THE HISTORY OF THE MAJOR LONG HOUSE:
Major Young James Long was born to a prominent family in Tennessee in February, 1803. Two hundred years later, in February of 2003, his home in Newnan, Georgia was opened to the public after a long and interesting history.
Long was a veteran of the Indian Wars, attaining his military rank. He was a cousin to President James K. Polk (in office when the home was built) and David Crockett. He settled in Newnan in the early 1830’s to practice law and was named the first Solicitor of the Coweta Circuit Court. Interestingly, this same position was later held for many years by Clifford Cranford, who grew up in the house one hundred years later.
He was active in politics and served as a delegate from Coweta County to the political convention in 1836. The same year he formed a law partnership with B. D. Thompson. In 1845, at the age of 42, he married Caroline Grantland of Upson County, Georgia. The following year he bought a 100 acre tract one mile south of the court square and built this home. The Longs had five children – Grantland Seaton, Walton Hill, John Hackett, Myrtie Mary Lucy and Mattie Young.
Grantland served as a cadet with the Georgia Militia during the War Between the States. During the war, Newnan ladies of the Presbyterian Church met in the wide hall of the Long home to scrape linen for surgical dressings and to make bandages from tablecloths for the Confederacy.
Their daughter recalled the family sitting around the fire melting pewter teapots, spoons, and kitchen utensils and molding them into bullets for the army. Mrs. Long died in 1864 and Major Long died in 1869. The children were sent off to boarding school and the property was sold to James Jones. It was rental property for over 50 years and then became home to the Cranford family, relatives of Jones.
In the 1970’s, the house was sold and turned into a church called Sunnyside Baptist. Some interior walls, windows, doors and trim were removed and the house slowly deteriorated. In 2000, the church began building a new structure adjoining the house and wanted the property where the house was located for a parking lot.
When approached, the church members agreed to give the house away so it could be saved. It was moved a mile to its current location in the fall of 2001 in two pieces with its upper floor and roof removed. It was reconstructed, carefully preserving the original features and reproducing missing pieces. Original colors and details were determined and matched. The columns and porch were reproduced from an old photograph.
The house is furnished in the style of the day using many pieces from the estates of Newnan families. The horsehair sofa in the parlor descended in the Brewster family, relatives of Mrs. Long. The pier mirror in the hall came from the Piedmont Hotel in Atlanta which was owned by the Parrott family of Newnan. Other furniture and decorative pieces are from the Manget, Wynn, Gearreld, and other longtime Coweta County families.
The restoration has won several awards, including an award for Excellence in Restoration from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation (one of only three such awards presented statewide in 2004.)