Below is a brief history of well-documented major events in Rockwell’s history.
There are many gaps – and many stories to uncover. We’re constantly working to learn more about the people important to the home’s history, including the craftsmen, enslaved people and residents who left their mark on the property.
The home is built for Col. Samuel Rockwell and designed by Joseph Lane, Sr., a transplant from Maine to Georgia’s 19th-century capital city from Maine.
Samuel Rockwell was the 7th generation from of Rockwells in America. He was born in 1788 in Albany, NY, and passed in 1841 at the residence.
Unusual for even the time, the home’s 12-inch square sills rest on 24-inch thick granite and rock rubble foundation, and every fourth floor support beam is 6-inches. No doubt the home’s sturdy construction is one reason it still stands in its condition today
Governor Herschel Johnson purchases Rockwell
Governor Herschel Johnson purchases Rockwell for use as his summer home.
Marshall Bland purchases Rockwell.
Bland sells the home to out-of-state family
Bland sells the home to an out-of-state family and moves out. The family never returns to take possession.
The Blands move back in
Sold to Ennis family
The Blands sell Rockwell (for real) to their cousin, Oscar Ennis. Oscar’s son Marion Ennis continues to live in the home until 1962
Fire damages Rockwell
While attempting to remove lead paint with a blowtorch, workmen hit an old bird’s nest which bursts into flames. The ensuing fire causes extensive damage to the roof and upstairs rooms.
In an effort to raise money for repairs, Dr. Watson sells the dining room to the Winterthur Museum in Delaware. It is still on display and includes the black marble mantel, wainscotting, impressions of the plaster cornices and medallion, and sliding pocket doors.
Ogden family purchases Rockwell
Cecil and Joann Ogden purchase the home and continue the restoration. A new roof is installed and chimneys repaired.
The Ogdens install a new kitchen.