The property containing 751 acres was purchased in 1862 by Samuel Winkler Harville. Samuel was born December 17, 1826 and died January 19, 1915. He along with his family, constructed and lived in a log cabin just south of the Harville House for many years. Samuel was a prominent resident of Bulloch County holding several titles and positions including: school teacher in Stilson area, one of two delegates from Bulloch County sent to Milledgeville to sign the secession papers, Captain in the 44th district militia Confederate Army, Justice of the Peace, Clerk of Courts, and a farmer.
Keebler Henry Harville (Samuel’s only living son) was born December 10, 1857 and died May 12, 1946. Keebler purchased the property from Samuel for $5.00 and built the Harville House. He was married to Hester Jane Byrd, born 1870, died 1947 and they had eleven children.
At the time of Keeblers death he had grown the farm to 2800 acres. More than just a landmark the farm was self sustaining for 10 families. It included a grist mill, saw mill, cotton gin, two story smokehouse, ice house, syrup house, and a commissary. He was the first in Bulloch County to sell peanuts commercially and he picked peanuts from Blitchton to Claxton. Keebler bought and brought to Bulloch the first corn snapper and he planted a large pecan orchard on the south side of the home.
Originally built as a one story house around 1894. In 1904 Keebler awoke from a dream that impacted him so much that he changed the shape, size and design of the house. He added a second story to the house resulting in a total of 14 rooms to accommodate a growing family. A water well was incorporated into the back porch near the kitchen and large pantry. The design of the remodel was based on a dream of Keeblers. The lumber used was cut and sawn from timber grown on the farm. The planed and turned lumber was done locally within the county. The home used a Delco electrical generating system and they were early users of an installed telephone.
Ewell’s Park School was located on the property approximately a mile southeast of the house. The building and property was provided by Keebler Harville. The teachers had room and board in the Harville home and the Harville children attended the school.
In 1946 Keebler passed away and his wife followed a year later. Their daughters Naomi and Nan were the last to live in the home, passing away in 1967 & 1976.
Descendants of Keebler still own the home and property and hope to some day be able to restore it to it's glory days.
Copyright photos by: Two Crafty Cats Photography