Tate House, Tate, Georgia
Original Cherokee County. This should not be confused with today's Cherokee County, which is actually just a small part of the original.
The original county was designed to extend Georgia's law's over the Cherokee Nation, which would later be ruled illegal by the Supreme Court. Yet the state pushed ahead with its attempts to take the Cherokee homeland by force. Harnage, who was part Cherokee, had moved to Cincinnati to get away from the problems in Georgia. After the Harnage It was in this lottery that Samuel Tate brought a plot of land along the Old Federal Highway where the Harnage House sat. It had been designated land lot #147 in the lottery.
Tate, who had not seen the property when he moved from further east to his new home, made an interesting discovery rather quickly. The property not only had the Harnage Tavern and outbuildings, but the remains of a long-vacated Cherokee village, behind the tavern. This was the site of Long Swamp village, which Andrew Pickens destroyed during the American Revolution (1782). The Cherokee, who sided with the British during that conflict, paid dearly for their choice. Pickens destroyed villages from the present-day South Carolina-Georgia border to here, then demanded the Cherokee cede land to him to make up for backing the English. Pickens didn't know it, but the Cherokee gave up land that belonged to the Creek and moved on.
British writer and geologist G. W. Featherstonhaugh visit the tavern in 1837, now being run by Tate. In his diary he noted:
After a very hot and exhausting journey of forty-five miles, thirty of which I had to walk, we arrived at 8 p.m. in a valley where there was a tolerable tavern kept by one Tate; and having refreshed myself with some good food and got a bath for my feet, I was most glad to lie down.One of Samuel Tate's sons, Stephen Tate, was an adventurer. When gold fever struck Stephen headed west to California. By 1854 Stephen had returned to Georgia and was selected to help decide the new county seat.
Stephen Tate and his wife raised 19 children on the Tate property. Towards the end of the 19th century quarrying marble was a booming business in the area, with many small, independent producers. Stephen Tate tried to organize the independent producers, but died before he completed the task. Tate's son Samuel, who was known as Colonel Sam, completed the task his father set out to do and created the Georgia Marble Company.
In 1923 one of Sam's quarries (on the old Nelson property) ran into a unique vein of pink marble. The Colonel decided to use for the home he was building. Sometimes called the "Pink Palace," this is the mansion that is known as the Tate House.
After Sam's death in 1938 the property fell into disrepair. When a couple purchased the mansion in 1974 the roof was nearly gone and there was a moonshine still in one of the rooms. She and husband worked hard, first bringing the mansion up to current building code, then creating one of the most unique bed and breakfast offerings in the state. Anne's first husband died and she remarried Joe Laird. Anne and Joe Laird continued to run the facility into the 1990's.
Today the site is an event facility.
Tate House is located just west of Tate, Georgia. From Atlanta, take I-75 north to I575. Take I575 north to the Appalachian Development Highway (515). At Route 108 turn right and go through Tate. The mansion is on Route 108 past the town on the right.
Situated on an enormous vein of marble is the historic Tate House. Built as a personal home by Colonel Sam Tate, land/baron, philanthropist and business tycoon. Passing the north of the mansion is the “Old Federal Road” where the Cherokee Indians lived until ordered off by the “Treaty of New Echota.” In 1834, this led to the forced removal known as “The Trail of Tears.” As a result, the Tate House is now the fifth site on The Chieftain Trail, dedicated by the governor of Georgia, August 1, 1988.
Colonel Sam died in 1938 at the age of 78, only 12 years after moving into his house. Neither he, his brother Luke nor his sister Miss Flora ever married. The last of the immediate family left the house in 1955.
The house remained unoccupied and neglected until 1974, when Ms. Ann Laird of Arizona discovered it. She purchased the house and began a 10-year restoration project.
The 19,000 square foot mansion was designed by the International Architectural Firm of Walker and Weeks, Cleveland, Ohio. The marble home is an excellent example of the second renaissance revival style. It is an adaptation of Italian and English classical styles.
The interior of the house is as beautiful as the exterior. The entire first floor boasts varying types of marble floors and marble mantles on all four fireplaces. The second floor has four bedrooms, a morning kitchen and an office. Each bedroom has a fireplace. The summer kitchen has the original triple oak iceboxes and tin sink with butler’s pantry.
There are six working fountains on the estate. The gardens invite you to stroll through the centuries old oaks and black walnut trees.
In January 2001, the estate was purchased by Holbrook Properties, LP. Lois Holbrook and Marsha Mann plan to continue the restoration of the mansion and gardens.
Recently named one of the top “must see” places in Georgia by Georgia Magazine, the beautiful pink marble mansion is one of the most photographed privately owned homes in Georgia.