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Turin residents advocate to preserve Leavell-Page Home

  • By Jeffrey Cullen-Dean
  • |
  • Nov. 09, 2019 - 12:40 AM

Turin residents advocate to preserve Leavell-Page Home

Jeffrey Cullen-Dean / The Newnan Times-Herald

The Leavell-Page Home was built in the late 1830s by Richard Leavell, one of the first settlers in the Turin area, when it was known as Preston. The property is now under contract for purchase, and to be developed into a 65-house subdivision.

The Leavell-Page Home and property in Turin is under contract for purchase, and to be developed into a 65-house subdivision.

The home was built in the late 1830s by Richard Leavell, one of the first settlers in the Turin area, when it was known as Preston. Upon Leavell’s death, the house was left to his stepson, Dr. George Page.

The property was sold out of the family in the late 1930s, according to Blake Adcock, a descendent of Page.

Adcock said the house doesn’t fit into the developers’ plans and he believes it will be torn down.

Rod Wright, the CEO of the Rod Wright Corporation and purchaser of the property said he is trying to determine whether the house can be saved.

“We’re evaluating whether the house can be saved or not. The house has been added on to a few times over the years and it’s a hodgepodge,” he said. “There are some good little features and all, but there are improper additions that were added on to it. I don’t know for sure what we’re going to do yet, but in the process of due diligence, we’re evaluating what to do.”

Wright said the construction of the subdivision would occur off of Highway 16 and will require the construction of a left turning lane and a right deceleration lane.

Jennifer Starr, a descendent of Page and an advocate for preserving the building, said members of the Turin community are not in support of the development.

“The town is not going to support it,” she said. “I’ve talked to all of the council members. He’d have to move power lines and move poles. It’s a really bad location.”

“I’m not sure the Department of Transportation is going to approve,” she added.

Wright disagrees with Starr’s claims and said he thinks there are several people in the Turin community who will support the development.

“I can think of a lot of people that want the development, too. There are always people that are in opposition, that don’t want change,” he said. “They live there and they don’t want growth to happen, it’s just normal. It’s part of what developers have to deal with.”

“I can understand where they come from, but you know, growth is coming,” he added. “It’ll be a nice development and a nice addition to the community.”

According to Adcock, the home is in good condition and has been well taken care of over the years.

Starr said she is reaching out to historical societies in the area to help preserve the home.

The lack of a historical society in Turin is making preservation efforts difficult, Adcock said.

“Unfortunately, the Turin-area historical group didn't work out, so there is no organized group there to protest, but there seems to be a large number of citizens against the threat of losing this significant piece of history,” he said.

Doug Kolbenschlag, president of the Senoia Area Historical Society, said there’s little the historical society will do regarding the home because it is not in the area they focus on.

“I don’t want to say we’re not interested in Turin and Brooks and all that, but we’re laser-focused on Senoia history,” said Kolbenschlag.

Emily Kimbell, director of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, said she has been talking with Starr about placing the house on the historic registry.

The process is lengthy, according to Kimbell, and the NCHS is working on raising awareness of the home.

“We’ve posted about it on social media. It’s going to cost a lot of money and take a lot of resources if it’s something that wants to be saved or moved, and historical societies don’t have those resources,” Kimbell said. “But we know how to do that and getting money is a community effort.”

“Raising awareness is a good first start, and then we can take it from there,” she added. “Getting it listed and raising the funds to get it moved, that’s going to take a lot of effort, resources and community support along with the historical society’s help.”