James C. Little House aka Louise

Little House Louisville Georgia

This Gothic Revival home known as the Little House was built at the end of the Reconstruction Era sometime between 1867-1876. The original owner, James Cain Little, joined the Confederacy at the age of 17 before becoming President of the local railroad for 30 years. James was the son of Robert Patterson Little and Elizabeth Cain Little and was a prominent merchant in town from 1869 until the early 20th century.

James Cain Little and family
The owner, James Cain Little, is at the right next to his second wife Nellie. His mother is behind him and 6 of his children are on the porch.

In 1875, James Little bought approximately half of a city block from William A. Wilkens, one of the early large property owners in Louisville. The purchase price was $2,000. The following year, Mr. Little contracted with L.J. Guilmartin & Co. to build his large residence. He paid them $4,000 to build his 5,000 square foot home on one of the corner lots. The elegant home features a dramatic central staircase, 15-foot high ceilings, a wrap-around front porch, etched transom windows, among other ornate details. James Little sold the home to his wife, Nellie Patterson Little, for $5,300 in 1911.  It is believed the transfer to his wife was a sale and not a gift. This transaction must have been business or legal related. James Cain Little passed away in 1917.

Southern Comfort

Hard times followed, the boll weevil destroyed the Georgia cotton industry throughout the 1920s. Bad economic times got even worse with the crash of the stock market in 1929, triggering the Great Depression which lasted until World War II. Many farmers, merchants, banks, and businesses failed during this period. Nellie Little never remarried after her husband’s death. She sold the residence to C.W. Powers in 1924 for $6,500.

Little House Louisville Georgia
When you enter the home, the large rosewood staircase and heart pine floors immediately grab your attention.

In 1937, in the depths of the Great Depression, Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) foreclosed on the property. HOLC sold the home at auction for $4,900. In 1948, the heirs of Minnie W. McDaniel sold the property to Mrs. Winnie W. McDaniel for the sum of $7,500. During the 1950s, the downstairs rooms were used as a boarding house. The home was shared by 3 aunts, one had a home beauty salon on the right side downstairs, which was her main source of income. In 1987, the children of Winnie McDaniel sold the property to Eve Maria Griffin for $30,000.

Little House Louisville Georgia
This downstairs bedroom was packed with clothing and random objects.

 Eve Griffin owned the property until last year. She was a well-known lounge singer in the area during the 1960s and 1970s. She bought the house in 1987 but lived there years earlier with her mom, Hattie Mae Willie (Minnie McDaniels’ niece), and her 4 siblings. Eve’s younger brother is Ennis Willie, somewhat famous for his graphic novels. He wrote his first book Vice Town at the house in 1962. He wrote his novel drafts on a Royal typewriter he kept in the downstairs front bedroom.

Little House Louisville Georgia
In 1965, after 21 crime novels and several short stories under his belt, Ennis Willie decided to quit writing. He moved to Atlanta to open a printing business and start a family. To his credit, one of his novels became the influence for an Academy-Award winning movie.
Little House Louisville Georgia
A vast amount of dolls, furniture, and other belongings were left inside.
Little House Louisville Georgia
In the living room, a wedding photo sits on a table. It appears as if the owners left and never returned.
Little House Louisville Georgia
An upstairs bedroom appears untouched for decades.

Little House Louisville Georgia

Little House Louisville Georgia

Little House Louisville Georgia
This Guild acoustic guitar was a pricey instrument in its time, there’s not much left of it today.

Little House Louisville Georgia

Little House Louisville Georgia
The kitchen was still fully stocked. Every cabinet was full of pots, pans, glasses, and plates.
Little House Louisville Georgia
An upstairs bedroom decorated for a child had the worse decay with a large, exposed hole in the roof.
Little House Louisville Georgia
Nintendo controllers and a vintage television in a child’s room.
Little House Louisville Georgia
One of the downstairs rooms that was converted into a bedroom.

 The roof is in need of extensive repairs. There are large exposed holes causing mold and falling plaster everywhere. Although the area is in a historic district, there are no plans to add this house to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2017, the Louisville Downtown Development Authority gained control of the property with the goal of stabilizing and saving the house. The authority has made an effort to stabilize the roof and clear away the underbrush. The home is listed for sale for $15,000. The Little House and many more amazing abandoned places from Georgia are available in my book, Abandoned Georgia: Exploring the Peach State.

IMG_2377_edited
The Little House photographed on July 10, 2020. The house was in the process of being restored.

In 2020, the Little – McDaniel house was purchased and efforts to restore the old home began immediately. Within three months the house had a new roof, a secure foundation, and functioning windows for the first time in decades. Sadly, on July 20, 2020 the historic home caught fire after lightning struck a nearby tree, which resulted in a total loss.

 

26 Replies to “James C. Little House aka Louise”

  1. Excellent job on this. The pictures are stunning and the research you’ve done is impressive. This is the heart of what our hobby is….to gain a glimpse into the past and try to feel the lives that were once there. Thank you for taking us with you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Haunting photos that leave us with a greater understanding and at the same time…confusion. What could have have been an amazing home…left untouched. I saw this article on the Daily Mail UK online newspaper. It listed the home as being in Utica, MS – is there any way to verify that? I’m originally from that area and would love to know where it is located. Some friends in the area have ties to the Historical Society and have some interest in the house if it is in the area. Fascinating photography!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry, Mr. Kent, but I think you have your location wrong. The Proper People on YouTube did a real-time, recorded tour of his home and they said it’s in Mississippi. Since they were actually walking through the house at that very moment while they were filming, I’m sure they would have known if they *weren’t* in MS. I know you were there in person, also; I’m just saying that maybe between your shoot and the time you actually looked through the camera roll, you forgot where these were taken? Because in fact, your pictures were featured on another blog where the house is also claimed to be located in MS. I think perhaps when you went to write this post and looked through your camera roll, you misremembered the location of the shoot, simply because there was a large amount of time between the actual shoot and the creation of the blog post. Just saying.

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    1. LOL. Well, originally I told the Daily Mail the house was in Utica, MS to detour any vandalism. I was there before those guys and they maintained the anonymity of the location with their video. Now that the house has been cleared and sold the real location can be said. Have a good day.

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    1. If this house ever gets restored, I will update the blog. I heard it recently sold which is good news. The Willie House is across the street from this one and owned by the same family. It’s currently being restored and I plan to go back when it’s done and get some shots. Same for the Rockwell House.

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      1. There is currently a new owner that is working on restoration. They have an Instagram page called savingbiglittlehouse. She is currently getting a new roof 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I finally figured that out, but this lie has spread to other parts of this internet and hurts your credibility. You should either be vague or not provide a location at all.

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  4. I have great admiration for you and your work and appreciate that you don’t disclose the locations. People should just enjoy and let it be. It is private property and AS is respecting the rule of “take only photos”.

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