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Historic Heartland Spotlight: The Edwards House

historic heartlandThere is a simple, two story, columned house at the southwest corner of Monticello Street and Conyers Street. The wood frame is square and plain, with external brick chimneys and a second-story portico. But, the devil lies in the details. Just because the house appears plain, doesn’t mean it’s boring. The “Edwards House”, as it's known here in the Historic Heartland, has been home to Covington’s most prominent families since the beginning.

The space where the house now stands was designated in Covington’s original charter. The lot was purchased for $600 by Judge John Harris in 1831, who either built a new home on the property or expanded an existing structure. Whatever he did worked, because in 1853 the Judge sold the home and surrounding lot to Dr. Jeptha Cody for $2,500. During the Cody family’s stay, the home became a bustle center for politicians and the upper echelons of Covington society. 

Dr. Cody would raise five children from three marriages and would see the Methodist Church as it was being built in 1860. After the death of his third wife, and four years before his own death, Dr. Cody sold the home to Matthew Stansell for $2,000. 

From there, the house was later purchased by James T. Corley, a Covington merchant, who sold the house to Mrs. Amanda M. Edwards, wife of Judge E. F. Edwards, for $7500 in 1887. Mrs. Amanda would also re-christen the home in her name. So, the house on Monticello St. became The Edwards House. The name stuck. The family didn’t. After the Judge’s death in 1902, the home came into the ownership of a local merchant, Ferdinand Augustus Briscoe, who owned and operated the Briscoe Monumental Works. As the years went by, and the Edwards’ House’s once decedent visitors of state declined, the home came into the ownership of his daughter, Kate Etta Cherry, converted the house into several apartments.

Kind of makes your head spin, doesn’t it?

The Edwards House is a plain and simple reminder that Covington Georgia’s history is not so very simple after all. Within the homes walls are reminders that this home once stood for society and prosperity. Many of the families that resided here made Covington what it is today. Without their influence, Covington might still be a Creek Indian base, with little surrounding it but forest. The Edwards House still lies in state, right across from the magnificent Methodist Church and has been restored to its former glory. While it is now a private residence, you can still feel its pull and charm.

 

 

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