Questions About the Future of the Museum

Published on 8 November 2022 at 10:21

A notice has been posted (see image below) to let the public know that the city is accepting offers on the building that the Washington Historic Museum resides in. Offers must be received by November 15th at 1:00 PM. This has raised some questions and concern from citizens as to what the future of the museum will be. The museum was created in 1835 as indicated by the description on the website. There is a link to a museum website but the link is broken. The description reads;


The Washington Historical Museum, located in beautiful historic Washington, Georgia, contains an intimate collection of artifacts, memorabilia and antiques representing more than 200 years of history in Washington and Wilkes County, Georgia.

The museum was originally built circa 1835 by Albert Gallatin Semmes on land owned by Revolutionary war hero, Micajah Williamson as a traditional two over two saltbox style house. In 1857, the house and 100 acres was sold to Samuel Barnett, the first Georgia Railroad Commissioner. Samuel enlarged the house by adding front parlor rooms, hallways and a main staircase to accommodate a growing family and his visitors. Samuel's family lived in the house until the death of his daughter, Mrs. Edwards McKendree Bounds in 1913. The rooms are furnished and authentically decorated with antiques dating to the mid 1800's.

The museum hosts an impressive collection of artifacts including: Civil War relics, antique furnishings, art, photographs, documents, personal correspondence and Georgia pottery. Special Collection rooms include: The Confederate Room, The African American Room, The Children's Playroom and The Native American Room where visitors will discover a diverse assortment of materials relative to local history.

Unique features include: George Washington's gravy boat, Jefferson Davis' field desk, Dave the Slave pottery, an Eli Whitney Cotton Gin, a Victorian era suit or armor suit and more!


Several sources with knowledge of the museum have indicated individuals related to former Washington resident E.M. Bounds would like to obtain the building and utilize it, in part, to memorialize and celebrate his accomplishments. These reports have not been confirmed by city officials. Bounds was a Methodist Episcopal Minister from Missouri who moved to Washington when me married Emma Elizabeth Barnett in 1876.


I contacted Washington Mayor Bill deGolian and asked if there is information he is able to share and he replied “We are calling a public meeting to discuss the future of the museum on December 1. No decisions have been made. We will solicit feedback from the citizens of Washington before we do anything.”  Feel free to share your comments regarding the future of the museum in the comment section below and I will share them with the mayor.

Reported by Michelle Chaffee


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