The Opulent Antebellum Mansions of Madison, Georgia
After General Sherman burned Atlanta in 1864, he burned almost all of the stately plantations on his march to the sea, but one small town was totally saved. Madison, Georgia, just sixty miles east of Atlanta, was the home of Senator Joshua Hill, who had been a close friend to Sherman’s brother at West Point, and was also a friend of the Union, having been the sole Georgia vote against succession. If that had not been the case, over 100 of the 19th century buildings that stand today would have been destroyed.
Above is the preserved home of Senator Joshua Hill. Circa 1835
In the town, “…too beautiful to burn.”, one of the largest collections of antebellum buildings in the South draws tourists from the world over. Madison is a national treasure of antebellum buildings, and its architecture stands as a testament to the time when cotton was king.
Today, travel magazines call Madison “The prettiest little town in America”. International travel magazines call her, “One of 17 picturesque villages in the world that you MUST visit.” With so many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, Madison has become a destination for lovers of history and architecture alike. Who can blame them?
Above and below is the circa 1851 mansion known as Boxwood.
Above and below is the circa 1851 Greek revival house known simply as Honeymoon.
This impressive Grand Victorian was built in the 1870’s. The homes shown in the gallery below date from 1850 to 1890. Each one has been lovingly restored to its original grandeur. Click on the first one to open a slide show on the group.
Obviously the perfect time to visit Madison is in the Spring when the Dogwood and Azaleas are in bloom. My visit was on Easter Sunday, April 20th, and Spring was about a week past her prime. Make this amazing historical village one of your Bucket List items if you haven’t already. These photographs show but a representative few of the homes that you will see during your carriage or walking tour. All of them will take your breath away. They sure took mine. And, by the way, if you enjoy Madison, make sure you visit Covington, just to the west. It’s collection of stately mansions is just as exciting, in a different way.