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MARTINEZ, Ga. () – According to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, the historic Cedar Grove home in Martinez is one of the state’s ten Places in Peril for 2024.
It was built in 1851 and has an interesting and somewhat mysterious backstory. Several prominent people in Columbia County owned it after the Civil War. The original owner’s 2-year-old son was buried on-site, and there are stories made up of how he died. A popular one is that he fell off the balcony.
“In the end, the one that sound most reasonable is the fact he may have died of some disease, but of course as you know stories can be told in different ways over the years,” said Al Crumpton, the Rector at Our Savior Episcopal Church.
The building is on Our Savior Episcopal Church’s property, but is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. When the church got the property in 1964, the home was used as a sanctuary before the main building was built right in front of it.
“It was still used as meeting spaces primarily,” Crumpton said. “As a nursery, for a variety of reasons. We even have a chapel that was in there.”
It’s not currently being used because of mold and structural issues.
“That was really the reason for us to really take a step back from it, to explore ‘alright, what is the long term things that we need to do for this property?’” Crumpton said.
The county’s historic committee gave them the idea of getting the property on the Places in Peril list.
“The idea for that was to publicize this building, a lot of people really don’t even know it exists because if you drive down Columbia Road where we’re located, it’s tucked behind our other buildings on the campus,” Crumpton said. “And so it was to let people know who might be interested in helping out with preservation projects.”
Crumpton said he’s hopeful for the future of the building. “I’m appreciative of the efforts in the community and around the state, quite honestly, of those who have shown some interest thus far, and I’m eager to see where this is going to go.”
To find out how you can help save Cedar Grove, visit the Georgia Trust’s website.