Tucker Historical Society and Friends of Johns Homestead are so pleased to share this important and exciting news with the Tucker community! After 15 years of creating community awareness and recruiting volunteer effort for research, talking to experts, letter writing campaigns, nominating the property for Green Space, DeKalb County buying the property, pulling privet and tons of trash on clean up days, working with Rehoboth Baptist Church, community meetings to talk about the future of the property, meetings in living rooms, urgent phone calls made, emails sent, laughter of small successes and probably a few tears when the going got real tough – we wondered when good news would come this way!
Now, thanks to this recognition by The Georgia Trust of Historic Preservation, Johns Homestead has a chance to have a brighter and productive future. Can you imagine one day visiting the Johns Homestead Interpretive Center? Hopefully, with the old homestead being listed on the 2016 Places in Peril, this is the beginning for that idea to happen.
The Johns Homestead is thought to have been built between 1829 and 1832. The main house is a rare example of a single pen turned saddlebag house type. Among the property’s many typical late 19th century and early 20th century outbuildings stands a historically significant dairy building. This building was constructed of rammed-earth, an ancient construction technique that became popular in the United States during the 1800s. Very few examples of vernacular rammed-earth buildings remain in Georgia, and Johns Homestead contains the only documented one in the state.
In 2004 the remaining 22 acres of the original 202-acre homestead were sold to DeKalb County. Some demolition that the County deemed necessary has already take place, and other historic structures remain in various states of disrepair. Budget cuts have left the site largely neglected and unsecured, resulting in vandalism.
“This is the Trust’s eleventh annual Places in Peril list,” said Mark C. McDonald, president and CEO of the Trust. “We hope the list will continue to bring preservation solutions to Georgia’s imperiled historic resources by highlighting ten representative sites.”
Places in Peril is designed to raise awareness about Georgia’s significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes that are threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy.
Through Places in Peril, the Trust will encourage owners and individuals, organizations and communities to employ proven preservation tools, financial resources and partnerships in order to reclaim, restore and revitalize historic properties that are in peril.
Founded in 1973, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is one of the country’s largest statewide, nonprofit preservation organizations. Committed to preserving and enhancing Georgia’s communities and their diverse historic resources for the education and enjoyment of all, The Georgia Trust generates community revitalization by finding buyers for endangered properties acquired by its Revolving Fund; provides design assistance to Georgia Main Street cities and encourages neighborhood revitalization; trains teachers in Georgia’s school systems to engage students to discover state and national history through their local historic resources; and, advocates for funding, tax incentives and other laws aiding preservation efforts.