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Historic Milledgeville home featured on HGTV

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    The Rockwell House was built in the 1830s, when Milledgeville was Georgia’s capital. TIMBERLY SPIKES/Staff
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The historic Rockwell House has lived many lives. Thanks to a group of investors, the house now has a new purpose in the Milledgeville community.

The house is now available as an event venue, and guests can rent individual rooms or the house as a whole.

“When Rockwell came up for purchase, we saw that as the perfect opportunity to step into a place that had been looked over and look past and make a difference,” said Will Walker, a marketing professional and one of the investors of the house.

Walker, along with his friends Ross Sheppard and Jacob Hawkins, breathed new life into the home after its purchase in 2019.

“We got interested in this project because of the historic preservation component of it,” Walker said. “We want to make sure that these places that hold rich and vibrant histories can continue to survive.”

The changes gained national attention, including the interest of producers for HGTV’s “Life Under Renovation.” The show documented Walker and Sheppard’s time living in the house while transforming it into today’s home.

As well as being featured on the Discovery+ hit show, the house has gathered more than 11,000 followers on Instagram.

Milledgeville tourism depends heavily on its historical background. Walker and his partners wanted to ensure that the community and those who support it had a place to go while indulging in the city’s rich heritage. “The southside has so much history and such a strong community,” Walker said. “We thought it was a great opportunity to come in and envision this great and bustling pillar to the Midway community. It can serve for community access as well as increase tourism to that side and bring attention to the other essential parts of the southside community.”

The home was built in the 1830s during Milledgeville’s time as Georgia’s capitol. The house earned its name from its original owner, Col. Samuel Rockwell. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places and once served as a home to former senators and former Gov. Herschel Johnson.

Walker and friends worked with Kyle Campbell, preservation consultant, to ensure that updates to the house complied with the Secretary of Interior’s Standard for Historic Preservation.

The group of friends invested more than $500,000 in the home that sits on 12 acres of property, features a winding staircase and complete basement. The home also features six bedrooms that have unique interior designs. The event space can accommodate up to 150 guests.