A Closer Look at Bainbridge's Historic Homes

By: Lanetra Bennett
September 23, 2015

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. -- Along with the Flint River, city officials say the historic district in Bainbridge is one of their biggest assets.

Bainbridge was incorporated in 1829 and a large number of homes and buildings built in the late 1800s and 1900s are still intact.

One historic home caught the eye of Allyson Whittaker as a little girl... and she never forgot it.

"I was home visiting and told my mom as we drove by, you know I don't think I'd ever want to live in Bainbridge as an adult, but, if I did. That's the house that I would want to live in," says Whittaker.

In 2013, she happened to marry the man who'd just bought the centuries-old home.

"God has a sense of humor for sure," Whittaker says.

The house was built in 1873 on East Shotwell Street in Bainbridge. One of the unique features of the house is the windows, which were originally made for a church. The church was destroyed before they could be installed, so the windows were put in the Hinds-Cooper House instead.

"It's so much fun living in an old house where there have been families that have raised their children here. It's funny, one of the ladies that grew up in this house pulled into the driveway not long after my husband and I got married. She said, ‘Can I see the house?’ It's so cool knowing that we're going to love this house as much as it's been loved in the past,” Whittaker says.

The Whittakers wanted even their furniture to be period appropriate for their home; including Allyson's grandmother's piano that has ivory keys.

The dining room table is also unique.

"I found this at an antique store in Thomasville,” Whittaker explains. “I think this was installed around the turn of the century. What I love is that you can pull it down."

The home is one of 41 historic buildings on the Heritage Tour; a self-guided walking tour near downtown Bainbridge.

Another house on the tour is the Callahan-Penhallegon Home, built in 1907. It's known as the “steamboat house” because of its look, reminiscent of a boat. The homeowner owned a fleet of steamboats.

The Caldwell-Perry home was built in 1900. It was known at the "modernistic house" because it had low ceilings -- ten feet high instead of the customary twelve. It also had an elevator and in-house battery-operated telephones.

Julie Harris with the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau says, "It's great to be able to preserve what we have here. It does give our town some character that surrounding communities don't have."

City leaders hope young families, like the great-granddaughter who now lives in the ‘modernistic’ house and the Whittakers, continue the preservation.

Allyson Whittaker says, “We hope we get to stay here. We love our home."

For more information on the Heritage Tour, head to: http://www.exploregeorgia.org/listing/308-bainbridge-heritage-tour.

Visitors get a brochure to read as they walk and learn about all of the beautiful buildings.

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