Preserving early southern architecture
Comer, Catherine Drewry
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Antebellum houses are a highly significant and irreplaceable cultural resource; yet in many cases, various factors lead to their slow deterioration with little hope for a financially viable way to restore them. In Hancock County, Georgia, intensive cultivation of cotton beginning in the 1820s led to a strong plantation economy prior to the Civil War. In the twenty-first century, however, Hancock has been consistently ranked among the stateʼs poorest counties. Surveying known and undocumented antebellum homes to determine their current condition, occupancy, and use allows for a clearer understanding of the outlook for the antebellum houses of Hancock County. Each of the antebellum houses discussed in this thesis tells a unique part of Hancockʼs history, which in turn helps historians better understand a vanished era in southern culture.