Favorite Things: Ash Street Edition

We all are familiar with “favorite things.” From Oprah’s annual favorite things list to Maria Von Trapp’s infinity for “raindrops on roses,” making a list of your favorite things is like writing your Christmas list, but better. Historic Macon decided to make a list of our favorite things about the four newly constructed Beall’s Hill homes on Ash Street. Obviously, we could talk all day about our favorite things on each of these houses, but we’ve narrowed it down to one favorite thing for each property.

1304 Calhoun Street – Open Concept Plan

There are so many things I love about this open concept space that I don’t even know where to begin. First, let’s talk about the white and gray granite countertops in the kitchen. These countertops enhance the contemporary design features of this home, especially with the added polished brass accents. Second, that light fixture will look amazing with a mid-century modern dining room table, or any table for that matter. Finally, it’s refreshing at times to have white walls to serve as an empty canvas for all the photos, arts, and accents you will add to make this house your home.

932 Ash Street – Kitchen Cabinets

Forget the wood-stained or white kitchen cabinets. These gray cabinets are absolutely stunning. Not only do these kitchen cabinets make a bold statement in the kitchen, but they offer a lot of storage space. Whether you use your kitchen while channeling your inner Julia Child or while dialing your favorite take-out place, this kitchen will easily accommodate.

924 Ash Street – Tile

All of our houses incorporate modern design trends, and this bathroom is no exception with the use of subway tile. This entire house has a more contemporary approach to its design elements, and here in the Master Bath, white subway tile with a darker grout definitely adds to the contemporary aesthetic.

1311 Jackson Street – Porches

Yes, you read that correctly: “porches” as in more than one. There’s the front porch, a side screened-in porch, and a back porch. What could you do with all those porches? The possibilities are absolutely endless. I for one would use the screened in porch for spring cocktail hour, where you won’t have to worry about pesky mosquitoes annoying you. The back porch is a great spot for a grill, and the front porch is definitely a statement piece for all visitors coming through the front door.

Interested in touring these houses to make your own favorite things list? Contact Historic Macon today to schedule a tour.

Cotton Avenue Roll

The Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women’s Center was abuzz with activity early on Saturday morning. Over 30 people of all ages and backgrounds came out to the Center to learn more about an important aspect of Macon’s history. Certainly the H&H fried chicken biscuits and bacon jam were enough to lure attendees out of their beds during the weekend, but that was only a minor reason to venture to 626 Spring Street on February 27.

Attendees began arriving 30 minutes early to ensure their names were on the list to board a trolley that would take them around DT Walton Sr. Way, formerly known as Cotton Avenue. Historic Macon hosted the Cotton Avenue trolley tour to promote the publication of its first walking tour brochure. In many ways it is fitting that the first walking tour brochure’s subject is Cotton Avenue District. This area of Macon offered a lot of historical landmarks to our community. For instance, Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church is the oldest African American church in Georgia and purportedly the second oldest African American church in North America. Charles H. Douglass became the wealthiest African American in Macon, and one of the wealthiest individuals in Macon, during the early twentieth century. He built his home on Cotton Avenue in midst of the historic African American business district in late nineteenth century but today his home no longer stands. Just a few blocks from the site of the Douglass House, Otis Redding and the Walden brothers established the first integrated office in Macon, Redwal Music Co. in the 1960s. After Otis Redding’s death in 1967, the building would become home to Capricorn Records and make the Allman Brothers Band, an integrated band, famous.

To celebrate the launch of Historic Macon’s Cotton Avenue District walking tour brochure, Historic Macon hosted a trolley tour that began and ended at the Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women’s Center. The trolley tour took attendees around the area covered in the walking tour brochure and dropped them off for interior tours of some of the stops in the brochure. Attendees were able to step inside Steward AME Chapel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech to 600 people in the pouring rain. They journeyed beyond the construction wall at the former Capricorn office building and learned about this building’s use as an African American Elks Lodge before Otis Redding and the Walden brothers began recording music. They entered some of the oldest houses of worship for Macon’s African American population, including the First Baptist Church and Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church. All while learning about the businesses and people who contributed to Macon’s history and the ongoing fight for racial equality.

The attendance during the Cotton Avenue Roll is a testament to our community’s interest in the significant cultural resource of Cotton Avenue District. The tour and brochure are opportunities for our community to learn more about and celebrate the legacy of this historic district. It’s also an opportunity for Historic Macon to raise awareness about the importance of this area that is currently under intense development pressure.

We hope you’ll take the time to pick up a brochure from the Sidney Lanier Cottage, the Ruth Hartley Memorial Women’s Center, or the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Take the time to walk down DT Walton Sr. Way, taste soul food at H&H, and look at the buildings that are still standing and the footprints of those that have been torn down. Share your favorite finds with us on social media using #maconispreservation.

591 D.T. Walton Sr. Way

What? The Walton Building
Where? 591 D.T. Walton Sr. Way

The Story: The Walton Building, and the street it sits on, is named for Dr. D.T. Walton Sr., a local dentist and prominent Civil Rights activist. This building housed the epitome of successful African American business in the area. Multiple businesses were housed in the building from the original Dewit Walton the dentist to Dixie Tobacco and Candy. However, the building truly flourished thanks to the Dixon John Radio Service and J L Montgomery Home Art Supply bringing city wide recognition to the district and this building in particular.

Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church

What? Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church

Where? 939 Washington Ave.

The Story: This church is probably the oldest African American Presbyterian Church in Georgia. Its congregation formed in 1838, and they started building the first wooden structure on this site in 1869. The congregation selected the steep slope of this site intentionally, so that the new church could have a basement. That first structure was completed around 1875. In 1904, the church remodeled the structure you see today in brick. The entire remodel reportedly cost $8,000, which was paid in full upon the rededication of the building. Maconites have long associated Washington Avenue Presbyterian with its connection to influential African American civic leaders in the city, just like many of the other churches in this district.

H&H Restaurant

What? H&H Restaurant
Where? 807 Forsyth St.

The Story: In 1959, Inez Hill opened H&H Restaurant with her goddaughter and cousin Louise Hudson. H&H opened in a racially segregated Macon, making its location in the heart of the Cotton Avenue business district ideal. Everyone from barbers and hairstylists to lawyers and dentist could walk from their offices and shops for breakfast or lunch at H&H.

Despite its prime location in a thriving African American business district, H&H Restaurant is perhaps best remembered today for its connections to Macon’s rich music heritage. Recently discovered and recording right up the street, the Allman Brothers Band supposedly pooled their money together to share two meals at H&H one afternoon because that was all they could afford. “Mama” Louise felt sorry for the boys and brought them their own individual meals and told them to pay her when they had the money. The band did not forget Mama Louise’s kindness and came back to visit her after they “made it.” Partially remembered for being an integrated band during a time of racial tension and segregation, the Allman Brothers Band is also remembered in this spot, making the restaurant a landmark of both food and music history. An old H&H table is even featured at the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House.

Other bands connected to music giants Redwal and Capricorn also stopped at this iconic meat-and-three restaurant, making it a popular tourist stop. Celebrities, out-of-towners, and locals alike love this delicious comfort food.

Want to taste some H&H? The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30AM to 3:00PM. Historic Macon Foundation and the Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women’s Center will also be serving H&H style breakfast at the walking tour brochure unveiling and reception on Saturday, February 27. That event begins at 10:00AM and will be held in the Women’s Center at 626 Spring St. with a trolley tour of the Cotton Avenue District to follow. The event is free and open to the public, but space on the trolley is limited and will be reserved on a first come, first served basis at the reception.

Check back each Friday in February to learn a little bit about Macon’s rich African American history surrounding the Cotton Avenue District. Each site featured is a stop in the Cotton Avenue District Walking Tour Brochure, which will be unveiled on Saturday, February 27 at 10:00AM at the Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women’s Center. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a free trolley tour of the area. Seating on the trolley is limited and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis at the reception.

Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women's Center

Check back each Thursday in February to learn a little bit about Macon’s rich African American history surrounding the Cotton Avenue District. Each site featured is a stop in the Cotton Avenue District Walking Tour Brochure, which will be unveiled on Saturday, February 27 at 10:00AM at the Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women’s Center. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a free trolley tour of the area. Seating on the trolley is limited and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis at the reception.

What? Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women’s Center

Where? 626 Spring St.

The Story: Ruth Hartley Mosley was born in 1886 in Savannah. After high school, Mrs. Mosley studied to become a nurse and served in leadership roles at many facilities, including the Georgia State Sanatorium in Milledgeville where she was the head nurse of “Colored Females Department.” This position was a great responsibility because of the sheer number of staff members and patients under Mrs. Mosley’s care and authority.

After marrying Richard Hartley, they moved to Macon, and she returned to school in order to become a licensed mortician at the funeral home Mosley and her husband opened. After Hartley’s death, Mrs. Mosley married Fisher Mosley and became a public health nurse at Bibb County schools.

Her life was not all work though. By all accounts, Mrs. Mosley was an excellent bridge player. When you entered her home today, it is not hard to imagine her bridge club meeting to play in this beautiful space.

In addition to her work and play activities, Mrs. Mosley was a prominent Macon civil rights activist. She was a leader in Macon’s chapter of the NAACP, organizing sit-ins and serving as a founding member of the Booker T. Washington Community Center. Her legacy lives on today in her beautiful home through the work of the Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women’s Center.

If you would like to learn more about Mrs. Mosley’s life and legacy, visit http://ruthhartleymosleycenter.com/index2.htm. The Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women’s Center will be hosting two lectures in February, which are additional opportunities to visit Mrs. Mosley’s home.