Bost­wick home­stead old­est known home still oc­cu­pied in New­ton County

The Covington News - - LOOKING BACK -

Gum Creek District is the home of the Johnny Rea­gans, thought to be the old­est oc­cu­pied home­stead in New­ton County. The ex­act date of the home’s con­struc­tion is not known; but, some of the records are dated 1803, ac­cord­ing to Mrs. Rea­gan, grand­daugh­ter of Wil­liam Bai­ley Bost­wick, who built the home and moved there while In­di­ans still roamed the sur­round­ing forests. From other sources, we learn that a treaty seems to have been made with the In­di­ans ced­ing much of this land, then in Bald­win County, to the white man.

The orig­i­nal land grant to Wil­liam “Bo­stick,” is dated Dec. 9, 1808, but sur­veys with it are dated ear­lier, and show a plat, No. 284, with 202.5 acres through which ran “Mur­der Creek.” At­tached to the Grant is a seal stamped on one side with the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Com­merce; and on the other the Seal of Ge­or­gia, dated 1799.

The orig­i­nal home had only one large room, but has been added to, and ve­neered with as­bestos shin­gle sid­ing in more re­cent years. How­ever, the vir­gin tim­ber, with ceil­ing, and wall boards some 18” wide, are well pre­served, and re­main un­touched. Wooden pegs are used in much of the house’s con­struc­tion; and such nails as are used, are an­cient square nails. An 1818 “Dic­tio­nar”; orig­i­nal Blue Back Speller; a han­dl­bown glass bot­tle brought from Ire­land in the 1700’s; and a “Min­nie ball pouch and loader” are among trea­sured heir­looms of Mrs. Rea­gan’s fam­ily.

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