1870 Smith Homestead
About the BUILDING
This dogtrot-style log house was built about 1870 by Rufus Smith and his wife Cecilia. Five miles outside of what today is Coolidge in the northeast corner of Thomas County, the three-room house sat on a 504-acre farm and housed Rufus, Cecilia, and at various times their five children. While Rufus and his wife slept in the bedroom, the children would make bedding for themselves on the floor.
The Smiths did not own slaves. They were a yeoman farm family, placing them in the middle class of the pre-industrial agrarian South. Indications of the Smith’s middle-class status include glass windows, a ceiling below the roof, the pediment above the bedroom entrance, and the raised wood floor above the ground.
The architecture of the house is designed for a warm-weather environment. Dogtrot-style architecture is typified by two quarters connected by a breezeway that maximizes breezes while limiting warming sunlight. The Smith log house is also built with cracks between wall planks, to allow even more cooling breezes to enter the structure while limiting heat. During cold spells, additional wood planks, mud, and clay could be used to seal the structure to retain heat.
About the TOUR
The main building, the Flowers-Roberts House, contains exhibits about the history of Thomas County, as well as the document, photo, and three-dimensional archives that provide the material evidence of what happened in Thomas County’s past.
A guided grounds tour of the Thomasville History Center begins with a 10-minute video documentary of Thomas County’s history, with an emphasis on the Resort Era hotels and the dozens of plantations scattered around Thomas County.
Your docent will then walk you through the 1870 Smith Homestead, which was moved to History Center grounds in 1974, and provides a setting to share the story of both the Smith family and yeoman farmers of the period.
From there, you will walk to the 1877 Emily Joyner-Matilda Calloway House, and hear the story of both the Civil War widow who first lived there, and the Flowers’ family nanny, Matilda Calloway, who lived there during the first half of the twentieth century. After the Joyner house, you will visit the 1896 Oliver Ewart Bowling Alley, built to entertain the winter resident who owned the History Center’s property from 1893-1900.
Following the bowling alley, you will go to the 1942 Roberts’ Garage, which currently houses a variety of carriages and other large artifacts. After the garage, you will return to the Flowers-Roberts House for a self-guided tour of the History Center’s many exhibits, including the timeline-style exhibits in the large Davis Wing addition at the rear of the house.
Monday – Saturday: 10AM – 4PM
725 North Dawson Street
Thomasville, GA 31792
Students (age 6-17): $5
Member Guests, Students (6-17) Free (Donations appreciated)
Member Guests, Adults (18+) Free (Donations appreciated)
Group Rate: $8 per Adult
(Groups Must Schedule in Advance)
Schedule Your Guided Tour
Use the contact form to schedule your guided tour today. *Completing this form does not guarantee a reservation slot. After submitting the form someone from our office will contact you and finalize your reservation.