Built in 1856 in the Greek Revival style, this beautiful antebellum mansion was bought in 1864 by John McGee Parkman. In the years after the Civil War, Parkman was arrested and imprisoned for cotton speculation. While in prison, Parkman attempted to escape but was shot and killed in the process. When his wife was forced to sell their house a few years after his death, his ghost began to appear regularly throughout the house and grounds, where it is still seen to this day. People often report hearing windows and doors being opened and shut when no one else is in this real haunted house, as well as doors that close behind people and lock on their own. The apparitions of two little girls are also frequently seen, though their identities remain unknown.
The original owner of the house Archibald Malcolm McRainey (1866-1914) arrived in Baker County from North Carolina and made a fortune in the timber and turpentine businesses. The community of Elmodel grew up around these enterprises. The house was designed by architect William Jay. The Archibald McRainey house was constructed in 1909 for the McRainey family and their servants.
The McRainey home was the first in the county to have running water, electricity, and three bathrooms. Pumping water up to the upper levels were difficult, however, due to there not being enough pressure to pump the water up the pipes. Behind the house is a brick cold storage house with eight inch thick walls, a marvel at the time. The house is rumored to have hidden doors which go to secret panic rooms and large murals on walls.
It is advised you NOT stop and visit the owner and ask about their home. The owner has had a very difficult life and trusts no one. The owner has pulled a gun on many people before and ran them off. No one should blame the owner as it still isn’t uncommon for looters to show up. The owner is very protective of their home and land, as it is all that they have. Please do not bother them. If you would like to photograph the home please do so from the other side of the road.
John B. Wright House, Circa 1799, Johnson County Georgia, United States
Located in the Buckeye community of Johnson County is one of the oldest houses in South Georgia. John B. Wright was a wealthy landowner, who had the fifth largest number of slaves in the state, and also a legislator. He’s best remembered as the namesake of Wrightsville, as he gave $1000 toward the founding of a new town which would become the seat of Johnson County, established in 1866. The house is vernacular in style, and the somewhat unusual second floor with its shuttered windows was used for storage. The house has apparently never been painted, either. In his seminal Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area, John Linley noted in 1972: “Evidently, Mr. Wright never forsook his modest way of living: the house is still simple and sturdy, and far from pretentious.” Linley also noted that slave cabins were still scattered on the property in 1972.
Wright is also known (or should be) for introducing legislation which allowed women the right to inherit land as individuals as opposed to relinquishing their land to husbands, as was the practice of the day. This was due to the fact that Mr. Wright had three daughters and no sons and wanted his vast landholdings to remain within his family.
The John D. Phillips family occupied the house from 1912 onward.
Near this wonderful old farmhouse, which is still the heart of a working farm, a historical marker placed by the Averitt Foundation reads: Excelsior was the cultural center of Bulloch County in the late 1800s before it became part of Candler County. It was founded in 1875 on land donated by Jimerson Kennedy, Remer Franklin, W. W. Olliff, Dr. Jeff Williams, and John G. Jones. These founders desired to build a “good and permanent school” for their children, so they funded the construction of Excelsior Academy. It was built in a place thought of as the town square, surrounded by oak and pine trees. It attracted students from nearby areas who boarded with community members during the school term. Its teachers were often affiliated with the Baptist church in town. The academy drew newcomers to Excelsior, which grew after its establishment.