Historic 1850s cottage to be moved

Published 10:32 am Monday, October 16, 2017

AMERICUS — An architecturally significant historic home is to be moved approximately 18 miles, from its current location on U.S. Highway 19 North in Americus, to a new site on a 350-acre farm outside Leslie, in Lee County. The new site is a beautiful, picturesque grassy pasture, at the end of a half-mile winding allee of live oak trees, in the true Southern tradition of historic plantations, according to Barry Mathis, of Mathis Design Group Inc., who is an Americus native.
The subject residence is a circa 1850s home, in the Greek Revival style, and one of the oldest structures in Sumter County. According to Mathis’ press release, the opportunity to save this structure from demolition, and return it to its former glory, is indeed an uplifting newsworthy event. The entire original structure — featuring original wide­plank heart pine floors, 15 ft. ceilings, original horizontal wall boards, and all original mouldings and fireplace mantels — will be moved intact, then completely restored at its new site.
The house will be jacked (“cribbed”) off of its original pier foundation, about 4 feet, then large steel beams placed beneath, pressurized hydraulic system utilized to lift and secure.
On Tuesday, Oct. 17, the house will be pulled by specialized truck southward down Highway 19, then down adjacent county roads about 18 miles to its new site. The move will entail accompanying sheriffs’ escorts, Georgia Power trucks, cable TV crews and telephone line crews, to splice and drop utility lines to allow the house (approximately 21 ft. loaded height) to drive beneath the lines. The entire move will be accomplished in one day.
Mathis, principal of Mathis Design Group, will oversee the move and subsequent restoration.