Incorporated as a town in 1829 and originally the county seat of Campbell County until 1871, Campbellton once boasted a population of 1,200.
Located on the Chattahoochee River and in the center of Campbell County, the streets of Campbellton were designed as a grid pattern and an impressive two story brick courthouse, built in 1835, was the center of the town. The first school in the county, the Campbellton Academy was organized in 1829.
Many of the area’s earliest settlers and most prominent families lived in Campbellton, including the Beavers, Brocks, Camps, Cochrans and Lathams. In his 1837 edition of A Gazetteer of Georgia, Adiel Sherwood described Campbellton as “but a small village. The usual public buildings are here, and about 25 houses.”
The John F. Beavers House at 8655 Cochran Road (Resource number FU-120 in the Fulton County Historic Resources Survey) (c. 1828) is an extant example of architecture from the period of early settlement of the county and the town. A wood-frame dwelling with a central hallway and Greek Revival elements, the Beavers House was the home of Justice John Fluker Beavers, a Clerk of the Inferior Court (later Ordinary Court) and a Campbell County Commissioner. In the 1920s, the W.F. Lee family purchased the house and farmed the surrounding area until 1970. In 1986, Lance and Talitha Fountain bought and restored the property. The Beavers House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.30 Fulton County purchased for protection purposes the Beavers House and surrounding 16 acres, including the site of the ferry crossing, in May 2003 with Georgia Community Greenspace Program fund.
The Campbellton Lodge No. 76 F&AM (FU-123) (c. 1848) at the southwest corner of Old Highway 92 and Church Road is a surviving example of one of Campbellton’s earliest community landmark buildings. The Campbellton Lodge also once served as a post office and general store for the town and is still in use today as a Masonic meeting place. The vernacular designed wood frame building is two-stories in height with beveled clapboard siding. It is one room in width and one room deep on both floors and has a recessed front porch on the first story. Much of the building’s furniture and interior materials date back to the lodge’s construction and the exterior siding still bears evidence from the damage of McCook’s Cavalry Raid during the Civil War.
Aside from the Beaver’s House, the Campbellton Lodge and several cemeteries and family plots, the two
remaining vestiges of old Campbellton are the Campbellton Baptist Church and the Campbellton United
Methodist Church. Although the extant churches were built in the early twentieth century, both
congregations date to the period of original white settlement in the area.
The Campbellton Baptist Church (FU-121) (c. 1900-1909) is located at 8660 Campbellton – Fairburn
Road (S.R. #92); however the front of the building faces the old courthouse square. The congregation was
organized in 1829 and the original church site and cemetery, where members of the Austell, Bullard and
Collins families were buried, are located just to the north of the Beaver’s House. The present structure
was built at the turn of the century with a number of additions made during the 1950s and 1960s,
including a front steeple, rear addition and large east-wing. The original, two-story building exhibits no
discernable architectural style. It is wood framed with a rectangular plan and moderately pitched front
gable roof. The symmetrical, front façade is two rooms wide and has a three-bay plan with a central door
and portico with 1/1, double-hung windows on each side. The church was originally covered with
clapboard siding, however white vinyl siding was added in the 1980s. A cemetery is situated to the right
of the church on a slight downhill.
The Campbellton United Methodist Church (FU-125) (c. 1916) is located across the road at 8650
Campbellton – Fairburn Road. The present sanctuary stands near where the original church was built in
1830. The church is wood frame and sided with white, clapboard. It has a rectangular plan and double
pitched front-gabled roof. Pyramidal roof-topped towers flank the double door entrance on the
symmetrical, three-bay front façade. Each tower has a small, louver window on the upper story and a
fixed, vertical window with a smaller window above it on the first-story. Both the north and south
facades have three, centered ribbon windows with a single window on either side. A small path leads to an
historic cemetery on the north side of the church where many of the earliest settlers of Campbell County are buried, including the Camps, Cochrans, Lathams, Tuggles and Lees. A number of Confederate and
Union war dead were buried here as well.
With the arrival of the Atlanta & West Point Railroad in 1851 to the east and the damage wrought by
ancillary fighting during the Battle of Atlanta in July of 1864, Campbellton found itself in decline after
the war. Many of the foremost names in town moved to the more economically prosperous city of
Fairburn and in 1870, the county seat was relocated there as well. Campbellton quickly became a ghost
town and found itself with only 119 residents remaining. The Campbellton Academy and many other
commercial and domestic buildings, such as the Latham House, were either demolished or deteriorated
The old Campbellton courthouse was sold off in 1875. It fell into ruins and was eventually sold to Robert
Cook, a local farmer, in 1912. Cook demolished the building for scrap wood to build outbuildings on his
property located at Cedar Grove Road. In 1936, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and United
Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) jointly erected a stone monument (FU-122) on the old courthouse
site commemorating both the lost building and the reunion of thirty survivors from Company A 21st
Regiment of the Georgia. The Confederate veterans from Campbellton gathered there after the Civil War
at the bequest of Elizabeth Camp, widow of Lieutenant-Colonel T.C. Glover. This reunion would serve
as the inspiration for later gatherings of Confederate and Union veterans during the late nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries.
Above History is from South Fulton Scenic Byways - Historic Context By: Patrick Sullivan & Jessica Lavandier