Some of the books on historic Hancock County homes refer to our house as "The Ashley Jewell House". It was built/designed by Daniel Jewell for his daughter, Harriette, who became Mrs. Cody and was the longest known resident of the home, having taught at the schoolhouse next door and provided piano lessons to many people in the local community. Some say it should be referred to as "The Cody House". From the late '50s into the '70s the house was owned by the Mitchells, whose daughter-in-law Jessie still lives across the street from us. There are those in the local area who still refer to it as "The Mitchell House". In the '90s the home was occupied by historian and Georgia College and State University professor William Ivy Hair. There are those around who still refer to it as "The Hair House". For sake of simplicity, and because of its prominent position on the green and extensive history, we just call it "The Jewell House".
Daniel A Jewell moved to Middle Georgia in the mid-1800s. He eventually settled near the Ogeechee River where he bought a home and a cotton mill, becoming successful in several businesses both here and in Chickamuaga. Harkening back to his New England upbringing, he provided funds for the building of a Baptist church, designing it after one he had attended as a youth. Near the church he also commissioned a schoolhouse, both of which are still in use today. Immediately west of the house is the Rock Mills Methodist Church, an even older structure that sits adjacent to the original home of Daniel Jewell. This area, all of which is on the National Historic Register, is named the “Jewell village greens” (or "Jewell on the Green") and remains much the same as it did in days gone by.
On the property is what’s known to many locals as “Aunt Eulah’s cabin” who they remember as a long resident of the community. Although her cabin is in disrepair, it is still standing with its granite foundation posts. A similar "mill house" sits next to Eulah's. The house originally was across the river and was relocated and refurbished around 2010. It is typical of the many mill worker homes that used to exist in Jewell, most now in disrepair or long ago torn down.
The eastern property line is the Ogeechee River itself. Local folklore says that a rock trail across the river is located somewhere within the borders of our property that was used by natives long before settlers arrived. Many arrowheads and other artifacts of that era have been found here over the years. If you take a stroll down our Riverwalk Trail, we like to think that old native crossing is at the end of our path. Accurate or not, it is a peaceful, scenic spot with a park bench to help you enjoy it.
Our historic house almost burned down in the 1970’s. Lightning struck the front of the house, and the Mitchells (the owners at the time) were in the kitchen at the back of the house and didn’t hear a thing. The neighbors came to the rescue and had the fire put out before the fire department arrived. Many items were moved out onto the front lawn to save them from the fire, including one of the fireplace mantels. We are sure glad that it didn’t burn down! But, if you go into the attic, some of the rafters and beams are charred from that event.
This old house didn’t have any indoor plumbing until sometime in the 1950’s or 1960’s. Actually, the old outhouse (a “two-holer” no less) is still on the property.
We feel so blessed to be the owners of this historic property. We hope you’ll stop by and let us tell you some stories, walk around and show you all the history that makes up this beautiful home.