The Mystery Building
The earliest recorded information shows the purchase of the site which included the entire present city block by Mr.E. B. Rosser. The block was transfered to Mr. Rosser on February 23, 1869 for the sum of $850. Mr. Rosser was a businessman who went into partnership with Colonel W.W. Clark, a lawyer and director of the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company. The partners began the firm of Clark, Rosser and Company around 1874 for the purpose of storing, shipping and selling cotton for the farmers of the area. Records also show that Mr. Rosser was an incorporating member of the Covington Savings Bank which survived only a short period of time following its inception in 1877. At some point during the time period of 1869 to 1883 a house was constructed on the city block with its facade facing Clark Street. The tax records show that Mr. Rosser sold the site and a house to Mr. Arthur Benjamin Simms for the sum of
$1200 in 1883.
Dr. N. Z. Anderson, 1871-1955, was a physician, real estate owner, Vice President of the Bank of Covington, and President of the First National Bank. He was the son of Colonel Newton Anderson who served as the sheriff of Newton County during the mid eighteen hundreds. Dr. Anderson purchased the house and the ground upon which it was located with the remainder of the block being divided for other business. Possibly a portion of the site became the location of the Pitts House Hotel which is described as being in operation at the northwest corner of Hendricks Street and Washington Street. This hotel was still in operation in 1916 and expanded to become the Flowers Hotel Annex. The Jones House Hotel is thought to have been located at the north side of Clark Street and Hendrix Street. Very
1 ittle is known about the surrounding property and it is certain that Dr. Anderson did not reside or practice on the property. The first individual to occupy the house, Wolf Cohen, purchased the house from Dr. Anderson in 1907.
Mr. J. W. Allen and his family owned and operated Allen’s $0.10 Store on the Square in the block which now houses Mayfield’s Ace Hardware. The Allen family relocated to Acworth and subsequently sold the house to Joseph Byron Mobley in 1978. Mr. and Mrs. Allen began renovations which the Mobley family continued.
Mr. Mobley was the first resident who felt that peculiar influences were operating within the house. One cold night he returned to check the heating in the unoccupied house since he was concerned about the cold conditions and the state of the plumbing. As he checked the house he felt uneasy with a state of chill and his hair tensed, As he turned toward the kitchen, his impression 1s that the apparition of a woman appeared. Mr. Mobley is a very rational person and feels reluctant to relate this story due to the skepticism with which such experiences are often viewed. He was not able to offer a more detailed description of the apparition.
Ghostly appearances and mysterious noises plagued the next owners, Neal and Terri Lange. The Langes purchased the house in 1983 with the dream of operating a restaurant and family residence. Mr. Lange related stories of hearing 111m2ird footsteps” ancl strange noisEis for whict-1 t’. rational explanation could not be found. However their dream of a restaurant collapsed and the Langes sold the house in 1984.
From 1984 until the Chamber of Commerce began their occupancy of the building a succession of owners attempted to utilize the building as a commercial venture. These owners were: 1984, The Countryside Corporation and Mary Ann Whitsitt; 1984, Jane Osborne; and 1988, Jerry Gafford. In 1988 NevJton Federc1.l, 51s the lending institution for the property, foreclosed on the house and lot. Finally a permanent and nurturing occcupant was found for the house in 1992 when the Newton County Chamber of Commerce established their office in the building at 2100 Washington Street.
Extensive renovations were completed with the financial aid and aesthetic advice of Covington and Newton County benefactors. Today the building is a tribute to the members of the community who saw not what had been but what could be and worked to restore the house of the mysterious past.