On its surface, Fayetteville appears to be much like any small town on the outskirts of a major city, but it still has retained many of its historic buildings and charm. This is something Fayetteville takes great pride in and it shows. Murals and historic plaques decorate the historic square and many of the businesses around it adopt names that incorporate what the building was in a former life.
The full history of Fayetteville and Fayette County is a long one. It was hit hard during the Civil War, Reconstruction, and hit with several natural disasters. Yet, the first and second Creek war would be monumental, and possibly the most important, for the future of what is now Fayette County. After all, if this had not occured none of these places would exist today.
The first Creek War (1813-1814) is recognized as part of The War of 1812 since the Creek Indians allied themselves with Britain in hopes they would be able to keep their homes from the increasingly growing American Nation. They also aligned themselves with another native tribe the Shawnee and their leader Tecumseh in a final effort to keep the invaders off of their land. The Creeks that disagreed with the war or simply wanted no part in it were killed in their sleep or burned alive. A few of those Creek did escape this fate and did ally under the Georgia militia in hopes that a compromise could be made.
The Choctaw and Cherokee also allied themselves with the American forces since they had been long foes of the Creek tribe and also possibly in an effort to keep in the good graces of the Americans so they too wouldn’t be removed from their homes. Unfortunately history will tell us that this did not go in their favor. When the Americans won the war the Native Americans land was seized, Choctaw and Cherokee included.
The Creeks that did fight on the American side under Chief McIntosh were also forced off of Georgia land but were allowed to stay in a small area between the Georgia and Alabama border thanks to what is known as the Treaty of Washington of 1826.
This would not last long though. The final act of Jackson’s cruelty wouldn’t be fully enacted until the Indian Removal act was passed which would result in the Second Creek War of 1836. Infact, one of the ancestors of the first family to own the Creekwood house fought in this war. His full name is lost to time and is only referenced by his first and middle initials in any government record.
The Creek tribe was reduced to one narrow strip of land and starvation was rampant due to lack of resources. White settlers were either defrauding them or stealing their already small amount of land outright. However the Creek had no intentions of leaving their land and decided to put up a fight. It was quickly stamped out by the American army and the Creek were forced to join the other Native Americans on what is known as the Trail of Tears.
The land that the Creekwood house now sits on was part of the 1821 Land Lottery. The rules of the lottery are a bit long winded but depending on a male’s age, relationship and veteran status determined how many ‘draws’ they got to buy land. Though the property around the home was mostly bought up by the Adams family, it was actually Samuel Williamson who purchased the stolen land. It was his only purchase leading to a reasonable conclusion with the rules of the lotter that he was bachelor 18 years of age or older.
Fayetteville itself wouldn’t be founded until 1823. Both Fayette county and Fayetteville are named after Marquis De Lafayette, a French nobleman who aided Washington during the Revolutionary War. It wouldn’t be long after its creation that business and residences would spring up and create a thriving small town.
Unfortunately on Easter Sunday of 1982 the courthouse would be firebombed by Henry Turner and Charles Harris in an effort to get rid of a burglary charge. They were apprehended but the top floors of the building and the documents they contained were destroyed. Because of this there is a huge gap in property records, birth certificates, death certificates, and many other pieces of useful information about the history of the land Fayette county occupies. So there is a monumental gap between the purchase of the land in 1821 and the building of the house in 1984.
The Creekwood house itself is a mile or two from Fayetteville tucked away in the small forest slowly being claimed by developers, but still quiet and remote enough that a radio will crackle with static while driving through the winding roads. It is a young home, only being 35 years old, but it sits on ancient land with a long history both known and unknown.
A warm light shines from a window through the trees in the dark still night filled with stars. Full of many mysteries and stories that were and are to come.
Cary, Caroline “The Day Our 1825 Courthouse Was Firebombed”
Encyclopedia Britannica, “Creek War”
Lynch, John “History of Fayetteville”
Reeves, Frances “History of Fayette County, Georgia 1821-1877”