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Owner of Augusta's Goodale House offers access to home in online fundraiser

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 10:26 AM
Last updated Thursday, July 31, 2014 1:48 AM
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A day after a Richmond County judge gave him two months to begin restoring Augusta’s historic Goodale House, owner Wes Sims started an online fundraiser, offering donors access to one of Georgia’s oldest surviving homes to reach his $115,000 goal.

According to Historic Augusta records, the house was built in 1799 on a tract of land known as "Goodale," because of a 500 acre plantation established nearly 60 years earlier by Thomas Goodale, who operated the Sand Bar Ferry across the Savannah River.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
According to Historic Augusta records, the house was built in 1799 on a tract of land known as "Goodale," because of a 500 acre plantation established nearly 60 years earlier by Thomas Goodale, who operated the Sand Bar Ferry across the Savannah River.

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Though all contributions are welcome, donors have their choice among five packages, ranging from $50 to $15,000 and rewards that include a brick from the house’s collapsed wall, original construction materials and a lifetime of weeklong annual stays at the Goodale Inn, except during Masters Week.

So far, three people have donated $50 to the account at GoFundMe.com.

All of the more than 2,000 available packages remain.

“Be a part of history and help save this brick home built in the 1700s,” Sims wrote on the fundraiser’s Web page, launched July 23. “Goodale’s Veterans were leaders in the American Revolution, War of 1812, the Polish Revolution and the Civil War. They founded not only Augusta, but
influenced the makings of this country from its birth. They were Governors, Senators, Representatives, Heads of Medical Institu­tions and even a President Elect.”

According to Historic Augusta records, the house was built in 1799 on a tract of land known as “Goodale,” because of a 500-acre plantation established nearly 60 years earlier by Thomas Goodale,who operated the Sand Bar Ferry across the Savannah River.

The nonprofit’s Web site states the 10-room home’s builder, Christoph­er Fitzsimmons, later presen­ted it as a gift to his daughter’s husband, Wade Hampton
Jr.

Sims purchased the house in 2009 for less than $20,000 and said Wednesday he intends to restore the 215-year-old Federal-style building that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 into an 18-acre landmark destination for weddings and romantic getaways.

Both the three-story house’s chimney and the adjoining wall, however, have remained unrepaired since collapsing in August 2011 and the property was declared a nuisance in October.

After a July 22 magistrate court hearing, Sims said he has hired a structural engineer to create stamped drawings and pull permits to start construction.

Judge H. Scott Allen said if the project isn’t moving in 60 days, a jury trial could be held to decide the fate of the house on Sand Bar Ferry Road.

Sims said Wednesday he is confident he will meet his deadline.

“Even if I only get $500, I will still continue with the renovations,” he said. “This will be a good place for Augusta and hopefully this fundraiser will help generate some interest in the house. Every little bit helps and this way, people get a return in their investment.”

PACKAGES FOR CONTRIBUTIONS

The Web site to raise funds to restore the Goodale House offers donors five packages for contributions that include rewards.

Carpenter $50

Receive a wooden mortar slat containing multiple hand forged nails used during the construction of the Goodale

1000 of 1000 left

Brick Layer $100

Receive a brick from the fallen west wall to have a piece of the Goodale

500 of 500 left

Booked! $125

Receive a voucher for a two-night stay at the Goodale Inn. Redeem anytime besides Masters Week.

500 of 500 left

Builder $1,000

Receive a personal invite for a week stay at the Goodale when restorations are complete.

Masters $8,000

Receive use of the Goodale when completed during Masters Week.

Patriot $15,000

Receive a lifetime of weeklong annual stays at the Goodale Inn, except during Masters.

2 of 2 left

Comments (17) Add comment
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Little Lamb
49258
Points
Little Lamb 07/30/14 - 09:37 am
6
0
Clock Ticking

Well, if the judge's order was on June 22 giving him 60 days to get hammers flying and he just started fundraising on July 30, time's a wasting.

corgimom
38762
Points
corgimom 07/30/14 - 10:34 am
7
0
"and a lifetime of weeklong

"and a lifetime of weeklong annual stays at the Goodale Inn, except during Masters Week"

I consider that deceptive advertising and fraud. Jim Bakker got in trouble for doing the same thing with Heritage USA.

How can he offer lifetime stays when the place is currently uninhabitable? What happens if he goes out of business, or doesn't raise enough money? How do you promise something that doesn't even exist?

When somebody offers something like that, that's a sign that people need to head the other way.

redfish
816
Points
redfish 07/30/14 - 10:35 am
11
0
Fair is Fair...

If a judge can order this man to work on the Goodale house, when will a judge order Bonnie Ruben to repair her burned properties on Broad St?

Cameron Poe
1040
Points
Cameron Poe 07/30/14 - 11:17 am
7
1
So Sims bought this house in

So Sims bought this house in 2009 and planned to restore it, and now he needs a crowd sourcing campaign to fix it up? What was his original plan? Did he plan on purchasing the house and then slowly fixing it over the next 20-30 years? These people should not be purchasing houses to renovate or remodel if they do not have the money or means to make the property at its very least safe. These run down homes and properties in our city are ridiculous. They look like disaster areas. Fix them. Fine the owners do whatever needs to be done and that includes those that have "friends" in city gov't. Stop handing out favors to people that don't help the city. Get it together folks. Don't buy a giant dilapidated home or property if you do not have the means to maintain and restore that property. Oh and if you sitting on these properties speculating it might go up in price realize that your run down property is part of the reason why your speculation is and has been going nowhere fast for the past 20 years.

PrayN4U
397
Points
PrayN4U 07/30/14 - 11:31 am
2
8
don't forget

He named all the prestigious honors of the Goodall family, “Goodale’s Veterans were leaders in the American Revolution, War of 1812, the Polish Revolution and the Civil War. They founded not only Augusta, but influenced the makings of this country from its birth. They were Governors, Senators, Representatives, Heads of Medical Institutions and even a President Elect”, don't forget they were obvious slave owners. I'll pass on buying a brick or staying there.

historylover
19113
Points
historylover 07/30/14 - 11:38 am
5
1
The owner

of this property has not even attempted to cover the hole created when the wall fell several years ago. He could have completed nominal repairs just to keep the interior from more damage, that would not have bankrupted him. Now he wants help. It's not that I mind giving him help, but why not ask for volunteers - not donations. It just doesn't leave a good taste in my mouth and Corgi you are exactly right. It is a crying shame, but we will probably all see this house come down in the next year or so. :(

flipa1
3098
Points
flipa1 07/30/14 - 11:48 am
9
1
I offered almost full asking

I offered almost full asking price but my LARGE CASH OFFER was turned down only for it to be sold for a pittance...There's a story there somewhere..

jimmymac
48076
Points
jimmymac 07/30/14 - 12:12 pm
1
0
HOUSE
Unpublished

Tear it down and sell pieces for those wanting a memento.

AFjoe
5624
Points
AFjoe 07/30/14 - 12:22 pm
4
3
Location, location, location

Who would consider staying there once exact location is known....Sometimes the old stuff just has to go...

Pops
14761
Points
Pops 07/30/14 - 02:22 pm
3
1
Maybe he can go into

business with Bonnie Ruben and open a Christmas tree farm inside the house...........

amarie525
5837
Points
amarie525 07/30/14 - 09:12 pm
1
1
amen

You are spot on redfish! Still, hope this relic can be saved.

iaaffg
3152
Points
iaaffg 07/31/14 - 02:47 am
3
4
maybe he should call the
Unpublished

maybe he should call the kumbiyah chick up in new england who managed to raise 40,000 bucks for the neglectful mama who left her kid in the park. if people can donate money for a neglectful mama they don't even know, perhaps they'll find some pennies for a neglected house.

jrbfromga
448
Points
jrbfromga 07/31/14 - 06:12 am
0
0
No web link
Unpublished

Cannot find the link to contribute. This home needs to be saved, please provide EASY link.

corgimom
38762
Points
corgimom 07/31/14 - 06:50 am
4
2
I roamed all over the place

I roamed all over the place when I was a kid, so did every other kid in my home town, and nobody thought parents were "neglectful".

Now we have helicopter parents who won't let their children out of their sight, and the children are helpless and can't do anything on their own.

AFjoe
5624
Points
AFjoe 07/31/14 - 08:03 am
1
2
Lots of ink been wasted on this old house

Mr. S, tear down that wall, I mean house.
Sorry I just can't get exicited about the "eyesore".

historylover
19113
Points
historylover 07/31/14 - 08:16 am
1
1
AFjoe

I understand your points about both the location and the condition of the Goodale House, however I politely disagree. First of all, historic properties should always be saved when possible. Experiencing history first hand is always a better tool for teaching than the use of photos or essays. Secondly, I'm assuming there are still some very high dollar town homes located very close to this house on the Savannah River. They have not been affected by the location. Again, I do not agree with the way the owner is seeking out high dollar donations, but I do wish him luck. One more thing, I don't know if you lived here back when the Harrison family owned the Goodale Inn and operated a restaurant there. It was a wonderful place. I think there are many of us who would love to see the house returned to it's old glory.

historylover
19113
Points
historylover 07/31/14 - 08:20 am
1
2
PrayN4U

As terrible of an institution as slavery was, it did exist. Every old home and old home site in Augusta-Richmond County was most likely a site where slaves lived. We cannot erase our past. We must learn from it. I do not believe that not supporting the Goodale house should be equated with protesting slavery. We all, who are thinking individuals, protest slavery and all it represented.

jimmymac
48076
Points
jimmymac 07/31/14 - 08:35 am
1
0
HOUSE
Unpublished

It sounds as though the owner wants to open a for cash business that is financed by everyone else. He's using the "it's historical" to justify his plea for other peoples cash. If you want to open a business do it the old fashion way. Invest in it with your money.

dsterling9
1255
Points
dsterling9 07/31/14 - 09:36 am
2
0
Nice to do by worth it?

Yes it would be nice to save the building; however, let's wait until the engineer's report is in. I would almost bet the repairs will far exceed the value of the building and property. Mr. Sims remarks sound like those of the average politician. Promises and no follow-thorough. Mr. Sims has had ample time to come up with a plan for work on this building which has been an eyesore for sometime and has not even bothered to keep the grass and weeds cut back. Some of our local 'celebrities' had a hand in allowing this property to deteriorate.

wessims
110
Points
wessims 07/31/14 - 12:45 pm
0
1
Fundraising...

The fundraising idea came from an Augusta Chronicle reader and I didn't think it was a bad idea. I bought the home and immediately began making repairs. At the time I had disposable funds to devote to the restoration. What I did not have was the money to rebuild the wall when it fell. Regardless if I raise another dollar from anyone else, the Goodale will be restored. I was simply offering a means for people to help if they so desired. Instead of people just giving us money we wanted to offer a reward system that was fair. Anything we receive will help and is appreciated. This is not a con or a last ditch effort to get some money. When the Goodale is restored it will stand on a 2 acre 1800's oasis and will be a historical and haunted destination for all. As far as slavery is concerned, The Hampton's owned a large plantation and had many slaves who worked on it as did most plantation owners at the time. I have read several memoirs of former slaves that were at he Goodale and they speak very highly and favorably of the Hampton's. They were treated very well and the Hamptons publicly criticized neighbors in the unfair treatment of slaves.
Help if you so desire....it's a big project and I'm only trying to ease the burden.

Stunned 2
6331
Points
Stunned 2 07/31/14 - 01:36 pm
2
0
Pray for the decendents of Indentured servents, while you're

praying. While researching my family genealogy recently, I found a record of a child being indentured to a farmer for a fee. He was a white child. Don't think that African American families are the only ones that suffered at the hands of wealthy Plantation owners.

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