The Bainbridge Heritage Tour, Part 2
A driving tour of our historical homes & churches ( go to Part 1 )
The Heritage driving tour of Bainbridge consists of over 40 historic homes and churches. A guide book is available free at the Chamber of Commerce or the SW Georgia Welcomme Center. For information on guided group tours, contact the Bainbridge Convention & Visitors Bureau at 229-243-8555 or by eMail
519 East Shotwell Street, 1906. This Tudor Revival-style house, built by Mart Harrell, was the first home in Bainbridge to be built of concrete blocks. The concrete was made by the local express agent in his backyard. A unique feature is a free-standing fireplace in a second story bedroom; there is no fireplace in the room below on the first floor.
515 East Shotwell Street, 1886. This Victorian-era home was built by James Ralph Graves. Mr. Graves was a Bainbridge alderman and deacon of First Presbyterian Church. The Bainbridge Democrat reported on March 6, 1884, that “James R. Graves is improving his new lot preparatory to building a house.” The house originally sat on four acres, contained 3,800 square feet, and had a detached kitchen. It cost $1500 and took five years to build.
505 East Shotwell Street, 1890. The barn was renovated into a carriage house in 1925. In the 1940’s, Jane Callahan Jackson and Eunice Penhallegon opened a kindergarten that was taught in the carriage house.
443 East Shotwell Street, 1900. Built by Charles H. Caldwell, a lumberman, it was known as the “modernistic house” because it had low ceilings (10 ft. 10 in. instead of the customary 12 ft.) It had an elevator installed in 1947, called by the owner, Mrs. E.J. Perry, Jr., "the movable Fibber McGee closet," for hiding stuff when company came. The house also featured in-house battery-operated telephones, and has very fine beveled-glass windows which create beautiful light prisms.
442 East Shotwell Street, 1873. This home was built by Sam Hinds, and it features unique windows that were intended for an Episcopal Church. A hurricane destroyed the church before the windows were installed.
437 East Shotwell Street, 1898. This home was built by George O. Smith and was purchased in 1918 by Robert C. Coleman. It is a superb example of Queen Anne-style architecture with turrets, bay windows and porches. The Coleman’s daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. E.F. Vickers, lived in the house until their deaths. They left it to Mrs. Vickers’ sister-in-law, Ingrid Coleman, who lived in New York City. Never having seen the house, she left it to the Decatur County Historical Society in 1975. The Newtons purchased the house in 1986.
27. First Baptist Church
401 East Shotwell Street. The Early Classical Revival church was constructed in 1920. Local Baptists first worshiped in the Methodist “Log House.” Their first sanctuary was built shortly after 1852 and served the congregation for forty years. In 1892 it was sold, and a new building was constructed on the same location. The present sanctuary was started in 1916, but was not completed until 1920 because of World War I.
418 East Broughton Street, 1928. This house is a good example of a Craftsman-style house.
430 East Broughton Street,circa 1890. The first owner of this Queen Anne style house was M.W. Scott.
435 East Broughton Street, 1840. Prior to building the house, Mr. G.O. Wilson used the property as a peach orchard. Betty and J.B. Long purchased the home in 1935.
506 East Broughton Street, 1919. This Arts & Crafts Prairie Style home was built by Calvin C. Willis. This was the first home in Bainbridge to have central heat. W.H. Carr, the architect that built this home, also built the First Baptist Church.
32. St. John’s Episcopal Church
516 East Broughton Street, 1885. The cornerstone for the Gothic Revival-style church was laid in 1885. Believed to be the oldest church building in continuous use in the county. The narthex (lobby area) has been added to the front. The windows on the east and west sides are original. The old bell tower, given in memory of the Rev. P.T. Babbit (rector 1869-1881), still calls the faithful to worship.
608 East Broughton Street, 1906. This Queen Anne classic was built by Frank Jones, a banker and Decatur County historian. In 1960, Dr. L.W. Willis, Jr. purchased the house and hired Frank McCall, an architect from Moultrie, to add a basement den and second story master bedroom; a kitchen was added to the rear of the house during this complete renovation.
616 East Broughton Street, 1916. This Federal style house was built by Julian B. Kwilecki, part of the family that owned I. Kwilecki & Sons Hardware store. History has it that Julian Kwilecki refused to share the floor plans with anyone as he wanted the house to be unique.
617 East Broughton Street, 1903. The 2 ˝ story neoclassical home was built by Sheriff Leroy F. Patterson, who used bricks from his own brickyard in West Bainbridge.The house has remained in the same family since 1919.
507 East Broughton Street, 1896. M.V. Woodhull of Monroe, New York, built this house for a winter home. Originally Queen Anne in style, it was altered extensively around the 1940s when the porch and turret were removed from the east side of the home.
37. First African Baptist Church
519 Webster Street, 1905. The interior of this Gothic Revival-style church is patterned after the chapel at Tuskegee Institute. The beautifully detailed interior woodwork was created by a local craftsman, Starling (*National Register of Historic Places) Smith.
38. Willis Park
Downtown Bainbridge,1904. Originally known as the Courthouse Square, the city acquired the land and made it into a park. It is a community gathering place for many activities through the year. The third Decatur County courthouse stood in the park from 1855-1904.
39. Bon Air Hotel
north side of Willis Park, 1901. Originally known as The Sharon House in the 1860’s, a major renovation took place in 1901 when it became The Bon Air Hotel. The hotel originally had a full height wooden porch on the front, with balconies on the second and third floors. This structure was removed during the 1950’s, presumably due to deterioration. After it closed in the mid-1960s, the hotel was allowed to deteriorate significantly with boarded up windows and deferred maintenance. Fortunately, in 1999, the Carters from Sylvester, GA purchased the building from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Revolving Fund for Endangered Properties. Today the Bon Air has ten upscale apartments and six storefront commercial spaces. The Bon Air was chosen as one of seven national success stories told during the 2001 National Preservation Conference.
40. Decatur County Courthouse
116 West Water Street, 1902. Decatur County’s fourth courthouse was built in 1902 and designed by noted architect Alexander Blair. The Decatur County Courthouse is a symbolic anchor of the historic downtown square in Bainbridge.The locations of the first and second courthouses are unknown. The third courthouse (1855-1904) was located in Willis Park until it was torn down to construct the current courthouse.
41. Firehouse Center & Gallery
119 West Water Street, 1914. Prominent Atlanta architect William Augustus Edwards designed the City Hall and Firehouse on the corner of Crawford and Water Streets. Through the years, community life revolved around the building as it served as City Hall, Library and Public Safety Headquarters. Now, the building serves as the home to the Bainbridge- Decatur County Council for the Arts. The building reflects the Spanish Colonial Revival-style architecture popular in the early part of the 20th century for public buildings.
- 21. Harrell-Gragg-Livingston
- 22. Graves-McCoy
- 23. Brown-Hargrave
- 24. Caldwell-Perry
- 25. Hinds-Cooper
- 26. Coleman-Vickers-Newton
- 27. First Baptist Church
- 28. Nussbaum-Cleveland
- 29. Scott-Long
- 30. Belcher-Long
- 31. Willis-Hobby
- 32. St. John’s Episcopal Church
- 33. Jones-Conder
- 34. Kwilecki-Kemp309
- 35. Patterson-Kirkpatrick
- 36. Woohull-Miller
- 37. First African Baptist Church
- 38. Willis Park
- 39. Bon Air Hotel
- 40. Decatur County Courthouse
- 41. Firehouse Center & Gallery
Part 1 - Heritage Tour of Homes and Churches