Category Archives: Darien GA

Georgian Cottage, Circa 1870, Darien

The Georgian Cottage is not the most prolific but perhaps the most iconic house type among Darien’s oldest surviving post-Civil War structures. Oral tradition suggests that this was one of the first built  after the war, which would corroborate the circa 1870 date most commonly cited. [Though lumber mills were rebuilt soon after the Civil War, it was a few years before residential construction commenced]. I’ve been unable to locate any information about the builder, but thanks to the present owners, Noel Gieleghem & Brandon Tyson, I’ve been able to fill in a few of the missing pieces. Noel notes: We are sadly ill-informed about the history of the house. [Mary Sue Rogers, who lived in the house as a little girl, shared some of the information with Noel. Her father was Conrad Rogers]. We believe it was built in 1870…The Florida room on the south side was added by Conrad Rogers in the late 1940s. It had a flat roof but we put on a pitched roof to match the other part of the house. A kitchen and back bathroom were also added at some point. There was just a stoop on the front when we bought the house and we added a front porch. Mary Sue confirmed that there was indeed a front porch on the house originally, similar to the one we re-added. The Robert Bennett family were later owners. 

Noel & Brandon have tastefully renovated the house and their beautifully landscaped yard is a highlight of the neighborhood.

 

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Jim Stebbins House, Circa 1885, Darien

Vernon Square-Columbus Square Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Charlie Stebbins House, Circa 1935, Darien

This 20th century Colonial Revival landmark on Vernon Square is now Darien’s sweetest address. It’s been home since 2010 to Dale & Charlie Potts’s Sugar Marsh Cottage. My favorites are their shortbread coquiles and their artisanal seashore chocolates. Check them out when you’re in Darien or order online.

Vernon Square-Columbus Square Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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St. Andrew’s Church Rectory, Circa 1880, Darien

Sources I consulted vary as to the date of construction, but this house has always served as the rectory for the adjacent St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Most references suggest it was built a year after the church [1880].

Vernon Square-Columbus Square Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Hilton House, Circa 1879, Darien

Built by Colonel Joe Hilton, a principal in the Hilton-Dodge Mills on St. Simons Island and in Darien, this house remains in largely original condition. It is also known as the Hilton-Wilkins House. It is a centerpiece of the historic Vernon Square neighborhood, originally laid out by General Oglethorpe. Later owners have worked admirably to maintain the home’s historic integrity.

Vernon Square-Columbus Square Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Old City Cemetery, 1736-1806, Darien

One of the earliest documented European cemeteries in Georgia, Darien’s Old City Cemetery is all but gone today. The Highland Scots who first settled Darien’s predecessor, New Inverness, were buried here. The only preserved section of the cemetery contains the crypts of two Loyalists, enclosed in a brick and stone fence. Other earlier known burials were: Hugh Clark, John Cunningham, Donald Fraser, John Grant, Major Elisha B. Hopkins, James MacKay, Archibald McBean, Alexander McDonald, Lt. Colonel William McIntosh, Thomas McKenzie, Angus McLean, Donald McLeod, Hugh Morrison, Alexander Munro, Alexander Murray, David Stewart, Robert Sutherland, Colonel Abitha Thomas.

The two visible crypts contain the remains of John Cunningham [1767-22 June 1806] and his sister, Margaret Cunningham Pearis [1775-18 April 1805]. Margaret was the wife of South Carolina Loyalist Richard Pearis. John and Margaret’s father, Brigadier General Robert Cunningham, was exiled to Nassau, Bahamas and received a land grant from the King for his loyalty. He was well-known in the Bahamas and died there in 1813.

 

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Gable-Front House, 1940, Darien

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