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Gilleland house placed on National Register

POSTED: June 3, 2009 4:00 a.m.

One of Dawsonville’s legendary homes, the Boyd and Sallie Gilleland House, now known as Peach Brandy Cottage, can now be found on the National Register of Historic Places.


Located at 3 Shepard’s Lane in downtown Dawsonville, property owners nominated the house which was added to the list on May 6.


The beautiful home that was built by Boyd and Sallie Gilleland in 1929-1930 at the height of prohibition is now a much sought-after locale for wedding ceremonies. However, Dawsonville legend claims the house was a cover for an elaborate moonshine operation, according to current cottage owner Caroline Christie.


“It was built in 1930 and modified to include secret rooms where they made moonshine,” said Christie.


The secret room, which can only be reached by walking through a small upstairs bedroom and through a closet to a tiny entrance area, has no windows or doors.


“That’s where they kept the still,” Christie said, “and there was another smaller secret room off the first room where they could hide if the lawmen came.”


During Prohibition, Boyd Gilleland made moonshine at the house, which sits on Hwy. 9, just south of the town square. 


Hwy. 9, more commonly known as Thunder Road by the moonshine runners and revenuers of yesteryear, runs straight to Atlanta, which enabled easy transportation and commerce of  moonshine to customers and bars in Atlanta.


The moonshine success allowed the Gillelands to later develop several businesses for their children, including a service station, hardware store and Amicalola Lodge.


Boyd Gilleland also served as Dawson County Tax Commissioner and also was one of the founders of Dawson County Bank.


The bungalow remained in the Gilleland family until the late ’70s or early ’80s.

Local legend says the moonshine recipe was removed from the wall of the room when the house was sold out of the family.


The Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources serves as Georgia’s state historic preservation office and facilitated the Gilleland home in to the National Register of Historic Places.


The Gilleland home joins Dawson County’s Historic Courthouse and the county’s historic jail on the National Register.


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