Saturday, March 23, 2013

Another Crumbling Mansion in Georgia

I just love a crumbling mansion. When I see one, my fanciful imagination kicks in and I begin to image what life was like living there. Who lived there? What did they do? What kind of parties did they give?And why the house is no longer loved?

This afternoon I was randomly reading blogs and clicking links. I stumbled on Puttin' on the Grits. The blog owner doesn't give her name but she has a wonderful blog. She raises chickens, gardens, cans, and take great pictures.  Anyway, back to the crumbling mansion. As she was driving through South Georgia, she discovered this wonderful house in Elmodel, GA. (I have never heard of Elmodel, so I looked it up. It is southwest of Albany. In the middle of nowhere.)

http://www.puttinonthegrits.com
From her blog: "On our way back to Florida, we took the scenic route and passed this old house in the tiny town of Elmodel, Georgia. From what I've been able to find, it was built in 1908 and the town built up around it.  The man who built it, Mr. Mcrainey, died in 1915 and as the house was passed from generation to generation, it deteriorated.  The current owner lives in a trailer next door and has been known to shoot at anyone who sets foot on the property.  Apparently I got lucky."

What impressed me, was that she not only took a picture, but once home, did some research.  She found this picture on Georgia Virtual Vault in the Vanishing GA section.


Sigh ~~~ Built in 1908, it was lovely in its day. I was hooked.

I did some more searching and found this picture from Vanishing South Georgia by Brian Brown. 

Brian Brown VanishingSouthGeorgia.com

A little more digging and I found some inside pictures from this site: http://www.mcrainey.com/photos/main.php?g2_itemId=1152

I selected a few to post here. 

Lovely pocket doors from hall to front room. Door hardware is missing.

All the mantels were gone from the fireplaces. But the tile surrounds are still there.

Looks like some original wallpaper above the picture moulding.

Staircase must have been quite majestic.
Georgia is filled with these wonderful old homes. This one, I am afraid is too far gone and that makes me very sad.


31 comments:

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    1. Thank you for reading and your reply.

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  2. My aunt and I were driving through and passed by. I turned around 1/4 mile down the road and came back. As soon as we were out of the car, the owner in the trailer came out yellin' all sorts of crazy talk to get out. We left for fear he may have a gun and start shooting.

    It was gorgeous in its day.

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    1. Oh my, I am glad you didn't get shot. It was a beauty in the day, wasn't it?

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    2. That is what the NO TRESPASSING signs are for, and the man with the gun is not the owner. He just lives with the owner who happens to be my grandmother. She does not want anyone out their for safety reasons... people should really learn to respect that instead of fowl mouthing her

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    3. They don't want to be sued. Why is that worthy of respect? She should let people inside to document what she has let fall into ruins, before it's completely gone. People are so ignorant.

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    4. You are ignorant. Do you know how it is to have random strangers robbing you blind when she used to let people look? Exactly. So keep your ignorant mouth shut until then. She's 87 years old.

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    5. Alexis, you are absolutely right. How dare someone who knows nothing of the history of the place or the poor woman bad mouth her. The person sounds just as ignorant as she thinks the owner is. The house has been documented inside and out. Someone needs to mind their own business.

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    6. PS, I have photographed this home. I parked on the street and photographed it from the street and while someone came out of the trailer, they just watched, I assume to be sure I didn't go onto the property or enter the building which is obviously unsafe.

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  3. I actually saw this house also for the first time on a trip to Alabama and actually on the way back did stop and get out to look at the house. Luckily was never accosted by the owners but all I did was get out and look at it from near the roadway. Thanks for your posting here because I also think that it is so sad what has happened to this old beauty! Thanks again!

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    1. Unknown,
      Thanks for updating me on your recent visit. Glad to know you weren't yelled at. It is sad to see such a by-gone beauty crumble away, left to vandals and varmints.

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  4. The photos here are great, and thanks for providing the links! You may also be interested in this once grand house in Jefferson County, Mississippi. Hidden in dense forest in a very remote spot, and abandoned for a long time, it is at last being rescued. It's called Prospect Hill, built in 1854, and here's the Facebook page set up for those working to save it: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prospect-Hill-Plantation/179626148774546

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    1. Thank you for this link, It is most interesting. I just love it when people save old houses and restore them. Thank you for stopping by, come back any time.

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  5. I have seen this mccrainey house several times, a few years ago i had to travel to early county every 2 weeks.The first time i saw it i was captivated by it, so old, big, and beautiful out in the middle of no where. I wondered what it looked like back in the early years did a little research and found out about the family and saw the pictures of it when they lived there. we did not know the people next door owned it and there was no vehicle there at that old trailor and my mother wanted to stop and look at it.well, she drove right up to the front of it got out went right up to the front door, i told her not to i was just going to look at it from the yard my mother opened the front door and stepped in to look at the stair case it was full of old furniture and what nots like all family members had died and every thing was just left there for ever. well those people next door came flying up in the yard got behind our car started threatening us we tried to ask them questions and tell them how beautiful it was but they just cussed us and made threats we could barely get into the car and then they would not back up and let us leave i got kinda scared but we got out of there.

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  6. Well I guess it is easy to judge someone if you have never walked in their shoes. The woman who owns this property or has a life estate to this property was once married to my grandfather and was married to him until his death in 1970. She was previously married to Mr. McRainie who had inherited this house. Mr. Mac was an older man and became very sick and was sick for many years. The best I can remember from hearing the story, he was bedridden for maybe 8 years or so. They could not afford to keep up the house as he was not able to work and she had to take care of him.They were just about to loose the house to back taxes and after his death she borrowed the money to pay off the taxes. There was a great deal of land involved and she was trying to hang on to all of the property which will go back to the McRainie family at her death. That was Mr.Mac's wishes and in his will. Anyway he may have had a great deal of medical expenses. I am not sure about all of that. I know more to the story but I am not sure that she would want me to tell it. She was not able to keep the house up the last years of his life nor did she have the money to restore it. She lived in the back part of it for many years even after parts in the front had decayed severely. She only moved into the mobile home after her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to move into a place with heat and air condition. She is protective of the house because people have gone into the house and stripped it of everything as your pictures show. It was once full of antique furniture and people have stolen it. She even had family pictures in a couple of fruit cake tins and they were taken. I don't know about you but I don't appreciate people taking my things. I don't know if anyone has ever stopped to think about just how many people stop to take pictures of this house and want to go through it. For many years it has been unsafe for people to enter but yet some do and others have tried. If someone gets hurt then the first thing they will want to do is take out a law suit against the property owners. I know I personally would get tired of all the sight seeing people stopping and entering the property without permission. She is an elderly woman now who has failing health and I am sure she would like to live her life in peace without people trespassing on her property. I know that I personally have seen on this web site and many others numerous people who have stopped to photograph this house and numerous photgraphs. I was amazed at the interest in this house and the lack of respect that people had for the owner. I understand that many are intrigued by it as am I. Even if someone is intrigued they should respect the wishes of the property owners privacy and peace of mind. I would venture to say that probably not many days go by that someone doesn't stop to photograph the house. Be respectful to other peoples wishes. Think about how you would feel if your things were taken and had no privacy. She is not a mean person but has become hardened by the way people have done about the house over the years. She is truly a very kind person who has cared for many sick people but she is an elderly " country" lady and has no appreciation or understanding for why people want to stop and trespass on her property to take pictures. I am sure it is hurtful to her to see the house in ruins but she knows and has known for years it is out of her control. She has worked hard just to keep the property taxes paid and to make a living all the while knowing that her daughter nor grandchildren would never inherit this property. In fact her adopted 35 yr old daughter recently died with cancer( Nov. 2012) after a 5 or 6 year battle leaving behind 3 children. I think she had enough to worry about other than trespassers. Before that she cared for a dying husband for maybe a year before he lost the battle with Cancer. I don't mean to be ugly but I am tired of hearing a person I love being bashed for protecting her property.

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    1. Thank you for your touching and thoughtful comment. You are right, we should respect people's property. I do understand why people want to take pictures -- this lovely house is so compelling that people want to grab a photo. As for going inside and striping it bare, that is unconscionable and I am sure it has been heart breaking to the owner.

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    2. Thank you! That is my grandmother and I appreciate you giving the true story. I get so tired of hearing and reading people talk bad about her.

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    3. And thank you about the words about my mom.. I am one of the three children that she left behind.

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    4. How is it that you are both her grandchildren but dont know each other. Tsk tsk tsk. Sneaky...

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    5. She's a family friend of my deceased mother. Not a grandchild. We do know each other so keep your comments to yourself unless you know what you're talking about. I'm her oldest granddaughter.

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  7. Yes this is truly a sad house and story, many people are just plain disrespectful. I myself appreciate the older beautiful houses such as this and long for the opportunity to have seen this house restored and shared with others, yet with each story is so much hurt and sadness. I think the part that gets us involved is the long for the opportunity to restore such a beautiful icon, which represents our early generations, yet many times the unrealistic investment would far out weigh the monetary value of the house. Not saying that is important, I find the older houses much more solid and the craftsmanship is far grander than any we see today. We would all be sadden to see such a beautiful work burned or torn down and have a hidden desire to save a piece of the history regardless of how impractical.

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    1. What a beautiful reply. Thank you for reading.

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  8. what fun stuff, I wish i had some energy to fix en up, :-)

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  9. Why won't the grandmother sell the house then or deed it to family who would fix it up? I understand all of the information above and while it is sad, what's even more sad is allowing this to rot. This is why we are losing these homes.

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  10. Because she's already in process of signing it over but at her death it goes back to the husband's family. She's 87 and barely getting around, people think they know everything and what's best but they don't. PLus, it's not the world's business on how she handles it, she's grown and is doing her best to assure it is taken care of after she's gone too she tried keeping it up but idiots went in and stole everything and scraped even the marble off the fire place and took pieces of the house like the floors. It isn't a black and white story.

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    1. Alexis, thank you for your comment. Do keep us posted on the status. Old house lovers will be interested.

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    2. Alexis, I recently heard of your Grandmother’s passing. It is so sad that people robbed and destroyed the house. I recently confirmed that my Dad was a son of Malcolm Angus McRainey from 1944. He always believed he was a son of Malcolm and told me how beauty the house was when he was a kid.

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  11. Sharon Lee McKinnonOctober 18, 2017 at 4:27 PM

    Sorry didn’t mean to post as unknown.

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  12. Yes ma'am. She passed away May 9th. Glad I was there every step of the way, and is a tough thing with Mama and now her.
    The house is really something. As a kid I never thought about it being as historic as people see it. I saw it as being a big house. I had fun there. Hope you're doing well! Ive heard so much about the Macranies. Did he know my Grandmother then?

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  13. Yes he had met your Grandmother several time in her later years.. My Dad sadly passed away back in Dec of 2013. He unfortunately never really got to meet the Mcrainey side of his family. I wish there was a way to restore the house , but my understand is that it’s beyond that now.

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  14. Wasn't her neglecting it, was she reaply had my Papa that was very sick and then my mom. I mean, that family could have offered to help also and nobody ever did... she looked after it thr best she could. People have zero respect and kept breaking in and breaking in and destroying it.

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