House in Harrisburg once part of a school

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Lori Davis' move into a century-old house in Harrisburg was going to be temporary. She was planning to build a home in the suburbs.

Six years and a few life changes later, Mrs. Davis and her new husband, Roger, still live in the Harrisburg house, and she has no plans to leave. She even had a pool installed to prove she's there to stay.

"I want to help fight to change the neighborhood," Mrs. Davis said of the historic mill neighborhood that has had its share of bad publicity in recent months. "It can be a wonderful neighborhood."

Harrisburg-West End has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1990.

High ceilings, heart pine floors and architectural details are part of the home's charm.

Mrs. Davis has decorated the home with antiques and a variety of artwork. One of the antiques is a clock that was owned by her great-grandmother.

"My grandmother remembers carrying it in a horse and buggy on her lap when they moved," Mrs. Davis said.

Mrs. Davis considers her home her haven. When she's inside, she leaves the rest of the world behind, she said.

Reach Charmain Brackett at


WHO: Lori and Roger Davis

THE HOME: Three-bedroom, two-bath, 2,100-square-foot house in Harrisburg

IT'S A FACT: The Davis home is one wing of what was the Fifth Ward School, which was built in the 1880s, according to Erick Montgomery, of Historic Augusta. A new school was proposed in 1908, and the building was divided into parts and moved. Mrs. Davis' home and a neighboring house were part of the school, as is another building used by Mercy Ministries, a few blocks away. John Milledge Elementary School is now at the old Fifth Ward School site.

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