When walking by Swanscombe in Covington, Georgia, you would never guess that this beautiful house is the oldest house in Covington! However, that isn’t this house’s only claim to fame. Swanscombe was also the first clapboard house and one of the first frame houses erected in Covington, Georgia. The house was even home to the very first settler in Covington. His name was Cary Wood.
Cary Wood was very influential from the day he arrived in Covington, Georgia until the day he died. He was a merchant, large-scale planter, commissioner of the town of Covington, and a justice of the inferior court.
The house was originally built with two rooms downstairs, two rooms upstairs, and a separate kitchen. The Wood family expanded the house and added the six iconic columns in front of the house. Cary Wood died before the Civil War affected the town of Covington, Georgia.
Cary Wood’s wife continued to live in Swanscombe after his death. She watched her son, Robert R. Wood, go off to battle, and stayed home to help the Confederate movement. It is said that when Sherman’s army marched through Covington, some of the Civil War Union soldiers camped on the street opposite of Swanscombe. Mrs. Wood was a smart woman and she had thought to bury the family silver before the soldiers could pillage it.
Mrs. Wood later moved out of Swanscombe and spent her remaining years with a daughter on Gaither Plantation. The descendants of Cary Wood lived in Swanscombe for many years before it sold to Thomas C. Swann in December 1884.
If you’re visiting Covington, Georgia, and are searching to find an iconic house, you need to stop by Swanscombe. How many people can say they saw one of the first houses built in a town? If you would love to learn more about this historic home try our historic home tour!