COWETA COUNTY COURTHOUSE
This Classical Revival style building was designed by architect James W. Golucke and built by the R.D. Cole Manufacturing Company. It has stamped copper cornices and dome and its’ brick walls are laid in a Flemish bond.
The Courthouse gained notoriety from Margaret Anne Barnes’ book, Murder in Coweta County, and the movie with the same title; although, the Coweta County Courthouse was not used in the filming of the movie.
The Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
78 E. Broad Street
78 East Broad is a petite lady among some grand dames on the street. She has a “sister house” right next door that is her mirror image. There are also several homes in downtown with similar layouts and design.
The staircase is the jewel of the house with the original twisted balusters (only one is missing). There is also a unique bend on the upstairs handrail to accommodate the window- amazing craftsmanship. A majority of the heart pine floors have been preserved throughout the main portion of the house as well as the windows. The pocket doors to the parlor are also original. There are 4 fireplaces that share a single chimney.
Several residents of the home include the George Barr family, who were residing here in 1910. George worked as an agent for the railroad. George’s son, Woodie, followed in his footsteps – first as a cashier at the A&WP Depot and later as an agent for the railroad.
Reverend Eugene Wooten Stone left the First Baptist Church parsonage on Brown Street and moved into the home in 1929 after resigning from his position as Pastor, due to poor health. After Reverend Stone’s passing in 1932, his daughter Helen Stone Love continued to live in the home and raise her two children. Helen was a private music teacher.
88 E. Broad Street
Edwin and Mattie Tate Cole built this home, known locally as the Marble House, in 1914. Mattie’s family owned the Georgia Marble Company and marble was used extensively on the porches, along with beautiful tile work inside and outside the home.
The floor plan was derived from plans drawn for the Craftsman Prairie style house at 79 E. Broad St., which was built for Mr. Cole’s brother, Frank B. Cole. Architect J.J. Hall adapted the plans for the Edwin Coles.
The lot on which the house stands was the site of the First Baptist Church from 1828-1850. In 1854, R.D. Cole, Sr. built his antebellum home on the site. There is a story that Edwin Cole wanted the site for his home because it is on such a rise that he would be able to see the new courthouse that he helped build. In order to make that possible, the R.D. Cole house was moved two lots down to 98 E. Broad St.
Original radiators still heat the house today. A unique feature of the radiator in the breakfast room is a built-in food warmer, which Mr. Cole had installed. Another interesting architectural feature of the home are the two sets of pocket doors made of walnut inlaid with classical marquetry. They were inspired by designs used in Pullman cars (rail cars with sleeping compartments) which the R.D. Cole Company once manufactured.
124 E. Broad Street
Jonathan Kersten is renovating this home which was built by William Young Barnes for his family in 1906. William’s maternal grandfather was R.D. Cole, Sr.
In 1910 William was working as a mechanic at RD Cole Manufacturing. By 1920 he owned an auto garage and worked as an auto mechanic. In 1930 William owned the W.Y. Barnes Auto Dealership. His daughter, Kathryne, still lived in the home and worked at the dealership as a bookkeeper.
Mr. Barnes passed away in 1942 and Kathryne continued to live in the home. She passed away in 1985.
Margaret Anne Barnes, author of Murder in Coweta County, was William Barnes’ granddaughter.
79 E. Broad Street
The Frank Bartow Cole home was designed by prominent Atlanta architect Edward Emmett Dougherty, having studied at Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and Cornell University.
The exquisitely detailed brick Craftsman style home features five bedrooms and four and a half baths in 6,200 square feet. The home boasts wide porches with a porte cochere.
Features include fourteen foot ceilings, seven fireplaces, mahogany paneling, rich accents and columns throughout. Also included on the beautiful 1.3 acre lot, are a barn, heated pool, and a pool pavilion.
When the home was completed in 1910, the family delayed moving in because Mrs. Cole was unhappy with the width of the front porch. The original porch was removed and the present, wider porch was built.
The original family had 4 maids, a butler, a cook, a yard man, and a man to look after the cows and barn. No one lived in the servant’s quarters (located in the basement), except the nanny for a short while, when the children were small. More recently, the man who looked after the barn would stay over in extremely bad weather.
The bricks in the fence out back are much older than those used to build the house. They came from the brick forge owned by Mrs. Frank Cole, Jr., which was torn down to make room for the C&S Bank building downtown. The mill stones came from Mrs. Frank Cole, Jr.’s grandfather Hardaway’s farm in Meriwether County.
75 E. Broad Street
This two story Victorian style home was built in 1905 by R.D. Cole, Jr., President of Cole Manufacturing, and his wife, Frannie Hill Cole. They raised two children in the home – son, Guy and daughter, Ruth.
Ruth married Bryan Blackburn, who was an engineer for Cole Manufacturing, and they lived in the home with her parents. Blackburn eventually moved up to Vice President of the company by 1940.
After her parents’ deaths in 1942 and 1943, the Blackburns did extensive renovations to the house and grounds. Cabinets were added in the dining room, pocket doors were removed and a bay window was added.
In the 1940s Mrs. Blackburn was stuck in the home’s elevator for several hours. After that experience, she had a phone installed and kept a list of numbers behind the phone, which the current owners found when they moved in to the home.
The film Joyful Noise, starring Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah and Kris Kristofferson, was filmed in the home and gardens in 2011.
Mr. Blackburn passed away in 1955 and Ruth continued to live in the home until her death in 1975.
101 E. Broad Street
The home was built around 1900 and the kitchen was added later – possibly in the 1920s. Later the home was split up into apartments and remained so until it was purchased by the Newnan Coweta Historical Society in the early 2000s. The Historical Society began construction to restore it to a single family home. This is the only home listed as a Newnan Preservation Property.
The Rennos purchased the home in 2006 and continued the renovation to a single family home. Throughout the years, they have found many antique treasures to furnish the home – many from the Cole Town area.
In 1910 Myrtle Rice Reynolds lived in the home. She was a widow, who worked as a saleslady at a millinery store. Myrtle was raising her three stepchildren and her 6 year old daughter, Sabra.
In 1920 Walter Askew, Newnan Chief of Police, was residing in the home with his wife, Annie, their four children, Annie’s father, Frank McSwain, and Belle Grant, a servant.
In 1930 Ivan Cavender, a mechanic for R.D. Cole Manufacturing, was living in the home with his wife and two daughters.
In 1940 two families were residing in the home, the Parks and the Hutchinsons. James Park was a bookkeeper for the cotton mill and his wife, Amma, was a rural school teacher. The Hutchinson family included Ridley Ecta Hutchinson, his wife Virgina; daughter, Virginia Lee and father, Rufus Ecta Hutchinson. Ridley was manager of the theatre owned by his father, Ecta.
71 E. Broad Street - Gazebo
This lot was part of the R.D. Cole, Jr. home next door until the Chapmans purchased the lot and built their home last year. The gazebo was built during the renovations that the Blackburns made to the home and gardens in the 1940s.
The gardens were designed by architect Kennon Perry and the copper roof gazebo, iron trellises, and lily pond were designed by Bryan Blackburn.
The gardens were elaborate - including 39 large camellias of 13 varieties, massive oak and pecan trees, a Tree of Heaven, many azaleas, roses and a scuppernong arbor.
The Chapmans are working to bring the gardens back to their former glory. They painted the gazebo, cleared the trellises and replanted them with wisteria, climbing roses, confederate jasmine, and pink honeysuckle. Several large oakleaf hydrangeas, camellias, magnolias, and azaleas have been recovered. The Chapmans have also planted more than 200 azaleas, various hydrangeas, rhododendrons, gardenias, roses, and camellias. The pond had to be drained and scraped down to remove decades of debris.
They removed vines that had totally hidden the brick wall that runs along the back of the property. During renovations in the 1940s, Mrs. Blackburn had two houses moved and tore down one to use the brick in order to make a wall around the gardens.
The Chapmans reinstalled the slate pavers that surrounded what was believed to be a croquet court, where their house now stands, as paths to the porches, gazebo, and grilling area.
Please note: this home is not open for tour – the historic gazebo and grounds are available for viewing.