Tag Archives: lithonia

H-M house revisited

You remember the H-M house? Less than 2 years ago this property was for sale, 7+ acres with a house set well back from the road. A long lawn, a creek through the woods, and an old sorghum mill to boot. Not to mention the perfect-sized house with it’s few outbuildings and a trailer which K tried very hard to sell on craigslist but we ultimately had to pay to get removed from the property. (No one has a mother-in-law THAT bad.)

H-M exterior1 2-23-12 H-M interior 2-23-12

Besides it being in the Ga Trust’s Revolving Fund, I was absorbed with H-M house at school as well, where the Historic Structure Report done by a GSU class a few years previous was my guide for the Valley View HSR my class was currently working on. I wanted to live there. I wrote then that if I had me a farmer I would move there right away, hell, I could BE that farmer if I wanted but I’d be out of money by the time I stepped foot in the house (and Mom would wonder had I abandoned Sunshine?). In the end, an awesome couple from Decatur stepped up to fulfill all our dreams for this perfect little piece of property.

They came to the Trust in 2012 with plans above and beyond what we normally see or expect from our purchasers. Not only did they have a rehab plan to stabilize the house, they were going to put in french drains, a wood shingle roof (not required we cautioned but totally awesomely historically accurate), and leave the wide bare boards on the interior untouched. But perhaps most to their advantage they brought colorful drawings to dazzle our eyes. Designers of all ilks know this is a sure way to almost anyone’s heart, heck, it’s how I got though school, by laying out every project down to a simple term paper, to perfection (the term paper’s probably didn’t need the attention but i wasn’t going to use size 12 Times), and these guys, one of em being a landscape designer, knew how to please in the same way.

front porchTurns out those landscape plans and drawings and dreams they drew for us in words and maps were true! They moved in earlier this spring and by my visit at mid-summer, even the formal garden with a central fountain has been laid out and is just awaiting plantings. They have chickens in a cute little coop, plans to turn the corncrib/outbuilding into an open air dining pavilion, a relaxing open front porch that was once enclosed, and oh! the interior! As one of their daughters put so perfectly, “it looks like the furniture is just growing out of the walls.” those beautiful wide boards give way to plain style antique wardrobes, dressers and beds. Ladderback chairs appropriate to the home’s farm history are scattered throughout and yet it’s comfortable. Of COURSE it’s comfortable. The 1200 sq ft home is easily cooled and heated now that it’s insulated.

Newly painted and repaired, one hardly recognizes the blue-tarped H-M house of old (it was probably never painted but the Trust does encourage painting wood siding despite historical inaccuracy for some properties because it protects the material). The H-M house has been reincarnated in all the glory it deserves, chickens in the yard, happy dogs, a garden and cocktails, with and without parties. And it has even retained one of its most unique “character defining features”—it still leans! the house is stable but all those angled interior doors and walls still list to one side—I guess there is hope for Sunshine too!

(They even have a BLOG)

ta dah!

(I feel like, at the end of this I should say Come find your dream home in The Georgia Trust’s Revolving Fund and start making your dreams come true today!)

Lithonia x3

In the last 5 days I’ve been Lithonia and the Arabia Mtn Heritage Area 3 times.

on THURSDAY, K, M and I went out to the Houseworth-Moseley House to give our newest addition to the Revolving Fund the once-over, consider a listing price and assess what needed to be done on a future workday to help stabilize it (a previous year’s listing). The Houseworth-Moseley house is perfect for a farming couple, and if i had me a farmer I’d want to be there in a hearbeat, till up the front yard for some organic crops, keep chickens where the trailer currently is, store moonshine, i mean water, in the makeshift springhouse… Being only me and not a farmer (as I established a few years ago), I will sadly have to pass that dream to someone else.

path on FRIDAY, I stowed my bike in the Taurus and headed back for a midday ride on the Arabia Mtn trail. This time I went north from the parking lot for my first visit to Lithonia and decided I really wouldn’t mind living there in town. Plenty of cute old houses in need of a little TLC abutting the 3 or so blocks of the downtown district. Quaint, not much to do but bike to Arabia and Panola mountains. Just like living at Houseworth-Moseley, as K and I discussed, the commute would be a little much, unless we could work out some sort of work from home OR get me a new job at Arabia:

SUNDAY, J, G and I went again to Klondike Rd. to tour the cemeteries and Lyons Farm that J studied in last semester’s Landscapes class. The rain held off until we got to Lyons Farm and continued intermittently light and hard as we hiked up to the Flat Rock African American/Slave Cemetery, along the boardwalk spur of the Arabia Mtn trail, and finally Chupp Cemetery closer to town. The farm is a dream come true and if it would cost less I would happily live there, on the Heritage Area property, in exchange for aiding the restoration of the farmhouse, tilling the land of Wonderland Gardens, and acting, generally, as a ranger for the trails. Sound like a plan? Who do I need to contact to get this going??

G and J at Lyons’ farm, farmhouse in background

an Arabia Mtn hike

P bought this book, 60 hikes within 60 miles of Atlanta, and I must admit I was a little skeptical. Honestly, I’m not used to moving at the pace of my hiking boots, i prefer wheels, but I’d forgotten how much there is to see on a real, down-to-earth hike.

The shape of our hike was “2 connected loops” or something like that, as opposed to the “loop” or “there and back” forms of others in the book. Indeed it was and my only complaint with the book was that despite its detailed descriptions, “take the wide sandy path that veers off to the right after the bridge,” we got off track because the maps were incredibly lacking in information. I’m sorry, but the shape of our path on a gray background just does not help me figure out where i am. That aside, we got quite a kick out of the narrative which directed us to stand at the top of Bradley Mtn, face Arabia (that white rise over there) and look downhill to our left, see those 2 trees? (out of a forest) head toward them and you’ll find a low box with glass over the top (and writing inside that tells you about the flora of the area, aka, an exhibit? or sign??); however, if you don’t see the 2 trees, don’t worry, just head down to the treeline and walk along it until you see something that looks like a path through the woods and take it. The book had a good philosophy—”don’t worry too much”—after all, while there was good chance of not making it to all the points you intended to, there was very little chance of actually getting lost in this area. At any rate, we did find the “low box with glass on top” and a path that led us to cross the road eventually, we did make it to the quarry house (albeit by a different route) and the little lake. P even found the loblolly pine the book pointed to with some interest at the bottom end of the lake, when i asked what it was like (i failed to notice it, too busy looking at the moss) he merely indicated all the other pines that we were walking through.

landscape ii

But what there was to see! We covered a little over 5 miles and the day was gorgeous for it. I think i even got a little sunburned. Besides all the pine trees, there was thick green moss in the forests, clover-like lily pads in the lake, and dried moss (at least 3 kinds of fungi/moss) on the rock surfaces. We began and ended on the rocky monadnock(s) of Bradley and Arabia Mtn. A monadnock is an isolated hill or lone mountain that has risen above the surrounding area usually by erosion (wiki). Stone Mountain is, of course, Georgia’s prize monadnock, a prominent dome of quartz monzonite, granite, and granodiorite (trust wikipedia). Arabia mountain is not so prominent, it’s surface has been carved up by excavators and it’s height is such that it is mostly hidden by the surrounding trees. The vast sheets of rock occur throughout the region however and are particularly intriguing to one who comes from a state with no true rock whatsoever (sandstone, a mere sedimentary rock, not included). Yes, these monadnocks (Kennesaw mountain being another in the Atlanta area) formed most likely by the eroding away of softer sedimentary rocks like limestone and shale, leaving the more resistant, volcanically-formed igneous rock standing alone. That’s the end of your geology lesson for the day though.

The rocky plains made for an industrial-looking site which still bore the marks of, well, industrialism. Most interesting were the hunks of granite already perforated for breaking into blocks, but abandoned when, I suppose the conservation area was formed. Looking around the top of Arabia mountain at this stepped landscape does make you wonder HOW much higher the peak used to be…

turkey chase

On my first day alone on the job I was chased by a turkey. Seriously.


I went out to Lithonia yesterday afternoon to inspect the H Homestead. No one was home so I parked outside the gate, let myself in, and was immediately seduced by the landscaping. A family lives in the house but the property is also used as (i think K said) a nursery, incorporating all the old farm buildings, a pond, etc, into their lush landscape. I intended to check it out after i inspected the house exterior but i would not make it that far. I walked on around the house and started to take pictures and notes, it was such a pleasant place! I got back to the front porch and wondered why it was such a mess—but at least, thought i, that doesn’t seem to be doing any real damage, as long as they clean… and then he appeared.


Thanksgiving incarnate, walking toward me, so fluffed up his feathers dragged the ground with an ominous “shhHHHH” sound. I was in awe, and began taking his picture now. But he wouldn’t leave me alone! He hopped off the porch and began following me around the yard, closer and closer, when i tried to pause he came within a foot or so and I, not really wanting to get pecked took his silent hint and kept moving. No, he never said a word, but he also never let his feathers down until i was out of the front gate and had shut it behind me!