Archive for the ‘Chattooga County Georgia 1980s-2010s’ Category

Restoration of the Taylor House Underway   Leave a comment


Above:  The Taylor House, February 12, 2014

Image Source = Jimmy Holbrook, 1180 AM, Summerville, Georgia, via the Save the Taylor House Facebook Page


I extend my deep gratitude to everybody involved in the continuing effort to salvage this great old house.  Special thanks go to William Benefield, the new owner of the structure, and all who have contributed physical labor to the effort, which is in its early stage.




For Continuing Updates:


Nell Barrett Taylor, 1988   Leave a comment

Nell Taylor 1988

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


My grandmother (1915-2001)


The Taylor House, October 1985   Leave a comment

Summerville House October 1985

Images Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


Taylor Family House, July 5, 1987   Leave a comment

July 5, 1987 I

Images Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

In July 1987, my parents and I, who lived in Berlin, Georgia, at the time, visited my grandmother, Nell Barrett Taylor, in Summerville.

Most images of the old house I have seen have a vague timeframe–certainly not a precise date.  Thus photographs with precise dates provide milestones in marking changes in that structure.


July 5, 1987 II


Nell Taylor in 1999 or 2000   Leave a comment

Nell Taylor Outside Kitchen 1999 or 2000

Photograph Courtesy of Randolph Fleming Taylor


My grandmother, Nell Barrett Taylor, lived from 1915 to 2001.  Here she stands behind the old family house in Summerville, Georgia, the kitchen to her right and the garage visible behind her.  My uncle Randy recalls that the last time anyone parked a car in that garage was 1962.  He also remembers the automotive maneuvers required to get a car in and out of the garage.

As for me, the closest thing to a garage of car port I recall being used for is the car shelter at the kitchen door.



Amended January 18, 2014 Common Era

Nell Taylor in 1999 or 2000   Leave a comment

Nell Taylor 1999 or 2000 in Yard

Image Courtesy of Randolph Fleming Taylor

My grandmother was in her yard at Summerville, Georgia, at the time.


Nell Taylor in 1996   Leave a comment

Nell Taylor in Cesna 24R, 1976

Image Courtesy of Randolph Fleming Taylor

Here is a photograph of my grandmother in a Cessna 24R in 1996.


The Taylor House in 2004   1 comment

Taylor House 2004 I

Above:  The Taylor House in 2004

This Image and the Other One Courtesy of Randolph Fleming Taylor

I think of an old joke.  Two mature women–neighbors–were speaking across a fence.  One commented that she liked being married to an archaeologist.

The older I become, the more interesting he finds me,

she said.

Older women, in my experience, enjoy that joke more than younger women.

My ancestral family home–which goes back to the 1890s, with stages of construction and one of demolition (there was another wing, removed in the early 1960s)–is like a mature woman and I am like the archaeologist in the joke–I like old buildings.  And I, who have the floor plan committed to memory, want to see the old structure restored to grand dame status.  May house allies in Summerville, Georgia, succeed!  My family–from John D. Taylor, Sr., and his wife, “Hattie,” through my grandparents, John D. Taylor, Jr., and Nell Barrett Taylor, would approve.  And members of the generation preceding mine–my father, my uncle, and my mother–and of my generation also approve.

Taylor House 2004 II


Nell Barrett Taylor in 1990   2 comments

Mom in Sville News 1990 with part of article

Uncle Randy sent this scan of part of a 1990 Summerville News article featuring my grandmother, Nell Barrett Taylor.  Here and elsewhere (most Facebook of late) I have read moving accounts of my grandmother’s positive influence on many lives.  Many students benefited much just from her official duties as a teacher.  She helped at least one former student on her own time at home with a college paper.  And then there were her musical contributions to Summerville Presbyterian Church as a musician.  Hers is a fine legacy.



Old Photographs and Related Memories   4 comments

Taylor House 1930sAbove:  The Taylor House, Probably in the 1930s

Two months ago I wrote the following post:  At the time the fate of the old house seemed doomed.  The house where my great-grandfather (John Dodson Taylor, Sr.) and great-grandmother (“Hattie” Stoddard), my grandfather (John Dodson Taylor, Jr.) was born and lived my grandmother (Nell Taylor) lived, where my uncle (Randy Taylor) and father (John Dodson Taylor, III) grew up, and where my sister (Barbara Jackson) and I spent part of our childhoods with Mom (Sally Taylor), Dad, and Grandma seemed to be near destruction.  And it might still be so, but there is a local grassroots effort ( to save and restore the old place.  May it succeed!  And may the house cease to sit idle.  No, may it have a use which is positive for the community.  I think that an educational component would be most appropriate, given the value our family has placed on books and learning.

The above picture shows the house as it was when my great-grandfather was still alive.  The white paint job did look better.

Taylor House Circa 1950

Above:  The House Circa 1950

I, being born when I was, never saw the old north wing, shown here on the right.  But it does look lovely, does it not?  I recall Dad saying that it lasted until the early 1960s.

Grandparents 1967

Above:  My Grandparents in 1967

I never knew my grandfather, for he died three years after I was born.  Yet I am confident that I would like to have known him.

I recall aspects of the house for which I have no pictures.  In the bedroom next to where the north wing had been, for example, there was a small kitchen attached.  My grandparents used to rent out that bedroom, kitchen, and north wing as an apartment.  And I remember the old garage in the back of the house.  Getting a car back there now would be quite an accomplishment!

A renovation and restoration of the house would be a great task.  To reopen blocked doorways would give old house a good, more period-specific look.  I, as a history buff, like old things.  So old houses fascinate me.

My life is elsewhere.  The congregation closest to my spiritual type is in Athens, Georgia, for example.  But I am keenly aware of my family’s roots in Summerville, Georgia.  And I want the old house to become a vital part of the community again.