Original Construction



This is part of a series of historic structure reports on the historic architecture of Georgia and the Southeast by Tommy H. Jones. It is posted here for educational purposes only and may not be used or reproduced for commercial purposes or without the express permission of the author.





Like most historic structures, the house that Robert Hiram Smith built in the mid-1840s did not remain unchanged but underwent a series of alterations and additions both before and after the Civil War and throughout the building's later history. Much physical information that would normally have been available in developing an evolutionary history of the house was lost in 1969 when the house was moved from its original site and during the course of the restoration and subsequent repairs. Nevertheless, the drawings and photographs of the house that were made in 1969-1971 provide a wealth of detail. Located in the History Center's "in-house" archives and, unfortunately, not available for research by the general public, these are tremendously useful in attempting to determine the building's evolution and document its restoration. A series of measured drawings and sketches were made by the late Harold Mueller, the job foreman for the moving contractor in 1969-1970. Although the original documents have not been located, copies of his drawings were included in the restoration committee's reports. They provide many clear details about the house that would otherwise have been lost. In addition to these drawings are the numerous, but uncatalogued, photographs of the house as it was being dismantled, moved, and restored. These are scattered through several locations in the History Center's in-house files and help answer a wide array of questions that have been posed about the house over the years.

Finally, without interviews with restoration committee members Mrs. Ivan Allen, Mrs. Betty Jo Cook Trawick, Mrs. Paul (Sally) Hawkins, and Mr. and Mrs. William Griffin; consultant William R. Mitchell Jr.; and with Tullie's niece Jean Smith Holman and her nephew Edward M. Smith Jr., a huge hole would be left in our understanding of the house's architectural history. Especially helpful was William Thomas Moore, the carpenter for the project after the house was moved and reassembled. Born in Mississippi about 1917, Moore came to Georgia in 1959 and worked extensively with Atlanta architect Tom Little on several restorations in Washington/Wilkes and other places. Employed later by the Georgia Historical Commission, Moore supervised the restoration of Traveler's Rest, the Van House and other sites for the Commission during the 1960s, during which he accumulated a large store of knowledge about Georgia's early buildings.

Figure 1. Floor plan of Tullie Smith House as it probably existed by 1860. (T. Jones, 1996)


Original Construction, c. 1845

The existing two-over-two plan with two shed-roofed rooms in the rear appears to have been built all at once and not in stages.[1] There are no visible signs in the attic above the rear rooms of siding having been removed from the back side of the main house, which would be expected if the rear rooms had been added after initial construction. In addition, the framing members appear to be identical in size and detail to those used in the main part of the house.[2]

The basic layout of the four original first-floor rooms at Tullie can be identified by the placement of the two hewn beams that tie the main sills (front, back, and center) together. Although not really required for load-bearing purposes, these large beams (approximately 9" x 10"), which are typical of the oversized framing members seen in braced-frame construction, mark the locations of the walls that created the four rooms. In addition, the center beam running between the two front rooms still has holes, with one peg still in place (along with modern, drilled holes for wiring), where the wall between the two front rooms was mortised into the beam on either side of the door between the rooms.

Front Porch: Because all of the present porch material dates to the 1970s restoration of the house or later, the restoration committee reports, Mueller's drawings, and the photographs are the only source of information for details of the front porch that existed in 1969.[3] The committee found “clear evidence,” including differences in the mortised joinery between the porch joists and the front sill of the house, that the original porch did not run the full length of the house but that it was extended at a very early date. The photographs confirm that, indeed, the two center mortises are substantially larger than those on the ends.

The committee also found evidence of a smaller porch roof, with the present shed-roof configuration created when the porch was extended. Exactly what was the observed evidence for the first roof line cannot be determined but it was probably one of the photographs of the porch being dismantled that shows siding cut at an angle beneath the rafters of the later shed-roof.[4] Another photograph, taken in 1970 or 1971, shows what appears to be the longest of these pieces of siding placed against the front of the house to show how it corresponds with one of the center porch joist mortises. Another slide shows boards nailed to the side of the house to represent the outline of the narrow porch roof suggested by the cut of the siding. However, the placement of the four runs of siding in the photograph is confusing. The angle of the three upper boards appears to outline a roof that would have covered the windows in the front rooms and that could have been a hipped roof extending perhaps two-thirds of the facade's length and of a type often seen in nineteenth century architecture. Unfortunately for this theory, only four mortises are visible in photographs of the front sill of the house and none of them would have supported such a structure.

The longer board, below these and also cut at an angle, would more closely match a narrow entry porch corresponding to the two center sill mortises noted above but its evidence is contradicted by the presence of the shorter runs of siding. In any case, there can have been no physical evidence to suggest that the Tullie Smith House had the type of front-gabled porch suggested by Jimmy Means' drawing. It can only be said that one and possibly two earlier porches, of unknown configuration and detail, preceded the shed-roof porch.

As to when the change to a shed-roofed porch occurred, there is no real answer, except to note that it was there when the house was first photographed around 1880.[5] However, the use of hewn sills and joists and pole rafters in its construction points to a conclusion that the shed-roofed front porch dismantled in 1969 was created at an early date. In addition, one of the restoration photographs clearly shows a circular-sawn board in the framing of the porch ceiling.[6] None of the wood that can be clearly identified as part of the original construction of the house was circular-sawn whereas some of the material related to later alterations was identified during restoration as being circular-sawn. Since circular-sawn lumber, though perhaps not common, was certainly available in the 1850s, it is entirely possible that the porch was altered before the Civil War.

When the house was moved and restored, there had not been a room at the end of the porch within the span of anyone's memory and there was, in 1970, apparently no physical evidence that there had been a room on the front porch. Only the single nineteenth century photograph of the house provided proof that it had existed. Like the porch itself, the date of the room's construction cannot be documented. The James Oliver Powell House mentioned above had such a room in 1864 and Goodwin's had one at the turn of the century. The Burdette House had one and its materials and detailing closely match those in the main house, suggesting that it was added before the Civil War.

Clearly, rooms on the front porch were not always later nineteenth-century additions, as some have speculated. These added rooms on front porches appeared frequently in antebellum architecture, according to Linley, and there is no reason to believe that Robert Hiram Smith did not make this change to his house himself.[7] Likewise, there is no reason to dispute the assumption that the porch room was an antebellum addition to the house, contemporaneous perhaps with other changes to the front porch, although it is of course still possible that none of these changes occurred until after the Civil War.

An enclosed interior staircase was typical of these houses, although its placement varied from house to house.[8] The Goodwin House stair, for instance, although now open, was originally enclosed and, like the Tullie Smith stair, rises from behind the front door. At the Burdette House and at the Wynne-Russell House, however, the staircase originally rose in the back corner of the "hall" or principal room in the house.

Interior Stairs: Unlike most hall-and-parlor plans, including Goodwin's and the Wynne-Russell houses, the stairs at Tullie Smith do not rise from the largest room, which was usually the "hall," but rather from the smaller of the two rooms, which was usually the "parlor." The hall was generally used as a common living and dining area while the smaller parlor, which should not be confused with the formal "parlor" of the Victorian era, was used as a bedroom by the adults, with children generally bedded down in a loft or rooms in the attic or second floor.

In any of these houses, the nature of the construction of these stairs and of the curtain wall between the two rooms makes it extraordinarily difficult to ascertain the direction in which the steps turned into the rooms below once they have been removed or altered, as they had been at the Tullie Smith House in the late nineteenth century. At Tullie Smith, if the stairs had originally turned into the larger room (Room 102) rather than the smaller room (Room 101) as they do now, one would also expect a door from the porch into Room 102 but, as with the porch itself, there is not clear evidence to prove definitively either configuration since doors changed to windows are very difficult, if not impossible, to identify without dismantling the entire frame.

To add to the confusion is Mr. Moore's certainty that there had originally been a single door opening onto the porch from 102 where the porch room was later constructed. If this were so, it would produce a facade that would not fit with either of the early porch configurations discussed above. However, if Mr. Moore's memory of a door opening is correct but the location confused, then there is the possibility of a second front door, located where there is now the front window in 102. Two front doors were a fairly common occurrence except in single-pen log construction as at Goodwin's. The Burdette House had two front doors and no front windows. The Wynne-Russell House probably had two front doors that were changed to windows when the central hall was created in the 1860s.

Cellar: The original cellar at the Tullie Smith house was unusually large, encompassing the entire area beneath the main two rooms of the house. At some point, perhaps originally, the Smith's partitioned their cellar into two unequal parts using vertical tongue-and-groove boards similar to the floor boards in the main part of the house.[9] The larger area was plastered and whitewashed, as can be clearly seen in the photographs made on the original site.[10]

The original cellar was entered from the rear, an entrance that appears in photographs of the cellar, after the house was moved, and for which there is still some physical evidence.[11] Located beneath the present bathroom, the rock-lined stairwell allowed for a steep set of stairs to the cellar from Room 104. Although the stairwell for these stairs was partially recreated in the new foundation when the house was moved, it was not identified as an early feature of the house.

In addition, all of the joists in the cellar were hand-planed and not left rough-sawn like the rest of the framing lumber in the house. The effort to plane these joists would probably not have been undertaken had not this space been meant for something more than casual storage of food and other supplies. The cellar also had (and has) a fire place at one end as well as two large openings in the front foundation that provided ventilation and some light to the space. Reached by a staircase from Room 104, this basement room must have been intended as a kitchen or as living quarters. Supporting this, perhaps, was Tullie's niece's memory that “when there was illness in the family long ago, one of the slaves slept there to be near.”[12]

Kitchen: While there may have been a kitchen in the basement, the detached kitchen was probably in place at a very early date, since its construction and materials differ little from those of the main house (see below). Probably, the Smiths found the liabilities of a basement kitchen or living quarters (fire hazard, servants in the house, etc.) greater than the benefits (convenience and security against theft of foodstuffs) and discontinued use of the basement kitchen at an early date. Unfortunately, the lack of any photographs of the interior of the outside kitchen prior to its being moved and the amount of old material that was replaced during its restoration makes comparison and dating relative to the main house difficult at best.

Breezeway: Using the breezeway in cold weather was like "crossing the Potomac," the Smith family joked, but it provided welcome shelter from the rain. A breezeway may not have been an original feature of the house but, like the front porch, it was probably an early addition. One of the restoration photographs of the upstairs newel post was taken against the back of the house and shows what appears to be the point where the breezeway was attached to the house. Unfortunately, the entire breezeway was lost in the move and the lower runs of siding, which were carefully cut around the breezeway's wooden floor, were replaced during restoration. As a result, it is no longer possible to tell how much, if any, of the breezeway might have been contemporaneous with the house and kitchen.

These connectors between main house and outdoor kitchen, which were quite common, were not just walkways but functioned as a back porch and work area. Tullie's breezeway always included a swing and was wide enough that a part of it next to the rear of the house could be enclosed for the house's first bathroom in 1946. While the structure that was removed and not reconstructed in 1970 may not have been original to the house, there is a good possibility that some sort of covered walkway/porch existed at an early date. Like front porches, rare was the mid-nineteenth century house that did not have some sort of covered, outdoor work area, often a side or rear porch, and it is likely that Robert Hiram Smith's house did as well.


Figure 2. Floor plan of Tullie Smith House as it existed before World War II. The major changes depcited here may all have occurred as early as the 1880s. (T. Jones, 1996)


Late Nineteenth-Century Renovation

While initial research on the house in 1970 concluded that the first major renovation of the house occurred in the early twentieth century, it seems likely that it actually occurred in the nineteenth century, a conclusion supported by the fact that Tullie never mentioned its having happened during her lifetime. The significant increase in the sale price for the property when it was sold to the Simmons family in 1877 is a possible indication that the house was improved at that time but, if so, then the first photograph of the house is earlier than the generally accepted 1886 date. That may be the case since no one today can surely identify the people in the photograph. It is entirely possible that the photograph dates from 1881, when William and Mary Ella Smith first bought the house, and that the baby is not Tullie but rather the Smith's first child, Vinme, who died when just a few months old. Clearly, however, the photograph documents the house prior to the addition of a central hall to its original two-room plan, a change that marked the next major step in the historic evolution of the house.

Center Hall: As noted above, basic hall-and-parlor plans came to be built with center halls at an early date and many original two-room plans, like that of the Wynne-Russell House, were later altered to include a center hall. Dog-trot plans were also easily altered to fit this plan by enclosing each end of the dog-trot to create a hall. Although some vernacular houses continued to be built without a center hall in the last half of the nineteenth century, by mid-century, most builders were opting for a center-hall plan. By the 1880s, the house was thirty or forty years old and very much out of date and possibly quite run down. The Smiths may have lived in the house for a time with no alterations, but a family with their means would probably have been unwilling to live there long without a thorough renovation.

To create the center hall, the stairs had to first be relocated or rebuilt, especially if they had been at the front of the house as they are now. Unlike at the Wynne-Russell House in Lilburn where the original enclosed stairs, which were quite steep, were replaced with a new open staircase with bannister descending toward the front door in the conventional fashion, the Tullie Smith stairs were reconstructed as an enclosed stair by simply turning them to descend to the rear into room 104 rather than into the hall itself. In doing so, most of the original material, including stringers and bannisters, was apparently reused. Beneath the relocated stairs, as there probably had been under the original stairs, was the house's only closet, with a door opening into the new hall.

Since the old front door would not open into the new center hall, the door was moved to more or less the center of the facade while the door from 101 to 104 was also moved closer to the center of the house. The door was probably replaced with a more up-to-date door, a common change to many antebellum farm houses. Relocation of the stairs and doors then allowed for creation of a central hall by construction of a new curtain wall in 102 and relocation of the old one in 101. The "ghosts" from both of these walls are still clearly visible on the present ceilings of 101 and 102. The position of the original partition wall and its position relative to the relocated doors is also clearly identifiable in the restoration photographs since, when the central hall was created, the seam where the original curtain wall had stood was simply covered by a clearly-visible piece of trim.

Exterior Cellar Entrance: As noted above, the change in the run of the stairs necessitated closure of the interior stairs to the cellar and it was probably at this time that the exterior side entrance was created. This may also have been the period in which a large room was added to the south side of the outside kitchen, probably as a dining room. With a door to the outside and at least one door between it and the kitchen, this was typical of additions to outside kitchens in the late nineteenth century and may have occurred in conjunction with the addition of a cook stove in the kitchen itself, another typical addition in the years after the Civil War.

Front Porch: The final change that probably occurred in conjunction with the creation of a center hall was the removal of the front porch room in order to create a full-length front porch. Perhaps the change only involved removing the outside walls of the front-porch room and installing another corner post for a shed roof that was already in place. It could have involved, however, total restructuring of the roof from hipped to shed-roof, which, if that were the case, is an indication of the earlier, undocumented changes to the house that were discussed above. The result of these changes was a house that, in most respects, would have been considered up-to-date and comfortable. It was still a small house, however, which may have been one reason that the Smiths, with their five children, built the new house on Highland Avenue, probably in the early 1890s, and began to treat the old house as a week-end retreat or country home.[13]


Figure 3. Floor plan of Tullie Smith House as it existed at the time it was relocated. (T. Jones, 1996)


Twentieth Century Renovations

Because the house was not their primary residence in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it seems unlikely that the Smiths made many alterations to it during that period, although the 1947 newspaper interview mentions that the crepe myrtles were then fifty years old, indicating that the Smiths may have been at least paying attention to the landscape around the turn of the century. Cooking continued to be done in the outside kitchen, although almost certainly using a wood stove or, if Tullie's niece is correct, a kerosene stove rather than the old fireplace and open hearth. So few were the changes that the outdoor privies continued to serve their original purpose until after World War II.

Front Door and Windows: Although the Smiths may have begun using the house again as their primary residence as early as 1915, it may not have been until after William Berry Smith's death in 1924 that major changes were made. One of these changes was a new front door, which is visible in some of the restoration photographs and was of a type that was quite popular in the 1920s. The two windows in the front of the house were also lengthened at some point in time and it is reasonable to assume that this change also occurred in the 1920s, although they could have been changed when the house was first remodeled about 1880. None of the other windows in the house appear to have been altered.

Flooring: The original wide-board flooring was overlaid with modern, 3"-wide, tongue-and-groove flooring by the time of Tullie's death, but none ot that material has survived. It is not known when the new flooring might have been installed, but it seems most likely that it was installed along with the replacement of the front door and changes to the windows in the 1920s. By the 1930s, and probably long before, a new kitchen had been created in the nineteenth-century addition to the original kitchen, which the Smiths now used as a dining room. A telephone was added before Mary Ella Smith's death and electricity shortly after her death, using poles installed by the Smiths themselves and wires strung from Briarcliff Road.[14]

Hall Removal: It was probably after Mary Ella Smith's death in 1935 that Tullie had the curtain wall that had been installed in room 101 to create the central hall removed. This would have been fairly easy to accomplish and, besides creating a larger living room, would have also created a floor plan more in tune with the twentieth century when central halls were no longer in fashion. Indoor plumbing was not added until 1946 when a single bathroom was installed on the breezeway just outside the back door of the house.

Kitchen Addition: Sometime in the 1950s, Tullie added another room to the rear of the kitchen addition and created an apartment out of the old kitchen/dining room building. Probably at the same time, she had a kitchen constructed in 104 and a bathroom in 103 for her own use. These were, perhaps, the last alterations that were made to the house that her great-grandfather had built in the 1840s.


Figure 4. Plan of Tullie Smith House as it was restored in 1971. (T. Jones, 1996)


Move and Restoration

Although Tullie had been concerned about the fate of her house, she did not complete arrangements for its preservation prior to her death. Two years later, it still sat vacant at the edge of Executive Park, Atlanta's first suburban office park. The family had apparently contacted the DeKalb Historical Society about moving it to another site but the Society was unable to fund such a project.[15] In early 1969, Tullie's executor, Roscoe Pickett Jr., contacted Mills Lane Jr., who continued to be interested in Tullie's house. In a newspaper interview in the fall of 1969, Lane summarized his conversation with Pickett and the deal that was finally struck by the end of March 1969:

If members of the family and the executor of the estate want to see the house moved and preserved, if you'll give the house to the [Atlanta] historical society, I'll give the money for moving it. The family gave the house and the [C&S] bank made a gift to the historical society of $25,000 to pay for moving the house and a little bit more. [16]

Under the leadership of Mrs. Ivan Allen Jr., the Atlanta Historical Society mobilized its resources and, by September 1969, was working with landscape architects Ed Daugherty and Dan Franklin to create a site for the house on the grounds of the 26-acre Swan House property, which the Society had acquired only a few years before. "Eventually we hope to work out a little woodland path," Mrs. Allen told reporter Andrew Sparks in October 1969. "Visitors will walk down it from the main house [the Swan House] and come upon this precious little farmhouse in the woods . . . . Our hope is to restore it to as near its original condition as possible, in the 1830s or 1840 period."[17]

By that time, the society had also contracted with Marvin Black to move the house, although the actual moving was done by his subcontractor Sullivan Movers. With a good knowledge of old buildings, Black's foreman Harold Mueller made detailed drawings of the house before it was dismantled. Depicted in those drawings are details of the framing of the house and kitchen and of the three chimneys, which differ somewhat from what exists today. Placement of windows and doors and other details were also included but, except for a plan of its footprint, none of the breezeway.

To move the house, it was necessary to remove the entire second floor as well as the front porch. The corner posts of the house, which ran the full height of the structure, had to be cut just above the second floor level but the rest of the second-story walls, the ceilings and the roofs were simply taken apart and numbered for reassembly at the new site. The additions to the outside kitchen, the breezeway, and apparently the post-World War Il additions to the interior of the house itself were all removed and discarded without documentation. Only the floor framing and roof rafters were salvaged from the front porch. According to Mr. Moore, the kitchen along with its chimney was moved without dismantling.

By November, 1969 the house and kitchen had been transported to the new site and, by the end of February the following year, reconstruction was well underway. Both buildings were set on recreated foundations and cellars that re-used original material and that presumably matched the original cellars, although no documentation has been found for the existence of a kitchen cellar at the original site. The upper floor and roof of the house were reassembled and both buildings got new wood-shingle roofs over what appears to be the original rafters and roof decking. Windows and doors were reinstalled as they had been on the original site but the porch, cellar entrance, and breezeway were not reconstructed at that time, pending finalization of the society's plans for the new site.

The expense of the move and reconstruction was greater than expected, with the move alone costing $31,452.78, according to the society's financial report on the restoration. Demonstrating his continued support of the project and, no doubt, familiar with the cost overruns that often plague restoration projects, Mills Lane made an additional gift of $25,000 to the society in January 1970, which allowed Black to complete his work on the project by the end of March of that year.

With expenses covered, at least for the time being, the society's president Beverly Dubose appointed a committee in January 1970 to oversee the actual restoration of the house. Chaired by Bettijo Hogan Cook (now Trawick), the original Tullie Smith Restoration Committee included Mrs. Ivan Allen Jr., Mr. Edward Daugherty, Mr. Dan Franklin, Mrs. Mary Gregory Jewett, Miss Isabelle Johnston, Mrs. Mills B. Lane, Mr. James Means, Mrs. Thomas E. Martin Jr., Mr. William R. Mitchell Jr., and Mrs. John C. Symmes. On January 21, 1970, they held their first meeting.[18]

At that first meeting, the committee adopted Mr. Daugherty's motion that "the primary object of the Committee be to redevelop the Tullie Smith House as a teaching tool to show Atlanta and its environs as they were in the decades of 1830 and 1840." The committee discussion also "brought forth" these additional points:

1. The Committee must be convinced that the building, and the work being done to it, is [sic] accurate and correct before proceeding.

2. The Tullie Smith House is to be restored as a general example of a house of the period. a. The house and archaeological evidence must speak for itself. b. If the house gives evidence for correct restoration itself, we will follow that. If not, we will follow a typical manner of that period. c. The "cut-off' date of the restoration be placed at ten years after date of construction of the house.

3. A plan for research could be very important to the project.

4. A story for publication should be prepared as soon as possible about the house.

5. Plans should be made to follow up offers of appropriate material for Tullie Smith House.[19]

That these items were recorded as points of discussion and not as formal motions of the committee is an indication of the conflict that occurred as the committee sorted out its agenda. The meeting had begun with Atlanta architect James Means introducing a drawing of the house that proposed a gable-ended portico of the "Virginia cottage type."[20] This, no doubt, precipitated the additional statement in one of the committee reports "that literary license could not be used in restoration of the house, that the house could not be romanticized to fit someone's personal view of the past," but rather it must be an historically accurate representation of early farm life in Atlanta, a little-researched field of local history.[21] With the exception of William R. Mitchell Jr., a young architectural historian working for the Georgia Historical Commission, the committee members had little experience with historic preservation and, in spite of their commitment to learn, did not really understand the extent of research and investigation that the project would require if they wanted to fulfill their goals. Nevertheless, Mitchell and his volunteers conducted a substantial amount of original historical research in the family's history during 1970.

A $9,000 grant was secured from the Atlanta Junior League in the June of 1970, allowing the committee to hire Mitchell to head the research project, which itself included the use of four Junior League volunteers. Over $2,000 of the grant was used for rebuilding one of the chimneys, which had been rebuilt incorrectly, for a weathervane, and for other restoration materials. Another $3,000 was reserved for development of educational programs, which meant that less than half of the grant from the Junior League was actually used for research that could guide the restoration. Two reports and the committee's annual report from 1971 summarized their findings but no comprehensive history of the building's evolution was ever compiled.

Almost entirely missing from the committee's work was the use of professionals for any systematic investigation of the un-restored building or for archaeology at the original site. The importance of both of these activities was discussed within the committee but never funded, although William Seale, Frank Welsh, and other nationally prominent professionals were called on to make brief and very cursory visits to the site while they were in town on other business. William Kelso and archaeology students from Oglethorpe University were also reported to have made an archaeological investigation of the original site after the house was moved, but any information and data from that investigation has apparently been lost.

The committee did use its combined expertise in historic preservation, which was considerable, and met at the house on two occasions in February 1970 to investigate the building but the results of those meetings were inconclusive. Mr. Mitchell's two reports on these meetings, while sometimes contradictory, offer insight into the committee's difficulties in determining the building's evolution and, therefore, what would be required to restore it to its antebellum appearance.

Enough information was gathered that Mitchell was able to complete the Tullie Smith House's nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, a designation that was made official in October 1970. Although this made the site eligible for matching grants, according to Ms. Cook's later study, "the Atlanta Historical Society declined the funds because of its desire to exercise complete control over the restoration."

By the time that the committee met again on 27 January 1971, Mitchell had completed his recommendations for restoration, which the committee promptly accepted. Contractor W. Adrian Leavell of Marietta, Georgia, was hired for the work and specifications completed that winter, with work commencing by the end of March. A third gift of $25,000 was made by Mills Lane that month also, along with over $6,000 from Roscoe Pickett, presumably from Tullie's estate.

By the end of 1971, the restoration was complete and the house and its kitchen stood more or less as they do today. Total cost of the restoration of the house, which was in addition to the cost of its move and reconstruction, was put at $42,147.65. With landscaping, construction of the well house and other expenses, the total project cost came to just over $88,000, the equivalent of nearly $600,000 today and which was exclusive of a large amount of donated goods and services.



1. Moore did not think the rear rooms were additions but, when interviewed in 1996, he could not recall his reasoning for that belief.

2. Although the entire second floor was dismantled and rebuilt when the house was removed, the framing appears to have been reinstalled as it originally existed.

3. Tullie Smith “In-House” Files Box 1, folders 2, 3, 15; Box 2, folders 1-5.

4. Tullie Smith “In-House” Files, Box 2, folder 4.

5. The date for this photograph is uncertain. Although Tullie’s niece Mrs. Johnson identified the baby in the photograph as Tullie, which would date the photograph to 1886, clothing suggests that it could be as early as the 1870s. Given other historical details of the family, it seems quite likely that the photograph was made around the time that William B. Smith acquired the property in 1881 and that the bay is his first-born daughter Vinnie Ella Smith, who died that year.

6. Tullie Smith “In-House” files, Box 2, folder 2.

7. Linley, p. 22.

8. A staircase from the back porch to the second floor was used sometimes but these have not been documented in the Atlanta area. Several examples of enclosed interior staircases have been documented, including at the Goodwin House and at the Wynne-Russell House in Lilburn, although the staircase at the Burdette House near Lone Oak in Meriwether County is the only extant, original example identified during this project.

9 See Mueller drawings.

10 The cellar was also described in Sparks, p. 22.

11 Tullie Smith “In-House” files, Box 2, Folder 2.

12 Sparks, p. 12.

13. The Smiths' House on N. Highland Avenue burned in the 1920s. The present North High Ridge Apartment complex occupies the site today.

14. Interview with Tullie’s niece Jane Smith Holman, 1996.

15. “Atlanta History [sic] to Restore late Miss Tullie Smith’s Homestead,” DeKalb New Era, October 23, 1969.

16. Sparks, p. 22. Roscoe Pickett, Jr., was a Republican politician who lead creation of the modern Republican party in Georgia. His father, Roscoe Sr., had also been active in the Republican party in the 1920s.

17. Sparks, p. 11.

18. The master's thesis written in 1976 by Jody Cook, the daughter of the committee chairman, provides an excellent administrative history of the committee's activities over the next year as they developed a plan for restoration of the Tullie Smith House and should be consulted for those interested in the details of the committee's deliberations. See Jody Cook, "Tullie Smith House Restoration: A Realistic Interpretation of the Plantation Plain Style," unpublished masters thesis, University of Georgia, 1976, p. 48‑61, in Atlanta History Center Library.

19. Restoration Committee meeting minutes, January 21, 1970.

20. The drawing is filed with the McElreath Hall drawings in the Atlanta History Center archives.

21. Cook, p. 51-52