Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Georgia


Collier-Howard House

Collier-Howard House, Eastern Oglethorpe County, Georgia (33.804270, -83.064157)

Primary Phase of House         Felling Dates: Winter 1800/1

Site Master 1721-1800 CHHx1 (dates as part of area master Georgia1)

The Collier-Howard House is named for two families that owned it for most of its history. In 1786 Vines Collier, a Virginian, purchased 400 acres of land in what was then Wilkes County, Georgia. Before the current study it had been assumed that the core of the present house was built by Vines some time before his death in 1795. However, as the core of the present house dates from 1800/01, the original house was probably of a simpler, log, perhaps one-room form, typical on the frontier of upcountry Georgia. Given the date of the core of the present house, it must have been built by Vines’ widow, Sarah (who lived until 1812), and one or more of his many children. The core is a plantation plain type of house: two stories tall; one room deep; with a hall-parlor plan and a stair that ran between the two rooms and opened into the larger one (usually the hall or general living room); and a narrow, shed roofed, one-story addition to the original rear (now right side). Plantation plain type houses are not generally seen in Georgia until about 1800 (and only become common after 1820), so this was a fairly early example. Its early date is perhaps seen in its hall-parlor plan, rather than the more common later central passage plan. The Collier family sold the house in 1824, and by 1836 it had come to the Howards, who probably built the Greek Revival portion of the present house in about 1840.

The old core of the house possesses many early features that are fully appropriate for a date of 1800. These include: a heavy timber, braced frame; pit sawn or hand hewn timbers; a mixture of wrought and early cut nails; HL strap hinges with original leather washers on the doors; board-and-batten doors; wooden grills in the crawl space windows. (Mark Reinberger)

Worthington, M J and Seiter, J I 2018 “The Tree-Ring Dating of Ten Vernacular Buildings in Northeastern Georgia”, unpublished Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory archive report 2018/05




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Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230