.  "The Big Store" sold just about anything for many years, and it was the largest retail establishment between Atlanta and Augusta.
 
Greensboro Post Office
115 South Main Street
The circa 1936 Greensboro Post Office contains two of the last remaining Works Progress Administration (WPA) murals in the United States Postal System.  The mural was painted by a WPA artist in 1938 and depicts local history from Greensboro's days as a frontier settlement to the cotton fields of the 1930's.  The mural consists of the burning of Greensborough in 1787, "Three Legged Willie," the capture of Native Americans, and other facts about the area. Open daily.
   
The Iron Horse
Highway 15 North
A 2,000 pound sculpture created by Abbot Pattison was placed at the University of Georgia in 1954.  It lasted on campus less than two days.  After repeated pranks attacks by students, the sculpture was loaned to an agriculture professor who placed it on his farm in Greene County.  This Iron Horse is located in a cornfield on Highway 15 North approximately 11 miles from Greensboro's city limits on the right just after crossing over the Oconee River bridge.  It can be seen seasonally as the cornfields in the late summer cover most of the horse.
 
Terrace Hotel Inn
701 Carlton Avenue
Built by James Force Hart in 1875 and named for the terraced land that separated the hotel from the tracks below, it became the center of activity in town that continued well into the twentieth century.  The hotel was built as an inn for the many train passengers that stopped in Union Point to change trains or for resting.  Traveling salesman known as "drummers" used the hotel as a base when selling their goods.  Union Point was a resort for many coming from Savannah, Charleston, and Augusta to escape humidity and mosquitoes.  An advertisement for the inn appeared in the 1883-1884 Georgia State Gazetter and Business Directory.  It is now a private residence.
   
Penfield Baptist Old Mercer Chapel
1051 Mercer Circle
The congregation organized Penfield Baptist in 1839 after the destruction of the Shiloh Baptist by a cyclone.  Originally, it was a wooden building and stood to the right of the present church.  It was formed with a few member from the Shiloh and the teachers and students of Mercer Institute, Mercer University.  The Mercer Chapel, a brick and Doric columned style, was built in 1846 and designed and completed by David Demerest.  The classic interior has a balcony on three sides.  The pews remain in the old style with a partition down the middle to separate the males and females.  Mercer University gave the chapel to Penfield Baptist Church in 1871.  During the 1970's, the congregation returned the chapel to Mercer University through the Georgia Baptist Convention and on the Southern Baptist Convention.

 
Scull Shoals
Highway 15 North
Scull Shoals village began as a frontier settlement in 1782, and in 1793, after several Native American raids, residents erected Fort Clark. It served to protect the settlers from raids across the river by the Creek Indians to the west. Following Eli Whitney's 1793 invention of the cotton gin, they began to raise cotton in huge quantities.  The local villagers began with a gristmill and sawmill, and soon had a cotton gin. With funds from the Georgia legislature, Zachariah Sims and George Paschal built Georgia's first paper mill at Scull Shoals in 1811. It also became home to several other facilities such as a hotel, hospital, and more. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Museums

Greene County Historical Museum
(Virginia E. Evans History Museum)

201 East Greene Street
 
Collection of artifacts, photographs, and manuscripts provide a glimpse of the people and events that shaped Greene County’s beginnings. Open Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and by appointment. 
(800) 866-LAKE 
   L. L. Wyatt Museum
North East Street
 
Across fron the Greene County Historical Museum, the brick building that houses the L.L. Wyatt Museum was built as the jail, the sheriff's office, and home for the sheriff in 1895. Please note this is not available for tour at this time. 
  Greene County African American Museum
 (Dr. Calvin M. Baber House)
1415 North East Street
 
Dr. Calvin M. Barber was the second African American doctor in Greene County. This one and a half story Craftsman Bungalow was built circa 1925 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The Greene County African American Museum is open Tuesday- Friday, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., and Saturday by appointment.
706-342-4412. 
Union Point Museum
206 Veazey Street

The former Union Point school house was built in the early 1900's.  It was used as an education facility for almost seventy years.  It now serves as the Union Point Museum hosting house relics from the Confederate Wayside Home as well as from the Georgia Railroad and Chipman Union Hosiery Mill.  Open by appointment only.
(706) 453-7534
E.H. Armor Museum
Highway 15 South
Campus of Nathaniel Greene Academy

E.H. Armor was the Greene County historican.  He has donated Native American artifacts, geological information, and historical information to the museum named for him.  Open by appointment only.  Please contact the Nathaniel Greene Academy for more information.
(706) 467-2147