Rose Hill


Rose Hill Listed in the National Register of Historic Places


ATLANTA (April 26, 2017) – Rose Hill, at Lockerly Arboretum, has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The nomination and materials were sponsored by the Lockerly Arboretum Foundation.

Rose Hill was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as an excellent and intact example of the Greek Revival style and the Georgian house type in Baldwin County. The Greek Revival style was the first architectural style to appear statewide in Georgia, and while the style is expressed through many variations, Rose Hill embodies almost all of its identifying features.

The two-story house’s stucco clad exterior, prominent columns supporting a full-width porch, the wide plain entablature, heavy proportions, symmetrical front façade, low-pitched hipped roof, and double-hung six-over-six windows are all indicative of the style. Rose Hill also exemplifies the Georgian house type through its two-story, square-shaped plan with a central hallway flanked by pairs of rooms and four interior chimneys. The house retains a high degree of exterior and interior integrity, with the last significant changes occurring in 1963, when bathrooms were added within each of the upstairs bedrooms. Historic interior materials include plaster walls, hardwood floors, pocket doors, mahogany doors, and marble and wooden mantels. Stairs and baseboards feature faux marbling, while most door and window surrounds have faux graining. Several of the associated outbuildings and structures are good examples of household ancillary resources, such as the vegetable crib, pit garden, and koi pond.

Rose Hill was built in 1852 by Judge Daniel R. Tucker, was used as a private residence and, later, as a corporate guest house until 1998. The Lockerly Arboretum Foundation purchased the 2.57-acre parcel encompassing the house in 1998 for use as an educational facility and house museum.

The National Register of Historic Places is our country’s official list of historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts worthy of preservation. The National Register provides formal recognition of a property’s architectural, historical, or archaeological significance. It also identifies historic properties for planning purposes, and insures that these properties will be considered in the planning of state or federally assisted projects. National Register listing encourages preservation of historic properties through public awareness, federal and state tax incentives, and grants. Listing in the National Register does not place obligations or restrictions on the use, treatment, transfer, or disposition of private property.


Rose Hill listed on Georgia Register of Historic Places

In 2015 Rose Hill was placed in the Georgia Register of Historic Places by the Historic Preservation Division of the state’s Department of Natural Resources. This designation was the first step in the process of being reviewed for placement in the National Register of Historic Places.

The nomination process, which required considerable research and documentation, was led by the Arboretum’s late Executive Director, Jim Garner.


Rose Hill

Rose Hil with fall leavesPrior to the present Rose Hill’s construction in 1852, another house with the same name stood on the exact site. It was a two-story wooden structure built by R.J. Nichols, an entrepreneur from Connecticut. Nichols named the house Rose Hill as there was an abundance of Cherokee Roses growing on the property. When Nichols died unexpectedly in 1849, he had failed to make a will and because he had numerous business ventures with multiple investors, his entire estate became tied up in litigation that took two years to unravel. Ultimately, Rose Hill and the 100 acres on which it sat were put on the auction block. On 6 January 1851, a wealthy plantation owner named Daniel Reece Tucker purchased the property for $5,500. It was quite a steal! Three weeks later the house burned to the ground. Tucker immediately began rebuilding and completed the present day Rose Hill in 1852.

Tucker’s life is detailed in research completed by Jess Burke, a Georgia College & State University graduate and former part-time Lockerly staff member. After Tucker’s death in 1879, the property passed to his daughter Emma Tucker Sibley and later to Dr. T.O. Powell. In 1886, it became the home of the George & Fannie Hammond Hollinshead family. In 1928, it was sold to the Reginald Hatcher family.

Cummings/Logue at the pondThe Hatchers renamed the house Lockerley (spelled in the British manner), after an estate in Hampshire, England that was said to be the ancestral home of Mrs. Hatcher’s family. The Hatchers completed a number of renovations and improvements to the property including expansion of the landscape. In 1963, the house and grounds were sold to Edward J. Grassmann, owner of American Industrial Clay and Georgia Kaolin companies, both located near Milledgeville. The house remained in the hands of the Kaolin industry and was used as a corporate retreat and guest house for out-of-town clients until being purchased by the Arboretum in 1998.

Self-guided tours are available during regular operating hours when there are no special events or private parties. Tour costs are $3.00 per adult, $1.00 for children and students, and $12 for a family of four. Tour fees can be paid at the Administration Office. Self-guided tours are available at no cost for Friends of Lockerly.  The Milledgeville Convention and Visitors Bureau offers trolley tours that often include Rose Hill.

Rose Hill and the surrounding gardens offer a beautiful setting for weddings and celebrations, as well as a unique location for business meetings and strategic planning sessions. Please contact Lockerly staff at for more information.