Goodale investors plan to restore 1799 'masterpiece'

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It has been called many things over its 210 years, but its newest owner just calls it haunted -- and therein lies the charm.

"It's a historical masterpiece," said Wes Sims, who is buying the perennially vacant Goodale House off Sandbar Ferry Road. "It especially fascinates me that it is a haunted house."

The Birmingham, Ala., investor first heard of the former inn from an auction Web site. After a few visits -- the first of which was on Halloween -- he and his brother Aaron decided to buy it.

"It has great history -- built by one of the founders of Augusta," he said.

Built in 1799 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 as the Fitzsimmons-Hampton House, the Federal-style, multistory building has a most unusual pedigree, according to research compiled by Historic Augusta Inc.

The surrounding area -- now flanked by Bobby Jones Expressway and mammoth chemical factories across Sandbar Ferry Road, was once a 500-acre plantation established by Thomas Goodale in 1740. Mr. Goodale operated the Sandbar Ferry at the nearby river crossing, in addition to a restaurant and inn, according to early historical accounts.

In 1799, the year the home was built, the site was sold to a Charleston, S.C., merchant named Christopher Fitzsimmons, who later gave the home to his daughter's new husband, Wade Hampton Jr. His son, Wade Hampton III, would later become governor of South Carolina.

Mr. Sims said the house definitely has a presence that warrants further exploration of its paranormal potential.

"When we were outside, driving around to take pictures, we saw a silhouette of what looked like a little girl in the window of the third story," he said. "Then it backed away. My jaw just dropped. It was exciting."

There were also curious noises from the ancient attic -- and at least one door that keeps turning up open, even when it has been properly closed.

Greg Honeymichael, an agent with Meybohm Realtors who is listing the 1.9-acre site, said the sale will be completed within a few weeks.

The house was used as a restaurant in the 1970s and early 1980s and was priced in the $250,000 range several years ago, said Gwen Fulcher Young, whose real estate company previously listed the site.

Such a sum, she added, was unrealistic because of its condition and location.

After failing to sell, and two foreclosures in previous owners, it became much more attractively priced, she said. "After the last foreclosure it was down to something like $29,900."

Mr. Sims said the current selling price is less than $20,000 and a great deal. He hopes to restore the house and might someday explore uses that could include a bed and breakfast or a private home.

"We've looked at several ideas," he said. "I could definitely see this house being on one of those ghost hunter shows, too." he said.

Mrs. Young, who showed the house numerous times over several years, said she was unaware that it might be haunted.

"When I was in there, nothing ever grabbed me," she said. "Except the asking price."

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119 or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (35) Add comment
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ss30809
44
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ss30809 12/09/09 - 02:32 am
0
0
Wow...I have never heard of

Wow...I have never heard of this house in Augusta til now.

smartie
0
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smartie 12/09/09 - 03:12 am
0
0
awesome! i'm happy to see

awesome! i'm happy to see someone buy this treasure and hopefully fix it up. it's far enough from the stinking projects and chemical plants, and has enough acreage to achieve some privacy. also, it has some very nice homes just over the levy, and across the river. i'm a little dumbfounded that it could've been bought for this price. i had no idea. wish i had've. a fence, security system, and about a dozen doberman's, and i'd consider living there myself.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 12/09/09 - 05:11 am
0
0
Not the world's best

Not the world's best location, but great history. I'm glad to see an investor so interested. Haunted houses only affect those sensitive to the haunting, not everyone is. (ever met someone who doesn't read body language?)

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 12/09/09 - 05:47 am
0
0
can't wait to see what it

can't wait to see what it looks like when its restored.. who ever owns the houses at the westbound onramp of calhoun expressway have done a fabulous job!

LEO
0
Points
LEO 12/09/09 - 06:23 am
0
0
This was a steal, especially

This was a steal, especially with the potential for demographic improvement with the Kroc Center nearby.

JacquesUlar
0
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JacquesUlar 12/09/09 - 06:30 am
0
0
LEO, you have me confused.

LEO, you have me confused. "Kroc Center nearby"????

LEO
0
Points
LEO 12/09/09 - 06:32 am
0
0
Am I confused, is this not in

Am I confused, is this not in the Harrisburg area?

LEO
0
Points
LEO 12/09/09 - 06:34 am
0
0
My error, I confused it with

My error, I confused it with the Ezekiel Harris house. I need to go back to sleep.

catfish201
0
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catfish201 12/09/09 - 07:03 am
0
0
I ate there several times

I ate there several times years ago when it was a restaurant. It was one a very beautiful home.

gailkaitschuck
18
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gailkaitschuck 12/09/09 - 07:58 am
0
0
I too ate there when it was a

I too ate there when it was a restaurant. Beautiful place. It is hoped that the new owner restores it back to the beauty it once was.

Gail

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 12/09/09 - 08:01 am
0
0
wow..wish Ihad known about it

wow..wish Ihad known about it also...what a deal !!!

raskalero
0
Points
raskalero 12/09/09 - 08:53 am
0
0
I have spent a number of

I have spent a number of nights at that old house and yes I know it is haunted. A friend of mind owned the house in the early 90s and challanged me to spent the night in the attic.
I went up there and right away received a cold chill and declined.
History has it that some lost gold is buried on the property and
one owner bulldozed a Indian burial mound located behind the
house looking for it. To the new owners BE CAREFUL

seenitB4
85748
Points
seenitB4 12/09/09 - 08:53 am
0
0
I ate there too in the

I ate there too in the 80s,,nice place,, brings back some fond memories...wish I could feel that good again..

gnumbgnuts
0
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gnumbgnuts 12/09/09 - 08:54 am
0
0
210 years old. That's a lot

210 years old. That's a lot of history. I drive by it all the time and never gave that place a thought. Can't wait to see it if it the new owner does indeed restore it.

sstea
1184
Points
sstea 12/09/09 - 08:57 am
0
0
This is a cool house...drive

This is a cool house...drive by it everyday going to and from work...can't wait to see what they do to it :)

seenitB4
85748
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seenitB4 12/09/09 - 08:57 am
0
0
From what I remember the

From what I remember the restaurant was in the basement & husband & wife ran the place..

gnumbgnuts
0
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gnumbgnuts 12/09/09 - 09:03 am
0
0
Hey AC, what's the deal with

Hey AC, what's the deal with not being able to edit/delete your own comments?

disssman
6
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disssman 12/09/09 - 09:09 am
0
0
I think what sold them was

I think what sold them was the willingness of our commissioners to fund such things with no questions asked. Simply set up[ a non-profit, elect your friends as a board and start asking for funding from the general fund. Simple and it is being done everyday.

FedupwithAUG
0
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FedupwithAUG 12/09/09 - 09:47 am
0
0
According to GIS site the

According to GIS site the property was sold in March for $119,000. Hope they clean it up and do something with it unlike some of the property owners downtown.

TrukinRanger
1748
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TrukinRanger 12/09/09 - 10:02 am
0
0
I bought a house back in
Unpublished

I bought a house back in July. During my real estate searches online this house kept popping up for sale in the 70's. I can't believe it finally sold in the 20's. It is a cool looking house, just close to the projects! It's right in the vicinity of Sandbar Ferry Rd & Laney Walker Blvd.. .and Columbia Nitrogen Rd. Across from the gas station. It definitely has potential and I wish the new owners good luck!!

justthefacts
21402
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justthefacts 12/09/09 - 10:11 am
0
0
Yep, it had a great Chicken

Yep, it had a great Chicken Cordon Blue dish.

Jake
32345
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Jake 12/09/09 - 10:28 am
0
0
My ex-wife's aunt bought this

My ex-wife's aunt bought this place in the early 80's and we would go over there a few times. The only thing I ever saw haunted was my ex-wife and her family.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 12/09/09 - 10:36 am
0
0
lol

lol

Boston93
117
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Boston93 12/09/09 - 10:47 am
0
0
Not sure, but I thought the

Not sure, but I thought the movie "God's Little Acre" was filmed there as I rember seeing the movie. In the movie, they were always digging for the buried gold mentioned above. I have also eaten in the basement restaurant and used to take prospective employees there to eat. Remember the food to be good. I think the FOR SALE sign that showed around $250,000 on it most likely turned many off from it. Also as I passed it many many times over the years, it appeared that someone lived in the rear right side section as I saw a vehicle setting there many times. Not sure if they lived there, but it was strange seeing the vehicle that often. New buyer got a good buy though, in my opinion,

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 12/09/09 - 10:50 am
0
0
The resturant in the basement

The resturant in the basement had the best bone in prime rib around and was always packed. I believe the resturant owners have something to do with the Pinnacle Club now-not sure though. And also used to have part of The Partridge Inn.

grinder48
1888
Points
grinder48 12/09/09 - 11:50 am
0
0
Best wishes to the new
Unpublished

Best wishes to the new owners. Whatever they do with it, Augustan's need to support to help show investors we support projects like this/

mike71345
75
Points
mike71345 12/09/09 - 12:31 pm
0
0
"Hope they clean it up and do

"Hope they clean it up and do something with it unlike some of the property owners downtown."
The Goodale Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. That listing places no extra legal restrictions on what the owner can do with it. He can bulldoze it tomorrow if he wants to. If you own a house in Augusta's downtown ghettos, however, you are supposed to seek permission even to change the knob on your front door. Augusta's 'historic preservation' system discourages improvement.

Boogaloo
1
Points
Boogaloo 12/09/09 - 12:35 pm
0
0
They also used to serve a

They also used to serve a really good peanut butter pie as well. I remember all of their food was served on what looked like pewter. It was a bit of a drive for dinner but the atmosphere was worth it.

Just Another Day
0
Points
Just Another Day 12/09/09 - 01:12 pm
0
0
Just Nuts4 is MIA so I will

Just Nuts4 is MIA so I will fill in: The big corporate machine has reared it's ugly head once again and only you know who will benefit from this crooked eeal. The non minority media is all fruits and pies with this project but it's really spinach and brussell sprouts. I will go on a hunger strike to show my disdain for this project and humanity"..........

donnymack
1
Points
donnymack 12/09/09 - 06:11 pm
0
0
God's little acre is

God's little acre is Savannah.

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