The Parterre circa 1835 is known as the Warner-Hill-Clark House or Clarkland Farms with the National Registry of Historic Places. It has a rich and unique history that started as two separate houses that were miles apart until they were married in 1865.
The original home was built by Hiram B. Warner in 1835. Warner was a lawyer, politician, jurist and educator. He served on the Supreme Court of Georgia, represented Georgia in Congress and was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia on two occasions.
The second home was owned by Reverend Abner Reeves Callaway who’s son, Fuller Callaway, later founded Callaway Mills. Fuller Callaway’s son Cason Callaway is the founder of the famous Callaway Gardens.
The two homes, became one in 1865 when Warner’s daughter Mary Jane Warner Hill purchased and dismantled the home formerly owned by Abner Callaway. It was then integrated as the second floor to the Warner home. The impressive double porches, that give the plantation house such a statement, were added at this time.
Upon close inspection, the slight differences in the woodwork of the homes can be seen. The lower story has chair railing throughout, and the trim work around the doors and windows are more elegant. The second story has more ornate woodwork around the doors and windows, however it lacks the charming chair railing.
The bedrooms were resized in 1980’s when it was purchased by the Gabriel family. This included adding bathrooms, as well as the kitchen and den that is seen now. The current home consists of 5 bedrooms, 4 and a half bathrooms, a stately library, a formal living room, a formal dining room, receiving spaces, an impressive 10 fireplaces and 7 porches.
The home was purchased by the now fourth family, Andrew and Suzanne Blanchard. Suzanne has had a lifelong dream of owning a wedding venue that was only made stronger after her daughter Krissan’s wedding. After nearly 10 years of searching for the perfect place, she fell in love with the Warner-Hill-Clark house and knew they wanted to make her dream a reality. In 2016, they purchased the home and have begun the multi-year restoration of the parterre gardens and grounds. They will begin opening the home for weddings and events in early 2017. They hope to share the history of the home and it’s unique marriage story with each of it’s visitors for many years to come.
Below are the write ups from the National Register of Historic Places from 1974:
Present and Original Physical Appearance
The Warner-Hill-Clark House in an example of the Greek Revival style built in the mid-nineteenth century. The present structure was constructed out of two cottages, one of which was built in 1835 on the site of the present house.
This two-story weatherboarded house has a hip roof and double portico with four fluted Doric columns on each level. The pediment of the gabled porche has ornamental brackets. At the wall are fluted, matching pilasters. The side lights around the door of the lower story are more intricate than the ones above. As a result of the combining of the two cottages, the woodwork and style of the second story is slightly different from that of the lower story.
Originally at the rear of the house there was a simplified version of the double portico on the front facade. Later, part of the upper porch was enclosed for the addition of a bathroom. During the Clark’s ownership the lower story was removed to accommodate a family room and breakfast room. A kitchen win, added earlier, replaced the separate kitchen.
A small house, still standing, was built in the backyard for Hiram Warner’s brother, Obadiah Warner, a lawyer and judge. One of the two rooms of the cottage served as his office.
Hiram and Sarah Warner had imported English boxwoods planted in formal gardens near the house, some of which still flourish. Boarders and parterres, square on one side of the yard and round on the other, were laid out. In later years, less attention was paid to the yard, and grass was planted, disregarding the formal designs.
When the Clarks bought the house in 1934, these gardens were restored with cuttings from the original plants. This was made possible by the hundreds of bulbs that, undisturbed through the years, continued to come up in the yard marking the old patterns.
Statement of Significance
The Warner-Hill-Clark House is a Greek Revival style structure, built out of two single-story buildings. Its owners, the Hiram Warner and Louie Cleveland Clark families, have been prominent in Georgia history.
The fact that this house is a combination of two somewhat similar cottages, placed one on top of another is unusual; and that such a well integrated design has been formed from this merger is even more significant. Originally the house was a one-story cottage built by Judge Hiram Warner in 1835, and c. 1869 Judge Warner’s daughter, Mary Jane Warner Hill, added a second story. This was accomplished by dismantling a similar cottage nearby, formerly the home of Rev. Abner Reeves Callaway (1832-1893), ancestor of the noted Callaway Textile family.
Judge Hiram Warner (1802-1881), builder of the original cottage on the Warner-Hill-Clark House site, was a brilliant lawyer, judge, prominent statesman and successful landowner and planter. Warner was a native of Williamsburg, Massachusetts, and came to Georgia in 1822 to teach; but he soon began reading law in the Georgia and U.S. judicial and congressional systems, serving as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court and in the House of Representatives in the 34th Congress. As a plantation owner he was ahead of his time in using experimental methods of fertilizing and crop rotation.
Judge Warner’s daughter, Mary Jane Hill, and her family owned the house until 1934 at which time Louie Cleveland Clark bought the property. Clark, and outstanding college athlete, was active in local and state politics and served as Clerk of the Court for Meriwether County.