Old Georgia Homes is a blog that began in 2015 as a hobby for me as a Georgia history and old house enthusiast and has since grown to 60,000 social media followers. One of the goals of the blog is to share house histories and notable personalities in an engaging format to an audience that is primarily under the age of 40. I believe that it is important to share homes and history all over the state–small towns have as much reader engagement as large cities. I partner with historical societies and preservation organizations to share local success stories and am proud to see our audience members taking trips to small towns after learning about them on the blog.
The Digital Library of Georgia’s Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive is a valuable tool in researching old homes throughout Georgia. Sometimes old houses may tell us clues about their former owners. Many times, they do not. Older newspapers often have a lot of information about the families of historic homes, and usually some details of their construction. The Archive allows me to bring new and different information about some of these old homes and businesses. Social history adds engaging content for my audience versus just architectural details on the house. Stories that get passed down through the generations may change over time. The Archive provides an avenue to find the story when it was a current event.
The Georgia Historic Newspaper Archive has been invaluable for information about homes in smaller towns all over the state. Leading families often owned historic homes in smaller cities, and the local newspaper covered them extensively. I’m able to add details about a party held in the home, dinner menus, a wedding, or other significant events that took place in the home. This type of information helps to bring an old house to life.
Finally, the Newspaper Archive has a great deal of information on businesses that were in operation at the time. Old advertisements combined with news and editorials provide an excellent snapshot of the timeframe. What were the major topics of the day? What business was in that old building on Main Street? These are factual answers the Georgia Historic Newspaper Archive can help provide.
Combining the Georgia Historic Newspaper Archive, along with the Vanishing Georgia photograph collection from the Georgia Archives helps to bring the story of a house – and its families – to life.
– Lane Fuller, author of the blog Old Georgia Homes
Feature Image: The weekly banner. (Athens, Ga.) 1891-1921, March 17, 1911, Page 1. The article “Death Came Suddenly to Mrs. Alice Fleming,” available on page 1 of the issue was referenced in Fuller’s blog post “Fleming House, 1890 – Athens.”