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Downtown home holds piece of Dawson County history
Old house
New Jersey artist Neal Hughes visited Dawsonville on April 19 and painted an oil portrait of the house at 77 Tucker Avenue during his visit to Georgia for the annual Olmsted Plein Air Invitational. - photo by Julia Fechter

For many commuters, the vintage home at 77 Tucker Avenue is just another building in downtown Dawsonville. But to New Jersey-based oil painter Neal Hughes, it was his next painting inspiration.

Hughes was in the area for Atlanta’s eighth annual Olmsted Plein Air Invitational Gallery Exhibition. He’s previously visited the county and painted at Big Canoe and Amicalola Falls. 

“I like old buildings like this…I do a lot of old architecture,” he said, pointing out interesting aspects like the criss-cross porch railings or the double front porch. 

Recently, some Dawson-area residents expressed interest in the Tucker Avenue home, which has been unused for some time now. 

The Burt-Vandiviere-Bearden house currently sits across the street from the Dawson County Government Center, behind the Dawson County News office. 

However, its original location was at the intersection of Ga. 53 and Lloyd Seay Street, also known as West 3rd Street. 

Much of the home’s history is encompassed on pages 155-156 of the book “Dawson County, Georgia: A History” compiled by the Dawson County Historical Society and published by Farris Yawn.

This home’s journey started sometime before 1873, when John Palmour built the home. 

After its construction, the residence was sold in 1873 to David J. Burt, who lived there for about seven years. The home passed hands from David to Dr. William H. Burt, who owned it and practiced medicine there for 20 years. 

Then, the house was sold to Col. A.W. Vandiviere, who lived there until his death in November  1943. Rachael Bearden Parks, sister of J. Andrew Bearden, purchased the home from the colonel’s heirs, E.C. and H.G. Vandiviere. Rachael later transferred the title to her brother’s wife in 1949. 

Around that time, Andrew and Helen Bearden added a dayroom at the house’s rear. Initially, there was a separate kitchen in that part of the house. They both lived in the home until after his death, when Helen sold it to what was then called the Dawson County Bank in August 1984. 

As of that year, the home had two chimneys, one built with field stone and the other from handmade sticks. Under the Ga. 53 site, the home had a cellar.

Then in 1986, George and Marie David bought the home, moving it to its current location.

Previously, the downtown location hosted the old Tucker home, which was owned since 1876 by family members including George, Annie Tucker Anderson and Edna Anderson Noblin.

George and Marie restored the home, and she temporarily ran a tea room out of it in the latter 1980s. 

Meanwhile, after the home’s relocation, the bank built a new building at the old site in 1987. 

The David family still owns the home at 77 Tucker Avenue. 

This residence is another quaint reminder that in rural areas like Dawsonville, all it takes is a stroll around downtown to remember that people live and work daily alongside reminders of local history.


Pat Densmore-Floyd provided DCN with an excerpt of “Dawson County, Georgia: A History.”