History of Chickamauga, Georgia
Gordon Lee Mansion
The Gordon Lee Mansion was originally the Gordon residence built by Mr. James Gordon, who with his two brothers came from Gwinnett County, Georgia in 1836 to Crawfish Springs, now Chickamauga Georgia. Construction was started in 1840 and completed in 1847. The bricks used in construction were made on the residence grounds.
The walls of the house range in thickness from sixteen inches at the base to twelve inches at the top. Later a piping system was installed to pipe water from Crawfish Spring up to the kitchen, then bath house, then the spring house, and on to the watering troughs for the animals.
During the War Between the States, the main house was used by the Union Army for General Rosecrans Headquarters just before the Battle of Chickamauga. During the battle the house became a hospital and reports show that many soldiers died in the house, the floors were so blood-stained they were later covered with mats. Many soldiers scribbled a last message to loved ones on the walls, and the girls of the James Lee family made copies of them and tried to contact families of the soldiers after the battle.
Mr. James Lee purchased the homestead from the heirs after Mrs. Gordon's death. He was married to Elizabeth Gordon and was the son of a Methodist minister, and was one of the principal organizers of the nearby Methodist Church later named in honor of his wife (Elizabeth Lee Memorial Methodist Church).
Mr. Lee had a school in his front yard for his children and others in the community. The teacher was usually a male graduate of one of the well know institutions of learning of that day. In his will, Mr. Lee donated $250,000 and 15 acres to be made into a high school. Gordon Lee Memorial High School stands proudly today on the very land donated by Mr. Lee.
After Mrs. James Lee's death, the house was purchased by one of her sons, Mr. Gordon Lee, who served the Seventh District of Georgia in the United States Congress for 20 years. He completely remodeled the house in the early 1900's changing the double front porch to the present large one with tall, white columns.
In 1974, Dr. Frank Green acquired the property and extensively restored and remodeled the Mansion and grounds. Today, the Mansion stands on the hill overlooking the spring just as it did when it was first built over a century ago.
The City has recently entered into an agreement to purchase the Mansion and grounds.
Please visit the Gordon Lee Mansion website or phone them at (706) 375-4728 or outside the Chattanooga area phone (800) 487-4728 for operating hours.
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