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Hall

Place Made:
Warren County Georgia United States of America
Date Made:
1790-1800
Accession Number:
0000.24
Description:
This architectural woodwork came from a house colloquially called “The Great Hall House” built near Warrenton, in Warren County, Georgia, about 1795. It was likely built by either Stirling Jones (c.1768-1843) or his father William Jones who left the High Hills of Santee region of South Carolina for Georgia during the 1780s.

The frame house originally stood on a high brick foundation. The house’s hall–this room–contained the house’s front and back entrances. Two chambers separated by a stair hall abutted the hall extended to the past the back of the house, creating an “L” shape. The second story contained additional chambers within the gable roof. Though technically a story-and-a-half, the high basement created an additional floor of naturally lit above ground workspace.

Sometime in the early 20th century the house was moved off of its original foundation and the timber frame, including the paneling, was reused as an addition to a barn on the property. It was acquired for the Museum in 1988. The mantle and assorted other parts that had been separated from the room over the years were acquired at the same time. The Museum also acquired fragments of woodwork from elsewhere in the house. These were deaccessioned to the Georgia Museum of Art in 2016.

The house was well known in Georgia architectural and historical circles prior to its acquisition by MESDA. It had been documented by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and published by Mills B. Lane in his study of Georgia Architecture. The room at MESDA is the earliest fully paneled room known from Georgia; interestingly, it is also a fully paneled room from a time when such spaces were falling out of style in much of the United States.

Of the room’s ninety-three panels, only three required replacement. The stiles and rails were also largely intact. Some of the casements are original, but all of the sash is reproduction. The floor boards were too rotted to reuse and were replaced. Only three of the original ceiling boards were reusable. Only a small portion of the cornice survived, so it too was replicated. Much of the timber frame for the room was salvaged and reused for the installation at the Museum. Paint analysis performed at the time of the woodwork’s acquisition by MESDA confirmed the grain painting and blue color of the paneling.

Credit Line:
Original Installation: The Beehive Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hawkins and Mr. and Mrs. William W. Griffin; Renovations: Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Montag