Discover Augusta's Joseph Rucker Lamar Boyhood Home - Local stove merchant William H. Salisbury constructed the Joseph Rucker Lamar Boyhood Home in 1860. Stay and Play in GA!
Joseph Rucker Lamar Boyhood Home
An excellent example of the Italianate style of architecture, the 2½-story house has architectural details including an elevated 1-story front porch with Corinthian columns, dentils, gable brackets, brick chimneys, masonry lintels and sills, and a front entrance with transom and sidelights. A 1-story brick side addition dating from in the 1880s has a c. 1940 second story.
Wealthy benefactress, Emily Thomas Tubman, provided the house to the First Christian Church to use as a parsonage. Joseph Rucker Lamar (1857-1916), a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, spent his childhood and young adult life in the parsonage, while his father James Sanford Lamar served as pastor of the First Christian Church.
The Lamar family resided in Augusta until 1875, when James accepted a new pastorate in Louisville, Kentucky. Joseph Lamar lived in the house between the ages of three and 18. While there, he became friends with Thomas (Tommy) Woodrow Wilson, who lived next door in the Presbyterian Manse. Together the boys attended school, played baseball, and held meetings in the attics of their homes.
Later their careers in Washington overlapped with part of President Wilson’s first term (1913-17). As an adult Lamar became a prominent political and legal leader in Georgia. He codified the laws of Georgia in 1896, and served on the Georgia Supreme Court from 1902-05. President William Howard Taft appointed him to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he served between 1911 and his death in 1916 at age 58.
The church sold the house in 1875 to Ferdinand Bowdre Phinizy after constructing a new church building with an attached manse. The Phinizy family lived in the house until 1885 retaining it as rental property until 1932. From the 1930s until 1990, the house was a tourist home and boarding house. Historic Augusta purchased the then dilapidated building in 1995.
After extensive rehabilitation, the organization now utilizes the home as its headquarters and as the visitors center for the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson.
The Joseph Rucker Lamar Boyhood Home is located at within the boundaries of the Augusta Downtown Historic District. The house serves as t headquarters for Historic Augusta, Inc. and Visitors Center for the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson, for which admission is charged.
Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm, and Saturday at 10 am to 5 pm. No admission fee.