|From Elisha Winn House|
I thought it might be a nice time to write about it because next weekend, October 4th and 5th, 2008, they are open to the public for the once a year Elisha Winn Fair (photos of previous festivals here ), a festival and fundraiser to support the preservation of this architectural piece of Georgia History. The fair is a typical piece of Americana , with tours of the house, people dressed in old Gwinnett fashion (including some Confederate Army gear), children’s pageants, and the like. If your looking for a nearby piece of our shared history, this one is moments away from the downtown of Gwinnett’s County seat of Lawrenceville.
Elisha Winn bought the property from John Breedlove in 1819 (original construction in 1812). Mr. Winn was one of the original Inferior Court Justices, and the property served as one of the first election offices, the first jail, and the first county courtroom (held inside the barn). Many of Winn’s descendents were important in the early development of Gwinnett County, including William Maltbie (the man who gave Lawrenceville its name ), C. H. Brand (a President of Brand Bank ), and his namesake Thomas Elisha Winn ( a United States Representative). The barn served as a temporary courthouse from 1818 to 1820, until a better one could be built. Mr. Elisha Winn passed away in 1826.
The area was originally known as Hog Mountain , named for a mountain nearby which was home to Fort Daniel, which I believe is the oldest city in the area (I’m not sure - I’ve read that Lawrenceville is the second oldest city in the Atlanta Area, but I’ve never been able to nail down whose first, and my guess in Hog Mountain, please correct me if I am wrong). And the road running between Fort Daniel and Fort Standing Peachtree became our first of a ridiculous many Peachtree Roads.
The structures on the property include the home, the barn, a jail replica, and a cotton house. There is also a short nature trail behind the homestead, built a short time ago as part of an Eagle Scout project.
As a citizen of Gwinnett County, and a person who earns a living primarily in Lawrenceville, I think its important to know, understand, and preserve the history that surrounds us. The good folks at the Gwinnett Historical Society do a bang up job in aiding this endeavor. So, I believe they deserve our support. If you go, you can tell them the Urban Baboon sent you, it won’t get you anything, but it’ll make me feel kind of important.