Sprinkled among bustling subdivisions and busy intersections, glimpses of Gwinnett’s past stand in the metropolitan landscape. Some are private homes that sit along the county’s major thoroughfares, and others are preserved landmarks.
After nearly 200 years, these 18 destinations, compiled from the Gwinnett Historical Society’s driving tour and the Gwinnett and Environmental Heritage Center’s Heritage Sites, are the oldest homes and buildings present in today’s cities. Here’s a look at the sites throughout the county and their historical significance.
---By Graphics Editor Nicole Puckett and Staff Intern Stefanie Still
185 Crogan Street SW in Lawrenceville
The Gwinnett Historic Courthouse has been rebuilt twice since the building’s original construction in 1824, once after the courthouse burned down in 1871 and again in 1885 due to poor construction. Today, concerts and gatherings are held on the lawn.
Lawrenceville Female Seminary
455 South Perry Street in Lawrenceville
The Lawrenceville Female Seminary building was completed in 1838, where Martha Wells served as first principal. After the original structure burned down, the present building was built in 1855 and continued being used until 1886. The Seminary building is now host to the Gwinnett History Museum.
Isaac Adair House
Behind Female Seminary in Lawrenceville
The house of Isaac Adair, built in 1827, is one of the oldest houses in Gwinnett County. The house was moved from its original location in 1984 to a more rural area, and then moved, by the county, again to its current location in 2006 due to a construction project. The Isaac Adair House stands now with only a few alterations to the original structure.
722 Braselton Highway in Lawrenceville
The Lawrenceville Methodist Campground was created in 1832 as an area for spiritual renewal and community outreach. The Campground is also host to youth activities, scouting functions and spiritual retreats.
Fort Daniel was built in 1813 as a protective measure during the War of 1812. This is the oldest site of Gwinnett County. The famous Peachtree Road connected Fort Daniel, presumably named for General Allen Daniel, to Fort Peachtree. There are efforts being made to save the site, which is on privately owned land.
2505 Braselton Highway in Dacula
Elisha Winn House
908 Dacula Road in Dacula
The Elisha Winn House served as host to Gwinnett County’s first elections as well as sessions of the Inferior Court, where Winn himself served as a justice. The Superior Court held meetings in Winn’s barn. The house and grounds are open to the public for the Elisha Winn Fair on the first weekend of October.
1564 Alcovy Road SE in Lawrenceville
The Freeman’s Mill is the last operating gristmill in Gwinnett County. The Mill provided staples such as wheat flour and feed meal to the county from the 1860s to 1886, as well as a Baptismal for a nearby church. The mill itself is being restored and is the center of Freeman’s Mill Park.
Yellow River Post Office
3459 Five Forks Trickum Road in Lilburn
The Hudson House belonged to Thomas P. Hudson, a farmer who served in the Georgia General Assembly from 1853-54, 1855-56 and 1861-62. Hudson, who originally opposed secession, was one of the three Gwinnett delegates who participated in the secession convention in Milledgeville where the decision was made for Georgia to withdraw from the union. Across from the Hudson House is the Yellow River Post Office, where Hudson was postmaster from 1846 until his death. The Post Office site was bought by the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center and has been converted to a park.
Charles Livsey House
Privately owned: 4040 Mink Livsey Road SW in Snellville
Charles Livsey, a native of Georgia, lived in his house along with his wife and seven children. When Livsey died in 1891, he left the house to his wife, Rebecca, along with 60 acres of land. The remaining property was divided amongst the children. When Rebecca died, the land was passed to the oldest son, Green H. Livsey.
Thomas Maguire House
Privately owned: 4533 Anderson-Livsey Lane SW in Snellville
The Promised Land, nicknamed by Thomas Maguire due to the fertile soil, is actually the 1,000 acres that made up Maguire’s 1860 plantation. Maguire represented Gwinnett County in the legislature and was also appointed to the first school board after Georgia gained a public school system.
David Anderson House
Privately owned: 3690 S. Rockbridge Road SW in Stone Mountain
David, son of Elijah and Celia Anderson, inherited his land in Rockbridge District after his parents passed away. Anderson married Edney Minor and garnered a plantation of 670 acres, and he built a complex called Pleasant Valley. His sister married Thomas Maguire, owner of the Promised Land.
4685 Wynne Russell Drive in Lilburn
Thomas Wynne built the Wynne-Russell House when he moved to Gwinnett County with his wife in 1826. The home is thought to be one of the oldest pioneer homes in Gwinnett County. The Lilburn Woman’s Club has restored the House.
Robert Craig Plantation
Privately owned: 1504 Five Forks Trickum Road in Lawrenceville
According to legend, the plantation belonging to Robert Craig got its name “Little Egypt” from Craig frugally choosing to store his grain during the War Between the States just as Joseph from the Bible did. Craig is thought to be one of the most successful planters that ever lived in Gwinnett County.
869 Duluth Highway in Lawrenceville
Fairview Church is the oldest standing church in Gwinnett County. The cemetery near the church holds several of Gwinnett’s early settlers.
2956 Buford Highway in Duluth
Henry and Alice Strickland built the Strickland House in 1898. Alice was elected mayor of Duluth at age 62 a year after women were given the right to vote. She opened her house to the public, and it became the first medical facility in the area. She also began a humane society and donated land for the first community forest in Georgia. The home is now host to the Duluth Historical Society’s museum.
Privately owned: 1471 Old Peachtree Road in Suwanee
Joseph Goodwin gained this house and the surrounding property from his father-in-law, William T. Graham, in the 1830s.
After Joseph’s father died, his mother came to live with him and his wife. Since that time, seven generations of descendents of Goodwin have inhabited the home. The pine interior remains unpainted.
John Bowman House
Privately owned: 2699 West Rock Quarry Road NE in Buford
Originally from North Carolina, John Bowman worked as a courier for Andrew Jackson’s staff during the Seminole War period. Cherokee Chief Major Ridge, a friend of Bowman’s father, bequeathed 2,700 acres of tribal land to Bowman rather than lose the land in the war. Bowman built a large plantation and a log house in both Gwinnett and Hall counties. The Bowman house was moved to Gwinnett by a great grandson of Bowman.
2020 Clean Water Drive in Buford
This home, originally off Braselton Highway, was built in the 1850s and is historic for its period architecture and it’s more unique stenciled paintings inside and outside the home. The art was done by a German artist in exchange for room and board at the time. The house has been moved to the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center campus and will be restored.
1) Begin at Gwinnett Historic Courthouse - 185 W Crogan St, in Lawrenceville.
2) Lawrenceville Female Seminary
Go East onto W Crogan St SW for 1/10 mile and make left onto N Clayton St. Continue for 1/10 mile and make left onto W Pike St. After 1/10 mile make left onto S. Perry St. Go 3/10 mile and Lawrenceville Female Seminary is on left.
3) Isaac-Adair house is behind the Lawrenceville Female Seminary facing Pike Street.
4) Lawrenceville Methodist Campground
Go South on S Perry St for 1/10 mile and turn left onto Nash St. SW. After 1/10 mile turn left onto S Clayton St. SW for 4/10 mile. Turn right onto E Crogan St SE and after 2/10 mile turn left onto Buford Drive NE. Drive 2.3 miles and make slight right onto Braselton Highway. After ½ mile Lawrenceville Methodist Campground is on left.
5) Fort Daniel
Continue northeast on Braselton Highway toward Hi-Hope Road, Fort marker is on the right, just past Dennis Place NE.
6) Elisha Winn House
Continue east on Braselton Highway for 3/10 mile and turn right onto Auburn Rd. Go 1.8 Miles then turn right onto Dacula Rd. Elisha Winn House is 7/10 mile on left.
7) Freeman’s Mill
Go south on Dacula Road 4.2 miles and turn right onto Alcovy Road, Freeman’s Mill is 1.9 miles on right.
8) Hudson House/ Yellow River Post Office
Go east on Alcovy Road., Take second right onto W. Campbell Road. In 4/10 mile turn right onto ramp and merge onto Sugarloaf Parkway. Continue 7.2 miles and turn left onto Five Forks Trickum Road. After 4.6 miles Hudson House is on left. Yellow River Post Office park is on the right.
9) Charles Livsey House
Go west onto Five Forks Trickum road for 1.5 Miles, and turn left onto Killian Hill. Continue on Killian Hill for 5.4 miles and turn right onto Centerville Hwy. After 7/10 mile turn left onto Centerville Rosebud Rd. In 1.1 miles turn right onto Mink Livsey Rd. 7/10 mile down House is on left.
10) Thomas Maguire House “Promised Land”
For 1 Mile go southeast on Mink Livsey Road and turn right onto Lee Road SW. After 2.2 miles turn left onto Anderson-Livsey Lane SW. Promised Land house is on left after 1/10 mile.
11) David Anderson House
Go 1/10 mile norhteast on Anderson-Livsey Lane SW and turn left onto Lee Road SW for 2/10 mile. Turn Left onto Centerville Highway SW and continue for 1.4 miles. Turn Right onto S. Rockbridge Road SW and in 6/10 mile David-Anderson house is on right.
12) Wynne-Russell House
Go 6/10 mile and turn left onto Rockbridge Road for 4.2 miles. Turn left onto Bethany Church road and continue for 2.7 miles. Bethany Church becomes Killian Hill and continues on for 6.2 Miles. Turn right onto Lawrenceville Hwy and after 2/10 mile turn left onto Wynne Russell Drive. Wynne-Russell House is less than 1/10 mile on left.
13) Robert Craig Plantation “Little Egypt”
Continue on Wynne Russell Drive for 1/10 mile and turn left onto Lawrenceville Highway. Go 6.9 miles and turn right onto Sugarloaf Parkway. After 1.7 miles turn right onto Five Forks Trickum Road. Little Egypt is 3/10 Mile on left.
14) Fairview Presbyterian Church
Go 3/10 mile on Five Forks Trickum Road and turn left onto Sugarloaf Parkway SW. Continue for 1.3 miles and turn right onto Lawrenceville Suwanee Road. After 3 Miles turn right onto Lawrenceville Markey Place, and 1/10 mile turn right onto Lawrenceville Market Drive. Go 1/10 mile and turn right onto Duluth Highway NW, Church is 1/10 mile on right.
15) Strickland House
Go west on Duluth Hwy towards Lawrenceville Suwanee Road for 7.9 miles and turn right onto Buford Highway. Continue for 3/10 mile and Strickland House is on right.
16) Goodwin House
Go northeast on Buford Highway for 5/10 mile and make right onto Old Peachtree Road. Continue for 3 Miles and Goodwin House is on left.
17) Bowman House
Go southeast on Old Peachtree Road for 1.2 miles and merge onto I-85N for 11 miles. Take Hamilton Mill Parkway exit and turn left onto Hamilton Mill Road NE. Continue for 4/10 mile and turn right onto Sardis Church Road. After 7/10 mile turn right onto W Rock Quarry Road NE. John Bowman House is on left.
18) Chesser - Williams House
Go southeast on W Rock Quarry Rd NE toward Sardis Church Rd NE for 0.6 mi. Take the 1st right onto Sardis Church Rd and travel 0.7 mi to Hamilton Mill Road. Turn left and merge onto I-85 S for 4.1 miles to exit 115 - Ga- 20W toward Buford. Turn right onto GA-20 for 1.8 mi and turn left onto Plunkett Rd. Travel 1.6 mi and turn left onto Clean Water Dr and the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center.