Georgia Farmhouse Too Far Gone to Save

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Olliff (Oliff) Family Farm | Bulloch County, Georgia | c. late 1800s

I found this house along an old dirt road in South Georgia. It was likely built sometime in the late 1800s but the last farmer to live here left 40 years ago. This style of farmhouse, commonly referred to as a central hall farmhouse, was popular in Georgia and across the South from the late 1880s through the 1920s. And while this one is in poor shape, you can find many examples that are still standing today and in great condition.

During the era, it was common to build detached kitchens to prevent fire from spreading throughout the whole house, and in these photos, you can see the separate cabin off of the rear of the home which was used to prepare meals for the people who lived here over the years. By separating the kitchen, families could shield the kitchen heat from making the house too hot.

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The Olliff Family called this place home for some years and then later, rented it to tenant farmers who worked the surrounding lands. Dwight Olliff, a family descendant said:

“This old tenant house is located on my family‚Äôs farm on the Bulloch-Evans County line. The best I can tell, it was built in the late 1800s or early 1900s as a 1917 plat shows a homestead at this location. The homestead originally included a livestock barn, stockyard, and two storage barns across the road from the dwelling. These buildings were lost to arson in the 1970s. The farm also had three other tenant houses as recently as 40 years ago. However, all have been lost to fire and wind.”

The home has been empty since the 1970s and the years of disuse have taken their toll. But its current owner, an Olliff Family member, still cares about the history of the old place and had hoped to restore it until he had it inspected and it was determined to be too dilapidated.

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