Endangered Smith-Turner House in Lexington, Georgia

Good people of Georgia! There’s a home in Lexington about a half hour outside Athens just waiting for your tender loving care this holiday season. When I saw this listing my heart broke; surely, this great old southern beauty deserves more. And while it’s not going to be easy, I just know someone out there has what it takes to bring her back from the brink, and for a mere $65,000 upfront. This is the kind of early American home that made me fall for old buildings in the first place. There’s so much to love about it — here are just some of them.




This impressive nine-room house actually began as a modest two-story-plus-basement log cabin after John Smith (no, not that John Smith!) bought the property in 1798. That’s just eight years before the small city of Lexington was incorporated. I bet she’s seen a lot in her day. The 425-square-foot cabin is still there within the larger house (all 2,500 square feet of it). I find vernacular buildings like this so fascinating; I love both its simplicity and its many layers of history.



While winter in rural Lexington isn’t as cold as some other places around the country, I can still imagine curling up to a warm fire in this home. Don’t you think garland and Christmas decorations would look so graceful on those Federal style mantels? Top it off by restoring those beautiful wide pine board floors and I’d say we have the perfect setting for a holiday party. And if you’re looking to add some charm, antique shops are just a short distance away on Main Street!
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The evolution of this house from a simple cabin to a much larger, more refined residence beautifully illustrates the story of many early American homes. In fact, its layout is so textbook that I could tell what the main section’s floor plan would look like just by studying the exterior! With the front and back doors opened, the central hall provided a much-needed cross breeze in those days before air-conditioning. And when winter came around, those chimneys kept the parlors and upstairs bedrooms as toasty as they could.


With pecan and walnut trees all around, this home is a beauty rooted in Georgia. Local wood forms what I believe is weatherboard siding (what a treat!) and a gabled standing-seam copper roof caps the house. It’s also thrilling that the 9-over-9 and 9-over-6 double sash windows are still there. The historic porch, with its decorative carved brackets, leads to an elegant doorway. Even the cute addition at the rear matches the look and feel of the main house.
Ready to roll up your sleeves? Click through here to see the full listing!
For more information contact:
Kate Ryan
Director of Preservation, The Georgia Trust
[email protected]
Amanda is an historic preservationist living in New York City with a particular fondness for fixer-uppers. She can be spotted checking out quirky historic details here, there, and everywhere in her handmade dresses. Every time Amanda sees a cozy room with large windows and beautiful built-ins she can’t help but imagine her very own sewing nook with oldies music playing in the background.

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