A Closer Look Into the Bacon Fraser House
If you’re a Liberty County native, then you already know the history of the historic home located in downtown Hinesville. For more than 180 years the Bacon Fraser house has sat nestled beneath a beautiful canopy of Live oak trees & a variety of flowers. The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and Liberty County Convention & Visitors Bureau were pleased to purchase the property in 2017.
A Brief History of the Bacon Fraser House
The Bacon Fraser house is the only house surviving from Hinesville’s early settlement period, located on its original property. The British Crown granted the heirs of Major John Martin 500 acres in 1752. Mary Jane Hazzard Bacon, widow of Major John Bacon of Riceboro, built the Bacon Fraser House in 1839 on a 23-acre tract situated on the eastern boundary of Hinesville.
Additionally, the home played an extremely important role in the social history of Hinesville due to housing the prominent Fraser family. In 1842 Mary Hazzard Bacon’s daughter, Mary William Bacon (1825-1884) married Simon Fraser (1816-1870), and they inherited the house and raised seven children. Simon Fraser was a deacon in the Midway Church, where he taught Sunday school to local children. He also served as Clerk of the Superior Court and was a member of the Georgia Legislature. Currently the house sits on 2.6 acres of land in what is now downtown Hinesville, serving as the welcome center to all who visit Liberty County. In 1982 the home was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The architecture is “plantation plain style” and it reflects the work of the best craftsmen of that era. The front and two-story section remain virtually unchanged. The rooms added in 1923 were removed in 1979-1980 & replaced by shed rooms, a porch, dining room and a kitchen. The modifications were done in the architectural & interior design of the 1839 era. It is a well-preserved example of a pre-Civil War Plantation Plain type, a significant form of folk architecture that was common in rural Georgia and the Southeast in the 19th century. The house is raised and rests on Savannah grey brick piers. The two-story weatherboarded five-bay structure has:
- Nine-over-nine windows with louvered (angled) shutters
- A shed-roofed front porch with turned columns and banister railing
- Brick entrance steps
- Entrance door with transom light
- A hipped roof
- Two rear wall chimneys
The interior of the original (front) part of the house has:
- A two-over-two room central hall plan
- Fine hand-planed woodwork including mantels
- Plaster cornices
- Ceiling medallions
- Curly heart pine floors
- Plaster walls
Other beautifully significant features include the baseboards, the original hardware & an octagonal newel post at the foot of the stairway banister.
Saved from Destruction
During the Civil War, as General Sherman’s army made their way through Liberty County, he came across the Bacon Fraser home. Mary Jane Hazzard Bacon saved the house when she used her husband’s Mason apron to prevent them from burning the house. Union Troops spared the home but not the barn & outbuildings.
A Landscaped Treasure
The property the house sits on is just as important as the home itself. Covering the grounds beautifully are:
- a Sycamore tree
- Live oaks with Spanish moss
- Several fine examples of 19th-century flowering shrubs
- Confederate Jasmine
- Tea plants
- Bankshire rose bushes
If you would like tour of the Bacon Fraser house just give us call and swing on by.