The Union Recorder

October 21, 2010

Andalusia gets grant to restore Hill House

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Flannery O’Connor-Andalusia Foundation will have the chance to rescue and stabilize the oldest existing structure at Andalusia with the aid of a $20,000 Georgia Heritage Grant awarded by the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Located 225 feet northwest of the Main House on the 544-acre estate, the Hill house is a two-story mid-19th century cottage that was once the home of African-American dairyman Jack Hill and his wife Louise during the time O’Connor lived at the farm.

“O’Connor refers to these farm workers on several occasions in her published letters, The Habit of Being. When PBS filmed an adaptation of O’Connor’s short story, ‘The Displaced Person’ at Andalusia in 1976, the movie included interior and exterior scenes of the Hill house,” The Flannery O’Connor-Andalusia Foundation Executive Director Craig Amason said via press release. “Andalusia is not just a place where O’Connor wrote her fiction — it clearly inspired many of her stories.”

This is the foundation’s second Georgia Heritage Grant. The first was received for the restoration of the water tower at Andalusia.

“We’ve been applying for federal and state grants and received several gifts from private sources to help rescue and stabilize [the Hill house] and ultimately restore it. The grant received, we’ll go ahead and rescue and stabilize it,” Amason said. “We will begin restoration probably the first of the year. We will have to shore the foundation, porches need to be stabilized, windows need to be covered, there are holes in the roof and floor and there’s just plenty to do.”

As the third cycle of Heritage grants, Gov. Sonny Perdue decided to help fund four projects totaling $50,400 this year, including $15,000 to the City of Cedartown to produce a preservation plan for the 1892 Cedartown Waterworks building, $10,000 to the Portal Heritage Society Inc. for exterior repair of the 1908 J.A. Stewart House and $5,400 to the City of Poulan for interior and exterior rehabilitation of the circa 1908 Poulan Library.

“It’s very obvious that the Historic Preservation Division believes in what we do here at Andalusia with not only their monetary support, but their obvious stamp of approval,” Amason said. “They really are the official office of historic preservation in the state, and it means a lot to get their approval; it’s very significant.”

For more information about O’Connor or the Hill House, the history of Andalusia or to schedule tours, visit www.andalusiafarm.org or call Amason at (478) 454-4029 or e-mail wiseblood@andalusiafarm.org.