Milledgeville, a Then and Now

In 1804, Milledgeville was declared the new capitol of Georgia and modeled after Savannah and Washington D.C. Since then, Milledgeville has seen everything from the Civil War to the construction of Georgia Military College, and more recently, the restorations of several Antebellum homes. Thanks in part to the Facebook page“Milledgeville Memories” we have been able to compare the past and present landmarks of Milly, and understand pieces of our town’s history even better.

South Wayne Street

South Wayne Street

This picture on the left is a postcard from back in the horse and buggy days of Milledgeville. Now known as South Wayne Street, where several of our favorite shops are located, like Ryals Bakery, you can still see the same archway on the postcard.

Old Governors Mansion

Old Governor’s Mansion

This National Historic Landmark was built in 1838 when Milledgeville was the capital of Georgia. In the left photo, you can see students walking on the grounds of the mansion around 1900. In this time, the mansion was a red brick color.

Old Capitol Building 

Old State Capitol

From 1807 to 1868, this building served as the seat of government for the state of Georgia. Now located on the campus of Georgia Military College, it serves as the location for the Old Capitol Museum. This building was one of the first examples of Gothic architecture in a public building.

Masonic Hall

Masonic Hall

Built in 1832 by architect John Marlor, the Masonic Hall is the oldest of its kind still in use. It is well known for its occupation by the Union Troops during the Civil War, and also served as the Freedman’s Bureau during reconstruction.

 13 Column House

13 Columns House

Known by locals as the “13 Columns House,” the Stovall/ Conn/ Gardner House is a beautiful eye-catcher in Milledgeville. This home used to be a hotel, it is said to have thirteen columns to represent America’s first 13 colonies.

St Stephens Church

St. Stephens Episcopal Church

St Stephen’s is the 8th oldest Episcopal church in the state of Georgia, founded by two priests from Christ Church in Savannah. The stained glass window over the alter is a gift from Christ Church as a thank you for the extended hospitality after the Civil War.

 parks hall then and now.jpg

Parks Hall at Georgia College

This building on Georgia College’s campus was named after the then President of Georgia College, Marvin McTyeire Parks, in 1913. He changed the college from a teacher’s school into a four-year degree institution, Georgia State College for Women.

Powell Building Central State

Central State Hospital (Powell Building)

Central State Hospital is one of the most widely known places in Milledgeville. Once the largest mental hospital in the world, the hospital accepted it’s first patient in 1842. It quickly grew, and had 200 buildings in it’s prime, it’s main building being the Powell Building.

Since originally publishing this post, learn more at our Part two! 


Author: Sam

Sam Smith is a Senior Mass Communication major at Georgia College who loves traveling, painting, and gardening. Her favorite Milledgeville pastimes include reading on the front lawn of GC, and eating blueberry pie ice cream at Sweetreats.

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12 thoughts on “Milledgeville, a Then and Now

  1. If you are interested in more information about John Marlor, architect and builder of 13 columns and the Masonic Hall, and over 12 other dwellings in Milledgeville, even before the Powell Building….look me up. I’ll help you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, did genealogy on ancestors in . Milledegeville. The families were James Davis, one married into a family Vining. Been some time but think I remembef she was postmistress there in the 1800’s. The Davis moved on to South Alabama around Greenville and Butler Co.
      Are there any Vinning families still living there?

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      1. Thanks, appreciate the response. Enjoyed visiting your town then. A. Anderson

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  2. Thanks for this interesting and informative website. I’ll walk around with a renewed appreciati0n of M’Villes buildings and history.

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  3. My parents and older sister moved from Milledgeville to Thomson around 1960, a couple of years before I was born. Now my oldest daughter is in her second semester of nursing school at GCSU. I enjoy my visits to Milledgeville and the history displayed in the various forms throughout the city. Being a railroad buff, I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Charles Brown and always enjoy the photos that Chief Ellis took over the years.

    Thanks for posting these photos.

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    1. Susan – it is named after Dr. Theophilus Orgain Powell, who was a superintendent of the Georgia State sanitarium from 1897 until his death in 1907.

      “Dr. Powell enlisted in the Confederate Army and served in the battles around Richmond until August 1862 when he accepted an appointment as assistant physician at the Georgia State Sanitarium,” Anna Maria Green Cook writes in her 1925 book “History of Baldwin County Georgia.”

      “In 1879, upon the death of Dr. T.F. Green, Dr. Powell was elected unanimously by the Board of Trustees as superintendent of this institution, and served as such until his death,” Cook continues. “He died on Aug. 18, 1907. As a great admirer of Dr. Powell and a close personal friend for a long number of years, I feel unequal to the task of doing justice to his memory. There is a great vacancy … without him.”

      The New Georgia Encyclopedia notes Powell as being a “noted scholar of psychiatry” and that during Powell’s tenure the institution developed “increasingly more accurate methods of diagnosis and implementing differentiated ward placements.”

      Born March 21, 1837 in Brunswick County, Va., the building that now bears his name displays direct evidence of Powell’s influence on local psychiatry and the importance that he played within CSH’s history.

      This information is from our local newspaper article, http://www.unionrecorder.com/news/lifestyles/csh-s-powell-building-a-reminder-of-times-past/article_c6471c48-21cf-5745-9949-3f3985629ad7.html

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