Historic North Georgia Home to Open to Public

Since 1870 an elegant Italianate farmhouse has stood at the edge of the Nacoochee Valley, near the banks of the Chattahoochee River in North Georgia.  Now called the Hardman Farm, the house has seen many changes through the years and will soon have a new life as a state cultural and historic site. Starting October 2, 2014 the Hardman Farm will be open to the public, giving us a look at what life was like in the Nacoochee Valley over 100 years ago.

The Hardman Farm’s prominent location at the intersections of Georgia Highways 17 and 75, directly across from the Nacoochee Indian Mound, make it a very visible symbol of Georgia’s past. Captain James Nichol built the house in 1870 alongside what was then called the Unicoi Turnpike, a busy trade route that linked North Georgia, Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina.  In addition to the house Nichol built many other structures on the property including a smokehouse, carriage house, barn and greenhouse, and the nearby Nacoochee Presbyterian Church (currently called the Crescent Hill Baptist Church) and the gazebo that still sits atop the Nacoochee Indian Mound.
Hardman Farm and Unicoi Turnpike, circa 1920s
The house and surrounding land were sold in 1893 to Calvin Hunnicutt, a wealthy businessman from Atlanta, who used it as a summer home.  It was subsequently purchased in 1903 by Dr. Lamartine Hardman, who later entered politics and was governor of Georgia from 1927 to 1931.  Hardman and his family ran the farm as a working diary farm through the 1900s and it was donated to the State of Georgia in 2000 by the Hardman family.
Preservation work on the house and surrounding buildings has been underway off-and-on for the past 10 years.  When it opens next week visitors can stroll down the pathway that was once the Unicoi Turnpike and enter the house through the wide arched front door for a guided tour.  Inside they will find the house furnished as it was in the 1920s, when Hardman used it as the summer Governor’s Mansion.
The Hardman Farm will be open Thursday through Sunday, 9:00am – 4:00pm, October 2, 2014 through November 9, 2014, and Friday through Sunday November 14, 2014 until December. The grounds of the Hardman farm will also host the Unicoi Wine Festival on Saturday November 1, 2014, a celebration of local wine, art and music.  Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn and Spa is located just three miles from the Hardman Farm and is a comfortable base for exploring this and numerous other historic sites.  Call us at 706-878-5055 and let us help you plan your North Georgia history tour.