Bostwick homestead oldest known home still occupied in Newton County
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.