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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Living in the oldest home in Fulton County

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Victor Vaughn sits in front of the oldest frame home in Fulton County. Before Vaughn purchased it, the house had not been lived in since 1950 and despite necessary updates was in remarkably sound shape. Photo by Terrah Baker
The release of the Fulton County History Book has brought about information unknown to many citizens for over 100 years. Within the pages lay timelines of momentous events that changed Fulton County and the lives of those living in it. Although a small picture displays a brief glance into the history of the oldest frame home in Fulton County, restorer of the home, Victor Vaughn provides an in-depth look into the history of a standing testament to the citizens, past and present, of Fulton County.

Located on an 800-acre property known as Wildcat Hollow, complete with natural springs, gardens and a view overlooking Cherokee Village's rolling hills, stands a 148-year-old home completely restored into a work of rustic art.

The history of the property is told to the few who know Vaughn and his family although he soon hopes to share it with many.

According to Vaughn, the house was completed in 1860 and the strength of the structure, unlike most located in the county at the time, is the only reason the house is now able to become a home nearly 150 years later.

"One main reason this house survived is because it had an aluminum roof which allowed it to survive all of the rains," Vaughn explained.

When Vaughn originally brought his construction crew to the location to decide whether the house was worth salvaging, his head contractor said the house was built as a perfect square shape.

"The contractor told me he thought the house had been built by a professional contractor because the house was still solid and in good quality. He told me it would be a sin to tear it down. So, I'm just thankful we didn't," Vaughn said.

The Abstract to Title of Lands Vaughn found in his research of the home led him to find the name of the particular professional who built the house.

His name was William Ferguson and the date of entry was Feb. 10, 1860. Although not much can be found about the original owner, through additional research and a request for homestead paperwork from the United States Land Bureau, Vaughn was able to find some of the necessities this home must have had to qualify to receive free land.

The requirements read, "That there is erected on said lands: one house, one smoke house, one kitchen, one corn crib, one stable and about 10 acres cleared, fenced and ready for cultivation."

Although these amenities seemed necessary in the late 1800s, when Vaughn purchased the property and house, amenities expected in homes today such as running water and a bathroom had to be installed.

Because no one had lived in the home since 1950 and despite the sound outer-structure, the wood floors had begun to rot and became one of the few portions of the structure of the home that had to be replaced. An addition was made to the house in the form of a modest office/living area and one wall taken down between the kitchen and the front room. An original chimney still exists and a wood burning stove sits in the middle of the area adjoining the kitchen.

Since Vaughn has taken over the property, much like the settlers of the past, he has cleared many trees to make way for scenic views and 80 head of cattle that were located at the property until March of this year.

Vaughn hopes that one day the home is well known throughout the community and local citizens will have no restraints about visiting the property and relishing in its restored beauty.

Over 500 pages of the Fulton County History Book outline the triumphs of local citizens from past and present. Due to the impeccable craftsmanship of a Fulton County citizen long since past, Vaughn can enjoy his dream home and keep alive the aspirations and craftsmanship of those who are not.

Vaughn said that anyone interested in touring the area and house can contact him at 870-847-0282.

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