As Georgia’s second oldest city, Augusta has been around for a while, and we have plenty of stories to tell—as do some of our historic homes.
Meadow Garden, the first documented house in Augusta, was also the first historic preservation project in the state. It was originally the home of George Walton, a builder and attorney who followed his brother to Georgia and established one of the most successful law practices in the state. As tensions between Britain and colonial America grew, Walton became a leading activist. Later a member of the Continental Congress, he signed the Declaration of Independence at the age of 26. After the Revolutionary War, he became a judge.
Summerville Historic District was once a suburb where the wealthy lived during the hot, mosquito-ridden months. Among its gems is the U.S. Arsenal, which was moved from its original site on the grounds of Saint Paul’s to Summerville in 1827. Its buildings are now part of the Augusta University Summerville campus. The home of Commandant Stephen Vincent Benét is now an administrative building.
Fruitland Manor, once the plantation home of the “Father of Georgia Peach Culture,” P.J. Berckmans, later became the clubhouse of the revered Augusta National Golf Club. Although you can’t visit the clubhouse at the Augusta National, you can tour Magnolia Lane at Redcliffe Plantation, in nearby Beech Island, SC, where magnolias from Fruitland Nurseries were planted in the 1860s.
Visitors can explore both presidential and Civil War history at the Boyhood of Home of President Woodrow Wilson, along with Augusta Presbyterian Church, just across the street where future President Woodrow Wilson’s father was the minister. You can also visit the Ezekiel Harris House, built in 1797 by a prominent merchant, and a fine example of 18th century architecture.