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Camak House - Athens, GA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ChapterhouseInc
N 33° 57.576 W 083° 23.002
17S E 279773 N 3760236
Quick Description: An important landmark in the history of Georgia Railroads.
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 8:17:46 PM
Waymark Code: WM60MR
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 1

Long Description:

On March 10, 1834, a group of Athens men met in this house, then the home of Mr. James Camak, to accept the charter of the Georgia Railroad Company and to organize the corporation. At this meeting Mr. Camak was elected its president, and he soon began a tour of the State building up interest in the railroad and explaining it purpose. Camak served as president for two years and played an important part in blazing the way for the future success of the company. The Georgia Railroad Company was incorporated by an act of the legislature in 1833 and empowered "to construct a Rail or Turnpike Road" from Augusta to Eatonton, Madison, and Athens. It was during Camak's administration, in 1835, that the charter was amended to change the name to Georgia Railroad and Banking Company and to authorize the company to conduct banking buisness. The Georgia is the oldest railroad in the State operating under its original charter. By 1847 the main line from Augusta to Atlanta, as well as a branch line to Athens, had been completed. The company continued its banking activities until 1892, at which time a subsidiarl, Georgia Railroad Bank, now Georgia Railroad Bank & Trust Company, was formed to conduct the banking buisness.


Occupying a four-acre city block on a hilltop overlooking Prince Avenue, this two-story building possesses a four-over-four room, central hall plan. The Federal style influence is evident in the fanlight of the central doorway and the white-washed brick construction. A raised basement, a low-hipped roof, and two-story pilasters detail the house. The intricate porch displays columns, railing, frieze, brackets, and acroteria of cast iron. The Meigs Street right-of-way and several other intrusions have imposed upon the original acreage and taken away the previous frontage on Prince Avenue.

Built in 1834-1835 by James Camak, university math professor and builder of the Georgia Railroad, this house was the first to be constructed in the Prince Avenue area. After the incorporation and chartering of the Georgia Railroad in 1833, a stockholders meeting took place at the Camak House in 1834. James Camak served as the first president of the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company and also organized the Camak Factory, which became the Princeton Factory, in 1834. When the Branch Bank of the State of Georgia was established in 1834, he became its director. As a major exponent of improved farming methods, Camak was instrumental in the formation of the country's first Agricultural Society in 1845. After Camak's death in 1847, his descendants occupied the house for the next hundred years. A combination wellhouse/bathhouse stood behind the dwelling until demolished about 1934. The Mount Vernon Lodge No. 22, F. & A. M. purchased the building in August 1949, and in 1979 the Coca-Cola Bottling Company bought the property and restored the exterior. The law firm of Winburn, Lewis, and Barrow subsequently acquired and rehabilitated the property and won an award from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation in 1993.

The Camak House was documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey (GA-14-67), is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (July 7, 1975), has been locally designated as a Historic Landmark (March 6, 1990) and recognized by the Georgia Historical Marker Program (029-10).


Street address:
279 Meigs St
Athens, GA usa

County / Borough / Parish: Clarke

Year listed: 1975

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Person, Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1825-1849

Historic function: Domestic: Single Dwelling

Current function: Social: Clubhouse

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Lat34North visited Camak House - Athens, GA 6/20/2009 Lat34North visited it
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