ROGERS HOUSE AND ROSE COTTAGE
Next door, the Rogers House is a fine example of a Piedmont Plain house form and predates the neighboring courthouse by almost 100 years. Land in Morgan County was distributed through the lottery system, and applicants had to be “white males over 18, orphans, or widows.” This lot was purchased in 1809 by Reuben and Elizabeth Rogers who built this house shortly after Madison’s incorporation. In 1811, Rogers sold the property for $1,000. Three owners later, in 1817, Thomas Norris bought the house for $1,250. Norris had served in the American Revolution as a private in the Maryland regiment. He and his wife Sarah had nine children. Thomas died the following year, but Sarah lived here until her death in 1824. The Norris Family added the two rear shed rooms in 1820. In 1868 Martin Richter bought the house, remodeling it in 1873 and adding the decorative front porch and some other details we see today. In 1886 Richter sold the house to John Hunter, whose family owned the place for over ninety years.
The adjacent Rose Cottage was built by Adeline Rose in 1891, in west Madison near the Georgia Railroad right of way. The house was saved, moved, and restored to serve as an example of a working-class abode. Rose was born to enslaved parents in September 1864, some twenty months after the Emancipation Proclamation and just over a year before Sherman’s March to the Sea effectively freed the enslaved who had not yet benefitted from the Proclamation. When she built this house, Rose was a widow with two children. She supported her family by taking in laundry at fifty cents a load. For a time, she did washing and ironing for boarders at the Hardy House, owned by the mother of the famous comedic actor, Oliver Hardy (stop #4). The Rogers House and Rose Cottage are open daily for guided tours.