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The Hilton Buildings In And Around Barnesville

This bicycle circuit tour of approximately 10.5 miles in and around Barnesville takes the visitor to three churches and a number of private homes built by a notable rural craftsman who flourished in upper Montgomery County from the Civil War period to the early years of the previous century. It illustrates how the largely unschooled but skillful master builders of the 18th and 19th centuries were able to leave a clear and enduring imprint on rural America.

2.  Comus Inn--23900 Old Hundred Road
Three miles north of Barnesville on Route 109, lies the crossroads village of Comus and, on the left, the Comus Inn.

3.  Sugar Loaf Mountain Chapel
A mile farther north on Route 109, the road descends steeply at the small brick Sugar Loaf Mountain Chapel, built for Otis Holland.

4.  Isaac Davis House--1302 Thurston Road
A tenth of a mile below Sugarloaf Chapel, turn left on Thurston Road and follow it 0.7 mile to the ridge where Linthicum Road enters from the right. On the opposite side, set back 175 yards from the road, is the old Isaac Davis house which is also associated with William Hilton's career.

5.  Mount Ephraim--23720 Mount Ephraim Road
Continue 0.3 mile northwest on Thurston Road, turning sharp left on Sugarloaf Mountain Road. After about two and a half miles pavement ends and you will be on a well maintained dirt road for about a mile and a half coming out on pavement again at the entrance to Stronghold, where Comus Road comes in on the left. Continue straight ahead to the next intersection, where Harris Road goes left to Barnesville.

This is Mount Ephraim, the name of both the locality (once a community of half a dozen houses) and the fine red-brick mansion on the right side of the road, built by Hilton in 1868 for Ephraim G. Harris.

7. Lawrence Hilton Price House--18200 Barnesville Road
Just east of the church is the Price residence, which served as the Barnesville Post Office from 1952 to 1991. Built before William Hilton's day, it is of interest for its long association with him and his family and has been owned since 2004 by a great grandson of Lawrence Hilton Price.

8.  Mary Morningstar House--18201 Barnesville Road
Across the street from the Lawrence Hilton Price house is the Mary Morningstar House named for a former mayor of the town who was for 50 years a teacher in the county school system.

9. Hays House--18120 Barnesville Road
The Hays family owned over a thousand acres in and around Barnesville, including the land for this house which they purchased in 1747. In 1850, Leonard Simmons Hays lived in this house and operated several town businesses including the post office and the general store across the road.

10. Thomas O. White House--18040 Barnesville Road
At the corner of Barnesville Road and 109 toward Beallsville is a large two-story frame house built by Hilton for Thomas O. White in 1903, five years before Hilton's death. The modified Eastlake styling of the house shows an attempt to follow currently fashionable building styles, and is far different from the spare, simple style with which Hilton worked in the mid-1860s.

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