2017-11-23 / Front Page

Belmont, one of only four of its kind, to be featured on ’17 Tour of Homes

The original grant of land on which this house stands was awarded to George Walton, Justice of the Federal Court, Gover nor of Georgia, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was awarded the land for his service in the Revolutionary War.

Justice Walton sold 1,150 acres in 1786 to Thomas Wingfield who came to Wilkes in 1784 from Hanover County, Virginia. The land was designated as “the land on the ridge” and Thomas Wingfield started building the home here in 1786-88. The home was completed by 1790. At the event of Thomas Wingfield’s death in 1794, the property was sold to Col. Nicholas Long, of North Carolina. He was one of the wealthiest and most influential men in this section of Georgia. The Longs were considered leaders of society and owned one of the first carriages in Georgia. It was entered from the rear.

The house was given to Col. Long’s daughter Margaret, as a wedding gift, in 1806 when she married Thomas Telfair, son of Governor Telfair of Savannah and for whom Telfair County was named. In those days, Margaret and Thomas resided in Savannah and retreated to Belmont and Wilkes County in the summer, along with other wealthy Savannahians. From 1849-1877, the Thomas Callaway family called Belmont home, as did, in later years, other prominent Wilkes County families.

The house was built originally in a Jeffersonian Tripartite style, with one center room upstairs. The two side rooms, on the upper floor, were probably added in 1806, giving the house more symmetry. It is now one of only four Jeffersonian Tripartite houses left in the country.

Since 2015, the home has been extensively restored, by the new and current owners. At this year’s 2017 Christmas Tour of Homes, don’t miss one of ­Wilkes County’s oldest and architecturally significant houses – Belmont.

Other houses on tour are The Tupper-Barnett House, Wisteria Hall, Chantilly at Brookhill, Berry Cottage, Firefly Cottage, Nancy’s Cottage, and Rosie’s Cottage. Additional sites included in this year’s tour are The Washington Historical Museum, The Robert Toombs House, Callaway Plantation, the Presbyterian Church, Church of the Mediator, and the Mary Willis Library. A very special addition this year is an art show and sale at the Court Street Livery.

The Washington-Wilkes Christmas Tour of Homes, hosted by the Washington-Wilkes Historical Foundation, will kick off Friday, December 8, with a Christmas party at Merry Oaks on North Alexander Avenue and the Louise Maynard Dessert Soiree at the Washington Woman’s Club immediately after.

On Saturday, December 9, the tour will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Tickets are currently available at the Washington Historical Museum (308 E Robert Toombs Avenue, Washington), 706-678- 5001, or online at HistoryOfWilkes.org.

All proceeds from the tour will go toward the publication of a comprehensive guide to Wilkes County graves and cemeteries.

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