“The home of one of Athens' First Citizens”
Although born in Jefferson County in 1823, Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb is considered one of Athens’ “First Citizens.” Lawyer, author, educator, politician, military leader, defender and promoter of Southern Nationalism, Tom Cobb contributed much to the history of Athens, to Georgia, and to the South during a brief career in the mid-1800s. Every great piece of history deserves to rest in its true home. Returning the T.R.R. House to Athens creates a sense of time and place while providing a reference for accomplishments made long ago and provides an opportunity for broader understanding of the ideas of the past and how they influence our present. The home of Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb is of Greek Revival style. The original part of the house was a four over four “Plantation Plain” built about 1834. The house was a wedding gift in 1844 from Joseph Henry Lumpkin, the first Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, to his daughter Marion and T.R.R. Cobb. Due to budgetary constraints, the house was never restored at Stone Mountain Park and instead was mothballed for later use. So for nearly 20 years the house sat on the same cinder blocks it had originally been placed when it arrived at the Park. In 2004 the Watson-Brown Foundation, working with the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and the Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation, bought the house from the Stone Mountain Memorial Association. A generous grant from SMMA helped move the home back to Athens in the spring of 2005. The Watson-Brown Foundation managed and funded a painstaking restoration that returned Cobb's home to its 1850 appearance. In 2008, the Georgia Trust awarded the T.R.R. Cobb House its Preservation Award for excellence in restoration. Today, Cobb's home is open to the public as Athens' newest historic house museum. The restored T.R.R. Cobb House, operated by Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., opened in 2007 as a historic house museum. The mission of the TRR Cobb House is, through careful restoration, judicious recreation and responsible interpretation, the TRR Cobb House will seeks ways to preserve, explore and present the life and legacy of its owner as a legal scholar, a civil leader, a statesman, a slave owner, and a military officer in an effort to cultivate a greater understanding and appreciation of nineteenth century southern life.
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T.R.R. Cobb House
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