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History of the Pettigrew-White-Stamps House

      The Pettigrew-White-Stamps House is a typical early 1800 dwelling found throughout this area, in the Carolinas, and on into Virginia, with rooms added to the central portion as family needs dictated. The restored cottage has a real claim to the term historic as it is the second oldest residence in Thomaston. Engaging facts about the several families who have lived there through its long history add to the claim.

      Careful research and family records authenticate the brief account. On old city maps the original site was lot No. 11 on North Street, now Church where the United Bank has drive-in facilities. The adjoining area, No. 21 known as Tan Yard Lot is on the Lewis Jones Big C Shopping Complex. Thomas Beall sold these lots to John S. Pettigrew on March 5, 1833, for $150.00. Mr. Pettigrew sold the two tracts with dwelling on lot No. 11 to John J. Dodson on January 12, 1836, for $1500.00. He in turn on January 1, 1840, sold the properties to Benjamin B. White.

      Mr. White, born on October 29, 1811, in Elbert County, Georgia, died November 25, 1887, and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery. On Tan Yard Branch, now Town Branch, he operated a tannery and ran a boot and shoe store on he north side of the Square. The 1850 census listed him as a farmer.

      Benjamin White married three times, and as the family grew rooms were added. His first wife was Louisa Burton. He married Mary (Mollie) O. Richardson in 1846. The children were Thomas, Amos W., and Sallie. The bedroom added on the original south side was called Miss Sallie's room. She was organist for the Methodist Church and Sunday School. In April 1872 they presented her with an elegant silver cup inscribed to note her talented services. Sallie married Mr. Redding of Zebulon.

      When Mr. White married Sallie O. Stamps in 1867, the kitchen was detached from the house. In November 1873 it was totally destroyed by fire and soon afterwards a kitchen was added to the main building. The next week another fire was discovered, fortunately extinguished by Mr. White. Both fires had been set. As a result he and other concerned citizens organized the first fire company, the Hook and Ladder Company, No. 1, and in January 1874 demonstrated its equipment, the Champion Fire Extinguisher.

      Sallie Stamps White died in December 1923 and willed the residence to her sister Mattie Stamps. In 1932 Martha and Britt Stamps, her niece and nephew, moved there to care for their elderly aunt. The homeplace was meticulously maintained to preserve its early charm. When the Citizen and Southern Bank bought the property in 1969 to expand drive-in service, they gave the home to the Upson Historical Society. It has been restored on the new site and officially opened during the Upson County-Thomaston Sesquicentennial Celebration April 10-13, 1975.