Fort Lamar
These articles were submitted by
Charlotte Collins Bond

FORT LAMAR

This article was submitted by Mrs. J. C. Tabor to the Danielsville Monitor and printed October 17, 1941. It is reprinted here with the permission of the Editor, Mr. Jere Ayers.

The little village of Fort Lamar, Madison county, gets its name from the Indian fort there and the Lamar Creek running nearby. No one now living seems to know much about the original Fort. It has been called a Government fort, but no record of this has been found in the State’s history. Hearsay has it that the original fort was located in the flat somewhere near where Mrs. Albert Hutcherson now lives. This is near the lot owned by the late C.H. Andrews and where he lived and sold goods for many years. The logs of which this Fort was said to be constructed, were later used in a dwelling, which now stands on a nearby hill and [1933] is owned by Pearl Montgomery of Athens, Ga.

Old residents say that a few Cherokees may have made their camps near and there have been a few signs of Indian life, such as arrow heads, pieces of pottery, etc., but nothing authentic to show that the Indians ever lived here. No fighting was ever done that we know anything about.

Among the first settlers here were the Haleys, Millers, Jones, Teasleys, Carruths, Sailors, Attaways and others. A few years later the Tabors, Andrews, McWhirters, Montgomerys, Hutchersons, Paynes and several other families moved to this place or near by. The Tabor family moved from near Danielsville, also the Montgomery family from Danielsville, the Paynes from Franklin County and the Hutchersons from Elbert county and the McWhirters from South Carolina.

Among the earlier settlers was a Col. Thomas Jones who lived where Captain Montgomery later moved. Col. Jones married Margaret Connally first, also was twice married. He and his two wives are buried on the lot at Fort Lamar known as the Dr. Payne lot. There are also several other graves there; two being of children of Mrs. Inman, who lived there many years ago. There were brick markers over some to these graves but at present there are no signs of any graves there. Mrs. Inman was an aunt of Rev. Lewis Shelton of the Bold Spring community in Franklin County.

Dudley Jones married Elizabeth, daughter of Col. Thomas Jones and lived a few miles from Thomas Jones at what is now the Joab Collins land. Dudley Jones had a son Edd, to die and is buried at that place and his grave marked. There are other graves there…..one being a Mr. Patton, grandfather of the Brays who live on the Danielsville road. There has been some confusion in regard to the Jones Cemetery owing to there being no markers at Fort Lamar, and one marked on the collins place. Col. Jones had five daughters. One married Joel Haley, one a Connally, One Dr. Attaway, one a McEver, and one John Stoval

Mr. C. J. Andrew moved to Fort Lamar from Elbert County where he had taught school for many years. He still continued his teaching in Madison County and his influence was always for good. He was always active in Sunday School and church work, a quiet unassuming man…..a gentleman of the old schools.

I would like to record here some history of the schools taught at the little village, but I do no have the information at hand. Some of the older people have spoken of Lewis Gaines, a teacher noted for his harsh treatment, which seemed to be popular during that period among some older ones, the question would sometimes be asked "did you go to school to Lewis Gaines? , well you have my sympathy". This teaacher also taught in Hart County and of course the same record was carried on there.

This bit of history was given the writer by her mother, the late Mrs. Winnie [Payne] parker in 1933 and is published by request.

Mrs. J. C. Tabor

 

FORT LAMAR
By Mae Montgomery-Thornton
November 06, 1942

Copied with permission from the Editor of the Danielsville Monitor, Mr. Jere Ayers.

Situated in what was formerly the Cherokee Indian section of Georgia in the northern part of Madison County near Hudson river is an old Indian Fort. This fort was built by Captain John Lamar in 1790 and was called "Fort Lamar" after him.

Captain Lamar was born in 1740 and died in Columbia County June 18, 1799. He married three times, 1st. Mary Elizabeth Bugg, 2nd. Priscilla Bugg, 3rd. Lucy Appling. He fought in battles of Eutaw Springs and Cowpens under General Marion and Pickens, and was in the siege of Augusta. He was taken prisoner by Cornwallis, twice wounded by the British and once by the Indians after his removal to Georgia. He was in Colonel Dooley’s Battalion in the County of Wilkes in 1791, as shown by the general tax returns in Wilkes county for 1791.

"Captain Lamar’s Company" published in First volume, Joseph Habersham, Chapter D.A.R., page 248 by Mill Helen M. Prescott, contains the roster of Captain John Lamar’s Company, formed at Augusta, Georgai August 30, 1775. Forty-two names are listed as follows:

John Lamar, Captain; Samuel Jack, First Lieutenant; James Martin, Second Lieutenant; George Wills, Surgeon; John Martin, Sergeant; John McGehee, Sergeant; Robert McIntosh, Sergeant; Charles Wiles, Drummer; Joseph Davlin, John Twiggs, William Jackson, Humphrey Wells, John Bacon, Thomas Carter, Marin Wetherford, John Ivy, Daniel White, Alexander Downes, Patrick Garjason, John Newton, James, Murphey, John Farmer, Turrance Bryan, George Martin, Alexander Hannah, James Johnson, Isaac Vaughn, Wollican [sic], James Jackson, Charles Clark, Moody Burt, Valentine Clem, Peter Tarcauit, John Campbell, Robert Forgey, John Bodnafield, John Brandon, and Humphrey Hubbard.

All the above named men enlisted August 30, 1775 and served until September 19, 1775 when they were lawfully discharged. The Company was "The Committee of Safety". It was one of the first Companies formed in Georgia to assist in the defense of the rights of the American Colonies.

Captain John Newton Montgomery bought the land, on the highest hill on which Fort Lamar was built, from Major Thomas Jones before the Civil War. On his return at the close of the war, after being held prisoner on Johnson’s Island since his capture in the seconds day’s Battle of Gettysburg, as his more than a hundred slaves were free, he gave each of his five sons a plantation.

Lieutenant W. W. Montgomery, who served through the War with General Lee and wrote the paroles and selected the officers to take the places of those killed and was General Lee’s highest officer in rank at the close of the War, and James H. Montgomery, who served in the Medical Corps were deeded plantations in Floyd county, near Rome Georgia by their father. The land on which the Fort stands was deeded to my father, John Lucas Montgomery right after the Civil War and has been in the possession of our family since that date.

On the right going up the lane to the Fort was formerly a well-kept graveyard, which my people called "The Indian Graveyard". It was surrounded by a neat three-board fence built without an entrance. The graves were covered with small brick houses. For some unknown reason, my grandfather kept this graveyard under his own supervision during the whole of his lifetime. No one was permitted to pass back and forth through it. Although I was born at the Fort and lived there until thirteen years of age I was never in this graveyard. At my grandfather’s death my aunt, Mrs. I. H. Goss fell heir to this particular plot of ground and it was sold outside our family. It is now a waste, every vestige of a grave has been destroyed. I have been told that this graveyard contained the bodies of some of the Lamars.

It has been stated that the above is the Jones Graveyard. The Jones Graveyard is two miles away from the Fort on the Sidney Langford estate. There are two markers in it bearing the following inscription:

THOMAS JONES
Died 27th July 1851

MARGARET JONES
20th August 1846

This is sufficient evidence that the grave yard in front of the Fort is not the Jones Graveyard.

On the right-hand side and about fifty yards away from the Fort stood the Blockhouse. It was used by the white settlers to keep ammunition stored. At the southern end of the Fort stood a tall fine chimney in which was placed a stone bearing the date, "1790". Tenants tore down this chimney and built a small one between the rooms. This detracted greatly from the good appearance of the Fort. I have been told that the engraved stone mentioned above was placed near the bottom of this last chimney. I have also been told that papers, Indian and many other relics were found at the base of the original chimney. As I, nor any of my people have never seen these things I cannot vouch for the truthfulness of this statement. The date "1790" is also engraved on one of the immense logs of which the Fort is built. This date can be seen on the western side where the weather boarding and ceiling have decayed and fallen away.

I do not know when the Fort was converted into a residence. It has been in our family more than a hundred years. My infant brother is buried in the front yard. A sycamore tree was planted in the front yard by my grandfather. At each end of the backyard stood two huge Black Locust trees which were almost identical in shape and size. A big Ashe tree stood equal distance and between them. Standing under those giants of the forest and looking west one gets a superb view extending a mile in every direction. The Cherokees had a safe hiding place in the lowlands lying at the base of the high hill on which the Fort is built.

These lowlands were covered with canebrakes containing canes of great size. The old Cherokee Camping Ground is in my part of the bottom. Ever since I could remember, pieces of engraved pottery have been bound in these bottoms and arrowheads can be found nearly all over the community. I will mention one more fact about the Fort which might be interesting. In the closet and on the right-hand side ot the front window are port holes into which the white settlers would put their guns when fighting the Indians. On the south side of the Fort once stood a row of eight Cedar trees.

Fort Lamar could be made into a fitting Memorial to the pioneering citizens who endured so much to make Georgia the great state it is today.

 

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