Nestled in a wooded area in Georgia, the historic home of John McCown, a significant figure in the civil rights movement, is now for sale. Despite its current state of neglect, this property holds a rich history and architectural beauty that echoes the past.

Property Description and Historical Significance

Location and Historical Background**: Situated amidst lush foliage, the early 20th-century house was purchased by John McCown in 1967. McCown, a pivotal character in the region’s history, both revered and controversial, has left a lasting impact on the area.
Current Condition: Years of neglect are evident from the crumbling central turret and the missing panes in several windows. Nature has begun to reclaim the structure, with vegetation encroaching on the ground floor and clinging to the porch roof.

Interior and Architectural Details

Interior Decay and Preservation: Inside, the property mirrors its external decay with parts of the ceiling collapsing and walls covered in black mold. However, remnants of its former grandeur are visible in the well-preserved tongue-and-groove paneling and the intricate parquet ceiling.
Notable Features: The house features a once-elegant living room with blue and red paisley wallpaper, typical of the 1970s. The fireplace, though bricked up, still boasts its original lacquered mantel with haut-relief carvings.

John McCown’s Influence and Contributions

Early Life and Activism

Background: Born in South Carolina in 1934 and raised in Harlem, McCown became a key figure in the civil rights movement. His activism included leading the first civil rights demonstration in Colorado Springs and working with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

Major Contributions

Political and Social Efforts: After moving to Hancock County at the age of 33 to help with voter registration, McCown founded the Eastern Central Committee for Opportunity (ECCO) in the early 1970s, significantly improving the livelihoods of local African Americans.

The Property’s Role in Historical Events

Late-night Meetings and Racial Tensions: The house likely hosted crucial meetings between McCown and his allies during a turbulent period marked by escalating racial tensions, necessitating intervention by Governor Jimmy Carter.

Exterior Features and Final Years

Veranda and Gardens: The property boasts ornate wraparound verandas and elaborately carved posts, typical of early 20th-century designs intended for summer shade. Despite his financial troubles leading to a downfall marked by a federal investigation, McCown continued to impact the community.

McCown’s Legacy and the House’s Future

End of an Era: John McCown’s untimely death in a plane crash in 1976 did not stop the eventual trial and conviction of several ECCO members. Despite these controversies, the strides made in Hancock County remain a testament to his efforts.
Current State: As the abandoned house stands, it serves as a reminder of McCown’s significant role in advancing civil rights in the United States, even as the structure itself succumbs to the ravages of time.

This property is not only a piece of real estate but a fragment of history, offering a glimpse into a past filled with both grandeur and strife.

 

 

 

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