Travlers Rest ~ Excerpt from "History of Macon County"
By Mrs. Louise Hays
PP 126 to 127
Barnard's Crossing, about two miles below Montezuma, was on the old Indian Path from Columbus to St. Mary's and had been in use for many years. The beautiful spring and pleasant grove on the east side of the river attracted the traveler and it was more or less a camping ground in the last part of the last century.
Miles Patrick relates that a party from South Carolina moving westward came to the river and, finding the river up and crossing upon the flat impossible, encamped there and called it "Traveler's Rest" A settlement soon followed and Traveler's Rest became the social and religious center for the planters for many miles around.
The very name breaths of romance and peace and homely hospitality. In the 1830's and 1840's in the glowing sunset of evening, Travelers' Rest offered a haven to the peddler with his pack, the dust stained traveler on his weary horse, the farmer with his train of wagons carrying cotton from Macon and intermediate points to Albany, to be carried down the Flint River to the Chattahoochee and to the Gulf.
A state coach made this same route, running between Macon and Albany, by way of Traveler's Rest, crossing the Fling River by ferry at what is now known as the Jim Brown place, and on by old Hamburg to Americus and Albany. An octagonal shaped post, hewn out by Miles Collins, father of R.O. Collins, supported a sundial which marked for the traveler the passing of the hours. This post is still standing, in good state of preservation, to point out the exact location of old Traveler's Rest"
There is attached a story of Travelers' Rest copied from an old Montezuma record; written in 1894 by Wm Harrison, father of Jim Harrison. It will be noted that he deals with the town proper, but Traveler's Rest had a wider scope than its immediate limits. The membership of its churches included the planters for many miles around. So leaving the town to his pen, it is well to record some of these distinguished pioneers who lived in lordly fashion on their plantation.
In the early part of the year, 1821, a group of families left Orangeburg District, South Carolina, came to Georgia and settled on the land which is now included in the counties of Macon, Houston, Dooly, and Sumter. Among these people was a family of Trulocks who settled in the present Spalding District. With them were three Dykes boys; an orphan, John Elijah and his cousin, B.B. and his brother. John Elijah stayed with the Trulocks but B.B. and his brother went on to the land now used as the National Cemetery at Andersonville. After this land was sold to the government this family of Dykes moved east to Cochran and Hawkinsville.
William Trulock and his brother, Norrell, built a home among the Indians. This house is standing in Spalding and is occupied.
On Dec 20, 1821, John Elijah Dykes married Rebecca Trulock, the sister of William and Norrell. They built a log home northeast of Spalding on the Henderson Road. Because this land was still in the hands of the Indians, J.E. Dykes and his wife Rebecca, left Georgia and went to north Alabama. This country also belonged to the Indians so they only stayed there a few years -- living those few years in constant danger, yet struggling to make and keep a home. About 1829 they returned to the present Dooly County. Here they farmed until their death in 1848. They are buried in the Penniehatchee Cemetery but the graves are not marked. It is peculiar that John E. and Rebecca were born in Orangeburg District, S.C. within a month of each other. John was born June 28, 1801 and Rebecca, July 25, 1801. And they died within a month of each other. John died Jan 27, 1848 and Rebecca died Feb 8, 1848.
Benjamin D. Plant a native of New Haven Connecticut, a brother of I.C. Plant of Macon, moved with his wife, who was Maria Kaigler, a sister of Mrs. John Haugabook from Columbia, S.C. and settled on the place known as the Dr. Richardson place. He was buried at Traveler's Rest in 1839. His wife was remarried to Lewis Rumph and was well known and beloved as "Aunt Maria".
John Haugabook from Lexington Co. S.C. who married Harriet Keigler, settled on the adjoining place and built one of the first two-story houses in this county. This plantation is known as "The White House Place". One of John Haugabook's daughters, married Rev. Jim Spivey and lived on the place known as the "Spivey place". Another married Dr. Leggett and moved to dooly. In later years when Rev. Spivey's children began to grow up Jim Spivey built a little schoolhouse and engaged a governess who taught all the children of the neighborhood. The teacher was Miss Joe Varner of Indian Springs, and among the little children were the Haugabook children, Mittie and Jim Caldwell, and the Spivey children.
Daniel Haugabook, a brother of John, settled about two miles above Montezuma, buying his land from John Ruskin.
On a farm between these two Haugabook brothers, John Young settled and built a house which is said by some to be the first house for white people in the county. If not the first, it is one of the oldest and is known as The Fields House. John Young's daughter, Lavinia, was the second wife of Shadrack R. Felton; Mary married L.D. McMillon, parents of Mrs. A.J. Hamilton; Czarina. Eunice married Fletcher T. Sneed. There was also a son, Cicero.
John Young was a progressive farmer and well might the landscape artists of today take lessons from him. In 1849 he planted the Cherokee Rose on his fences around his entire plantation as well as his cross fences. He was said to have had eight miles of this hedge.
His neighbors, Daniel and John Haugabook, continued the hedges around their farms, thus enclosing hundreds of acres with Georgia's future State Flower. Daniel Haugabook's plantation extended to the road which is the paved highway today and even yet clumps of this Cherokee Rose Hedge are found, growing on this modern thoroughfare.
Ezekiel Adams with his wife, who was the Widow Bivins, formerly Martha Rushin, settled on Horsehead Creek. They worshiped at St. Paul's Church and he was buried there --- later disinterred and moved to Traveler's Rest. His son, John Adams, married Eliza Ann Barnes and built the old colonial home near Fields crossing on the A.B. & C. Railroad, now owned by his daughter, Pearl Adams. Two of Ezekiel Adams' daughters married George and Nathan Massey, who came to Macon County in 1843. They all lived near John Adams and with Ludwick Hardin formed a congenial neighborhood.
John Edwards and his wife, Edith Clark, from Virginia, were living on Horsehead Creek before 1839. Their son, Rev. Jasper Edwards, and his wife, Mahala Braswell, of North Carolina, together with Mrs. Edwards' father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Braswell no doubt worshiped at Traverler's Rest, as Mr. and Mrs. Braswell are buried there; but the Edwards are buried in one of the oldest church yards in the county, St. Paul’s.
David Jones from Newberry, South Carolina, who had drawn many lots in Dooly and Macon County, including Montezuma of today and his wife, Mary, daughter of Alice and Marmaduke Mendenhall of Wilkes, were buried at Traveler's Rest in 1845.
Pernal Patrick, with his wife, Catherine Parsons, came from North Carolina, in 1831 and settled on the place known as the Beverly-Patrick place.
One of the teachers at Traveler's Rest was Richard F. Lyon afterwards on the Supreme Bench.
Other buried there in its early days were Wm. S. and Solomon Forehand; James Powell from Robinson, North Carolina, and his wife, Celia; Wm S. Houghton and his wife, Mary; Dr. Wade H. Powell; Richard B. Smith of Craven County, North Carolina; J.A. Miller; A.S. Mangham; Jones M. Taylor from Mecklenburg County, N.C.; Patelock Thompson from Richmond Co, NC; Rev. Elias Jordan; C.P.H. Miller, a Mason; Dr. Terry O'Quinn, a Mason; John S. Culpepper from Edgefield District, S.C.; Wm. N. Collins, a Mason; Rosco Lipsey: Aleck and his wife, S.A. Forehand; Jeremiah D. Walters and his wife, Rebecca M. Dykes.
Ichabod Davis had a plantation just beyond Spalding. His children were Mrs. M.D. McKenzie, mother of "Jim Doc" Morgan; Warren; John: Mrs. Causey: Mandy who married Tom Sutton; and Mrs. Sam Turner, Sr.
James W. Armstrong lived in Traveler's Rest. He later purchased 3,100 acres including the land from Spalding to the river. When Oglethorpe lost so many of its homes he bough a hotel and rebuilt it on his farm. This house is now occupied by Mrs. Laramore. While Armstrong lived there, the stage coach from Traveler's Rest to Augusta passed in front of the house. Fletcher Norris came there to oversee for him in the fifties, afterwards moving to Montezuma.
I.G. Cheves with is wife, Anna Elizabeth McCowan, moved to Macon Co in 1834 and settled first in the upper part of the county where he had drawn lots. Then he bought the John Young place and later he bought the place from Armstrong, which has since been known as the "Cheves Place".
The Epting family and the Wicker family came from Newberry, S.C. and settled near the "Big Oak". Edward Brooks lived in the same community. John R. Felton lived above Barron’s Lane on the place known as the Simmon’s place and the post office, located at the Cross Roads was called Marthasville. William R. Brown's father lived on the Brown Place in the beautiful old house, still standing.
Shadrack Ware with his wife, Clarissa, came from Twiggs Co in 1851, purchased the plantation of 3,000 acres which still bears his name.
Ike Harvey, whose daughter, Bertha, married Tom Lofley and lived on the place now known as McKenzie-Haugabook place.
Traveler's Rest bridge fell in 1862 or '63 and a flat was installed and used until 1867 or '68 when it was moved up between Montezuma and Oglethorpe where the bridge now stands.
*Armstrong gave the land for the Baptist Cemetery and David Jones gave the land for the Methodist Church and Cemetery in 1836.
When the railroad was built in 1851, the first survey was near Traveler's Rest. The work on the railroad was started and the river crossing was surveyed near the site of the old Traveler's Rest bridge. One of the pillars erected for the railroad bridge is still standing on the edge of the river. The course of the railroad was changed and this survey abandoned. Had the original survey been accepted, Traveler's Rest would no doubt have held its prestige as a town; but when changed the stores were moved to the railroad at Montezuma and the town soon became one of the dead towns of Georgia.
The organizers of both the Methodist and Baptist Churches of Montezuma were from the membership of these churches at Traveler's Rest.