Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Washington, Georgia - Antebellum Homes and Rich History

With its oak shaded streets graced by more than 100 antebellum homes and structures, Washington  is one of the most charming and historic cities in Georgia.

Located in the rich historic triangle formed by the cities of Atlanta, Augusta and Athens, Washington was founded before the American Revolution as a frontier stockade called Fort Heard (named for an early settler). The area was the scene of brutal fighting during the Revolution when Patriot forces smashed a larger British army at the Battle of Kettle Creek twelve miles outside the modern city.

Fort Heard became Washington in 1780 when the city was officially approved by the Georgia legislature. Over the decades that followed, it grew into a prosperous and improtant antebellum community. A noted trading, political and social center during the years leading up to the Civil War, Washington was home to both Gen. Porter Alexander, who commanded the artillery of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, and Gen. Robert Toombs, a former U.S. Senator who also served as the first Secretary of State of the Confederacy.

In the final days of the war, President Jefferson Davis held his final conference with key officials in a bank building in Washington. His wife and children spent several nights at Holly Court, a beautiful antebellum home that now serves as a bed & breakfast inn.

One of the most fascinating legends that surrounds Washington is that of the lost Confederate treasury. When Davis and other officials reached the city, they were still in control of tens of thousands of dollars worth of gold and silver. The remains of the Confederate treasury, the money had been spirited out of Richmond before the Southern capital city fell to Union forces. Much of the treasure was last seen in Washington and the mystery of its disappearance has never been satisfactorily resolved.

A charming and progressive city, Washington is a popular heritage destination known for its scenic homes and museums, unique inns and shopping opportunities. To learn more, please visit

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