Covington, Georgia history: The Burning of the Square

downtown_courthouseAfter the horrific Christmas murders in 1882 on the Covington Square, the next year could only be looking up. However, the year following was struck with as much tragedy as the previous year had. On New Years Eve of 1883, a majority of the Covington Square was burned down in a fiery fire.

On Monday December 31, 1883, a fire started in a saloon on the square called R.W. Bagby. This saloon had been on the north side for years since it started out as a grocery store.

When the fire started, many men rushed to the scene to quell its quick burning. However, since many of the buildings on the square were wooden, they were unable to put out the fire without an engine to aid them. They hurriedly threw heaping buckets of water onto the quickly burning building; however, it spread quicker than they could imagine.

The fire ended up engulfing the whole block, including the historic courthouse. They worked all night to tame the fire, but when morning came, the entire block lay smoldering.

The square was essential to the needs of the community, so plans to rebuild it were quickly formed! The first noted meeting about the rebuilding were marked for January 7, 1884, only a week after the fire!

The reconstruction of the Courthouse began in August of 1884 and it is now the beautiful structure that you can visit in Covington, Georgia. If you’re looking for a slice of Georgia history, visit us in Covington. When you visit us, you will learn that every building has its own unique history.

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