Athens GA: Spooky Pictures of City Hall and the Double Barreled Cannon


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The City Hall in Athens, Georgia was not completed until 1904, but a relic located on the grounds is Civil War related and perhaps one of the most unusual Civil War artifacts, preserved for 157 years and counting.

The Athens-Clarke County City Hall was built by L.F. Goodrich of Augusta, architect, and J.W. Barnett, contractor. Constructed of solid Lexington granite on the first floor and light buff brick on the upper floors, the building features oolitic limestone trimmings and a large clock tower. The clock tower is constructed of wood, topped by a copper cupola. Perched atop the four-faced clock and the dome is a huge eagle, with an eight-foot wing span. The eagle was originally intended to act as a weather vane, but due to its weight, it moves slowly. The clock was handmade, and originally operated by counterweights. Prior to being electrified in 1943, the custodian climbed five flights of stairs to wind it once a week.

Here's another picture that better shows the architecture of the building.

And, as promised, here's the Civil War related artifact -
THE ATHENS DOUBLE BARRELED CANNON - the only one of its kind and among the most unusual relics ever to be preserved from the Civil War. Designed by John Gilleland of Athens and built at the local foundry in 1863, the idea was that two cannon balls, connected by a chain, would be fired at once, and the whirling missile would cut down enemy soldiers in its path. The problem was, there was no way to regulate the fire to ensure both barrels would fire at the exact same instant. The result was a dismal failure but the cannon was preserved and today, sits silently, pointing North, on the grounds of City Hall in Athens, GA.




We are traveling this week, so be on the lookout for more threads from the places we visit. :D
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Jun 27, 2017
Southeast Missouri
I have read about the cannon before, but not the courthouse. It is still a an interesting but ineffective artillery piece. I thought it was going to be the courthouse, where the image of a man's face is burnt into the glass. Still it's a neat CH.

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Being from Athens, Georgia, the double barrel cannon was a fixture in my childhood. Daddy always believed the cannon was not quite thought out as well as it should be and said it caused more harm to those firing it than against those who were to be fired upon.

If you’re still in Athens, on Milledge Avenue look for the ADPi house. The cast iron on their porches is from the last boat before the Civil War Started.

Also, visit the Presbyterian Church in town- if memory serves me well, there is still a cannonball stuck into the wall and the steps leading to the sanctuary are still stained with the blood of soldier when the church was turned into a field hospital.
Other areas of note, history wise,
1)The first Garden Club headquarters in the country is on the edge of old campus and Lumpkin Street- believe they still have one of Lincoln’s couches.
2)The Taylor Grady house on Prince Avenue is another lovely home to visit. The 13 columns are for the 13 original colonies. The home was owned by the Atlanta Journal and Constitution editor.

Other cool things:
1) The Brumby House
2) The tree that owns itself
3) Historical market for WL Moss, the gentleman who developed bloodtyping.

4) Both Athens and Jefferson, GA claim Crawford W. Long. He’s the gentleman who developed anesthesia. ( story was at a frat party at UGA they wanted some extra recreational fun and once inhaled, they could kick the poor guy and he didn’t feel it. Upon awakening, he had no recollection of the incident- instant anesthesia.

5) The UGA campus is the oldest land grant university in the country. Beautiful buildings and the museum on old/front campus is a good stop.

6) Proximity to Watkinsville, Ga. Eagle Tavern is located there. This was the one reason the a university wasn’t started in Watkinsville - the desire of drink. However, the first Presidents of UGA left correspondence stating they could determine from the top of one of the buildings by the dust churned up from the horses just how many students had gone drinking.
7) Proximity to Madison, Ga. Beautiful antebellum homes that take up city blocks are located there. The town square still has nice shops, etc. Sherman spared Madison on his march to the sea. Story goes is that his WestPoint’s roommate’s sister lived there and he had been sweet on her so he spared the city. ( not sure if the provenance of the story )
8) The Poppy Lady responsible for WWI poppies being sold to raise money for the Veterans is from Athens, GA.

There’s a good bit more to Athens, of course. Between good restaurants, The B-52’s and R.E.M. are from here too. But, I will keep those mentions to a minimum as this isn’t the subject matter of your post. However, if you’d like info on any of that, please message me and I can fill you in on them.
Enjoy the Classic City-


I have read about the cannon before, but not the courthouse. It is still a an interesting but ineffective artillery piece. I thought it was going to be the courthouse, where the image of a man's face is burnt into the glass. Still it's a neat CH.

Had never heard about the lightening portrait in Alabama until today- that’s pretty incredible! The only other window stories that come to mind is once from Nashville and the Hermitage. It’s the “tried and true” myth/story of a newly betrothed lady testing her ring to determine if the stone is a diamond.
But, I’ve never seen a face in the glass until now. :smile: