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.
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
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.”