McRainey House

McRainey House

The McRainey home was built in 1909 for the family of Malcolm Archibald McRainey and their servants. Malcolm Archibald McRainey was born in North Carolina and moved to Georgia. He made his fortune in the turpentine and timber industry. His lumber business put the small community of Elmodel on the map, making the town one of the largest in Baker County.

McRainey House
Malcolm Archibald McRainey, circa 1910

McRainey House

The McRainey house was the first in Baker County to have indoor plumbing, electricity, and three bathrooms. Pumping water to the second floor proved to be difficult due to a lack of pressure in the pipes. There is a brick cold storage house with eight-inch thick walls located behind the house, considered a marvel for its time. The home is rumored to have hidden doors that go to secret panic rooms and large murals on the walls.

McRainey House
The McRainey House shortly after completion

McRainey House

Malcolm Archibald McRainey was married and had two children, Neal Duncan, and Malcolm Angus. At the time of his untimely death in 1914, the house was considered to be “one of the most handsome country homes in Southwest Georgia.” McRainey lived and died a man of significant repute and wealth. After his death, the house was passed down to his eldest son, Malcolm Angus McRainey. M.A. McRainey married Effie Holt. The couple never had any children of their own. When Malcolm Angus McRainey died in 1958, he left a lifetime estate to Mrs. Effie Holt. His will stated that upon her death, the property would revert to the McRainey descendants. Later on, Effie Holt remarried Charles Fulgham, and they adopted a daughter.

McRainey House
Several old pianos stored in one room.
McRainey House
The staircase inside the home is partially collapsed.

Mrs. Effie and her family eventually had to move out of the McRainey house and into a trailer next door due to Mr. Fulgham’s failing health. One day while the couple was at a doctor’s appointment, the McRainey house was robbed. Thieves stole all of the antique furnishings and even the decorative trim in the house. Many of Mrs. Effie’s items were taken or destroyed in the robbery. The thieves were never caught and left Mrs. Effie untrusting of anyone that would come near the property. She was known to pull a gun on anyone that stopped to take a look at the derelict mansion. Mrs. Effie passed away last year, and the home is now owned by McRainey descendants who are working to preserve and renovate the old house.

McRainey House
A side view of the old McRainey House

McRainey House

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15 comments

      1. And made a bit harder due to the hurricane, which felled two more of our columns. I also need to replace a ridge cap for the porch roof. Fortunately, the trees did not fall, and the new flat roof survived.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I love how there is a fire place in the entry way. Your site is the best because you provide a history of the house and WHY it is abandoned. I always wonder why places become abandoned and the stories they contain. Thank you so much for doing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s great that they can renovate, I love these old homes, they have so much character, unlike homes today that are mostly cep materials, and cookie cutter.

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    1. No! This was my step grandmother’s house and they had moved into a mobile home on the property probably 10 or 15 years prior to her death in 2017. She married my grandfather after Mr. Mac died. She and my grandfather lived in 2 or 3 rooms in the back of the house. My grandfather Roy Wilder, Sr. Died in that house in 1970 from a heart attack. He was also much older than Effie. It is truly sad how people broke into the house and stole things over the years. I don’t think all the furniture was taken all at once. She and Charlie had adopted a daughter and the daughter was very sick for Yeats as was Charlie. During the time she was taking care of them was when a lot of the trespassing was done. I say that the house was pretty much raped. So sad that people have no care for the property of others. If you don’t pay taxes on it you have no business taking things from the property even if it appears to be abandoned. Although Effie loved this house with all her heart it seems to me that it brought her a lot of heart ache as well with all those issues she had with people trespassing and stealing. Glad t is being restored.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My favorite house in the entire world. I have been seeing this house for years and wishing someone would renovate it. It is stunning! Thank you to who ever is renovating it.. it is a treasure for sure!!

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    1. No! This was my step grandmother’s house and they had moved into a mobile home on the property probably 10 or 15 years prior to her death in 2017. She married my grandfather after Mr. Mac died. She and my grandfather lived in 2 or 3 rooms in the back of the house. My grandfather Roy Wilder, Sr. Died in that house in 1970 from a heart attack. He was also much older than Effie. It is truly sad how people broke into the house and stole things over the years. I don’t think all the furniture was taken all at once. She and Charlie had adopted a daughter and the daughter was very sick for Yeats as was Charlie. During the time she was taking care of them was when a lot of the trespassing was done. I say that the house was pretty much raped. So sad that people have no care for the property of others. If you don’t pay taxes on it you have no business taking things from the property even if it appears to be abandoned. Although Effie loved this house with all her heart it seems to me that it brought her a lot of heart ache as well with all those issues she had with people trespassing and stealing. Glad t is being restored.

      Like

  4. Tom, thanks for spending time with me 3-21. Good luck and being only 70 miles, it won’t be hard to check it out.

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  5. It would be so fantastic to see the renovations as they progress. The workmanship put into these older homes is the reason they are still able to stand today. Even though they may be in disrepair it is heartening to see that efforts to return them to their former glorious states are being made. Wish I had the funds to make this happen to so many places. Can’t wait to see what it looks like fully restored. – Diane Langdon, Friendship, NY, 1/30/21

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