Georgia’s Historic Newspaper Buildings

Newspaper buildings have been an ever-present part of Georgia’s city landscapes large and small for over two centuries. These structures are not only a source of local news but are also an integral part of their communities. Below is a collection of some of the most interesting historical newspaper buildings in the state and a bit about the stories behind them. The newspapers highlighted can all be found on the DLG’s Georgia Historic Newspapers website.


Savannah Morning News Building

From the February 22, 1876 issue of the Savannah Morning News. Digitized through the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

The Savannah Morning News building on Whitaker Street was completed in January 1876. The eighty-eight-foot tall structure featured a granite face and a cupola for visitors with a view of the harbor. Communication between the floors was handled with sound tubes and dumb waiters. The printing presses were located in the basement of the building, with the editorial rooms and a composing room on the fourth floor. The building is today home to luxury condominiums and the Savannah Morning News is now headquartered on Chatham Parkway.


Cherokee Phoenix Print Shop

Photograph of the print shop where the Phoenix was published, New Echota, Gordon County, Georgia, 1975. Courtesy of the Georgia Archives’ Vanishing Georgia Collection.

The Cherokee Phoenix, the first newspaper published by Native Americans in the United States, was produced at this print shop in the Cherokee capital of New Echota from 1828 to 1834. Editor Elias Boudinot innovatively printed newspaper articles in both English and Cherokee. The type utilized at the shop had to be custom made and was the first of its kind. In 1835, Georgia claimed Cherokee territory and seized the Phoenix printing press at New Echota. The Cherokee people were forcibly removed from the area by the decade’s end. A restored version of the building now stands as part of the New Echota State Historic State near Calhoun, Georgia.


Houston Home Journal Building

Photograph from the July 1, 1976 issue of the Houston Home Journal.

This photograph of the original Houston Home Journal building on Carroll Street and Washington Avenue in Perry, Georgia was taken around 1907. Editor John H. Hodges is seated in front. To his right is printing press operator Bill Harrison and standing behind Hodges are printers Mac Rainey and Dan Bateman. The streets outside of the building were lit by kerosene oil lamps, which are visible in the photograph. The Home Journal ran its office out of the wood frame building for over sixty years before relocating to an adjacent lot in the 1930s.


Augusta Herald Building

Photograph from the June 22, 1919 issue of the Augusta Herald.

The Augusta Herald Building was constructed in 1917 after the destruction of the paper’s previous building in a fire a year earlier. Architect G. Lloyd Preacher designed the four-story structure in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. It was constructed at a cost of $150,000 and was made of concrete to make it fire-proof. The printing plant was located in the rear of the building behind the offices. The structure is still located at 725 Broad Street and today serves as the headquarters for Morris Communications.


Clayton Tribune Building

Photograph from the January 23, 1914 issue of the Clayton Tribune.

In the early twentieth century, the Clayton Tribune published with a hand-operated press out of the second floor of this building on Savannah Street. The first floor housed a restaurant called the City Cafe. The establishment boasted a soda fountain, with magazines, candy, and cigars for sale. Meals ranged in cost from five to fifty cents and included oyster stew. The year after this photograph was taken the building was fitted with electric lighting for the first time.


Native American Heritage Month 2015

Land grant from Cherokee land lottery, Clarke County, Georgia, 1832. Cherokee Land Lottery certificate for lot #892, consisting of 40 acres, in the 17th district, section 2 drawn by Solomon Edwards of Jennings District, Clarke County. Cecil Haralson Collection, Smyrna Public Library.
Land grant from Cherokee land lottery, Clarke County, Georgia, 1832. Cherokee Land Lottery certificate for lot #892, consisting of 40 acres, in the 17th district, section 2 drawn by Solomon Edwards of Jennings District, Clarke County. Cecil Haralson Collection, Smyrna Public Library.

On October 30th, President Obama proclaimed November as National Native American Heritage Month.

According to the National Congress of American Indians, Native American Heritage Month “is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.”

An example of those challenges took place during the early 1830s, when the Georgia legislature passed laws that nullified existing Cherokee law and government in order to take over Cherokee land and present it to white Georgia farmers through a land grant lottery system.  You can read more about the Georgia land lottery system and the Cherokee Removal in the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


In the DLG, the Cecil Haralson Collection from the Smyrna Public Library, and the Cherokee Regional Library System Collection include examples of numerous Cherokee land grants.  The Cherokee Indians Relocation Papers collection from our partners at the Georgia Historical Society provides more information about Cherokee displacement and relocation.


Cherokee Indian relocation records, 1815-1837. Cherokee Indians Relocation Papers, Georgia Historical Society.
Cherokee Indian relocation records, 1815-1837.
Cherokee Indians Relocation Papers, Georgia Historical Society.

The Cherokee Indians Relocation Papers collection consists of correspondence, a power of attorney, and statements by The Rising Fawn and The Flute (or Old Turkey), two Cherokee men. The correspondence includes a letter from Joseph McMill to John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, regarding the removal of native Americans to Arkansas and to the Agency; another letter from McMinn to Calhoun nominating sites to attract merchants and giving a history of the county and its towns; a letter from John Coffee to John H. Eaton, Secretary of War, regarding the boundary line between Georgia and the Cherokee Nation and commenting on a number of people, including Chief McIntosh, as well as discussing outrageous intrusions on Native American territory and their rights on the frontier; a letter from Wilson Lumpkin written from New Echota, withdrawing his name as a candidate for Electors of President and Vice-President and stating that he cannot serve in this position while acting as Commissioner for settling claims under the Cherokee treaty; and a letter from John Ridge to General Nat. Smith, Superintendent of Internal Revenue, written from New Echota. The Rising Fawn’s statement, 1829, is regarding the boundary line between Creeks and Cherokees. The Flute’s statement delineates the line between the Creeks and Cherokees as agreed upon at the “old treaty ground” in the presence of U.S. Commissioners. The collection also includes two volumes. The first volume is a record of claims, 1836-1838, kept by Wilson Lumpkin and John Kennedy, Commissioners appointed by the President under the Cherokee Treaty. It includes 423 claims made by the Cherokee Indians of property taken from them. The second volume contains an inventory and sale of property belonging to Native Americans in Floyd County, Georgia. Also included in this collection is a Power of Attorney from James Monroe, Secretary of State, to George Graham, giving him power to receipt for dividends and interest on all stocks in the name of the President in trust for the Seneca Indians. It is signed by Monroe and bears the War Office seal.

We hope that you find these resources aid your observance of Native American Heritage Month 2015.