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Stop Nineteen

STAGECOACH HOUSE

At the end of this sandy street, you’ll find the Stagecoach House on your right.  In the days when the stagecoach ran from Richmond, Charleston, and Augusta on its way to New Orleans, it passed through Madison directly by this house.  Though this house lot was created as part of the 1837 subdivision of the portion of the Town Commons, the framing and millwork in the front portion of the house point to a construction date between 1810-1820, suggesting the house was moved to the site. After purchasing the house in 1844, Rev. Lucius Wittich expanded it to the rear and added the two-story Greek Revival portico with smooth square columns; the square columns were more economical than the elaborate, round versions often seen. 

            Also added to the front at that time were one story wings perpendicular to the front of the house. Located on either end of the front portico, each had a door opening onto the porch. Lady stagecoach passengers refreshed themselves in one wing and gentleman in the other.  In 1919, the wings were removed and put together to make the sweet little cottage next door with two front doors. 

            By 1840, the Georgia Railroad had reached Madison from Augusta and stagecoach travel began to dwindle as did business at the inn.  However, boarding was still needed for the teachers and students of Madison’s academies and female colleges. In fact, Rev. Wittich served as the superintendent of the Madison Female Academy one block away and was a charter member of the Madison Female College two blocks away. It is likely some of his students boarded here. One windowpane bears the names of several young women etched in the glass with their diamond rings, a tradition used to test the authenticity of the diamond.

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