Please enjoy from the street, do not enter the property
The Baumgartner House, as pictured today.
Source: Great Houses of Brunswick by Suzanne Hurley | Photographer: Harlen Hambright | Made available courtesy of Historic Brunswick Foundation
Located on Frederica Square is the Baumgartner house, a stately victorian Queen Anne style home. It was built in 1890, a time when Brunswick was a lumber mill center.Because of this, the house is constructed entirely of cypress siding. Rudolf Charles Baumgartner, known as Charles, and Amelia (Van Houten) were the first owners of the home. Born in Bene, Switzerland, as one of ten children, Charles left home at the age of twenty. According to one biography, he set out with “his only capital: a hopeful spirit, an honest purpose, and a brave heart.”
In 1882, Charles and his brothers moved to Brunswick, where he began a meat business, which grew to include ice sales. Then, in 1903, Charles started the Glynn Ice Company at a time when regular deliveries of ice were required for each household to preserve food and keep cool in the Georgia heat. The company provided ice for the city’s nonelectric ice boxes and even supplied coal to the townspeople, who used coal to heat their homes. With a daily output of several tons of ice, the Glynn Ice Company was one of the most successful local businesses at that time. The ruins of the company headquarters can be found today on London Street. Charles and Amelia’s daughter, Irene, was a science teacher at Glynn Academy for years. Another daughter, Helen, was the last of the family to live in the house. Residing there until the 1950s, she was thought be an eccentric woman with a love for hats.
FUN FACTS —>
Unlike many other houses built at this time, this house has the unique quality of being held together with wooden pegs instead of nails.
The parlor has wood in its beautiful parquet floor from every state at that time.
Downstairs, there is one mantle originally ordered from Italy by William Rockefeller for a cottage on Jekyll Island. The fireplace was too small for the imposing Rockefeller cottage, so it was refitted for this house.
When the house was purchased by the Hamiltons in the 1960s, after sitting vacant for almost a decade, the new owners discovered a surprise: an entire room filled with Helen’s hats! After taking care of their room of hats, the Hamiltons lovingly restored the house and its gardens, and went on to raise their children there. Among other restorations, they hand stripped and stained the wood wainscoting, placing a cheerful red stencil pattern along the top in the main hall.
Information from the book Great Houses of Brunswick by Suzanne Hurley
Photography by Harlen Hambright
Made available courtesy of Historic Brunswick Foundation
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