About Barrington Hall
Barrington Hall sits on seven acres in downtown Historic Roswell. In the 1830s, Barrington Hall's builder, Barrington King, and his father, Roswell King, co-founded the colony which became Roswell. On your visit to Barrington Hall you will be inspired by generations of the King family, who preserved Barrington Hall for more than 160 years. They come to life in furnishings, artifacts, and stories spanning from 1838 until the city of Roswell acquired the home in 2005. On the grounds, explore the only antebellum public garden in the greater Atlanta area, along with numerous original outbuildings.
Barrington Hall Events
History of Barrington Hall
In 1838, Barrington King moved his family from coastal Georgia, to the newly formed colony of Roswell in the rolling, wooded hills of north Georgia. There he was instrumental in the development of the fledgling community and in founding the successful textile mills of the Roswell Manufacturing Company. Their new home, Barrington Hall, has remained largely unchanged since its completion in 1842. In the summer and fall of 1864, Roswell was occupied by Union Troops. According to family tradition, Union General Kennar Gerrard briefly occupied Barrington Hall. The King family fled Roswell prior to the occupation and returned after the war to rebuild their lives. Unfortunately, soon after their return, Barrington King was injured by his horse and died a few days later.
The King Family Lineage
Barrington King and his wife, Catharine, had twelve children. Six of his sons served in the Confederate Army; two were killed, and three were wounded. Of his three daughters, only one lived to be an adult. His daughter Eva married Rev. William E. Baker in the parlor of Barrington Hall in 1856. The Bakers settled in Staunton, VA where they lived until 1883, when they returned to Barrington Hall to care for the elderly and widowed Mrs. Barrington King. The Bakers purchased Barrington Hall when Mrs. Barrington King passed away in 1887.
The Bakers had seven children and many grandchildren who visited often and filled Barrington Hall with love and laughter. “Grandma” Eva Baker lived in Barrington Hall until her death in 1923. The home was purchased in 1929 by her two beloved granddaughters, Evelyn and Katharine Simpson.
Neither Miss Evelyn nor Miss Katharine ever married; they dedicated their lives to ensuring the preservation of Barrington Hall. Miss Evelyn died in 1960 and Miss Katharine lived in Barrington Hall until her death in 1995.
Ownership of the house then passed to Miss Lois Simpson. Miss Lois had been a close friend of Miss Katharine and was legally adopted by her in 1977. In 2002, Miss Lois sold the house to her close friend, Sarah Winner. Sarah created a living trust to allow Miss Lois to live at Barrington Hall the remainder of her life. Ms. Winner began meticulously restoring the house for Miss Lois, but six months later in 2003 Miss Lois passed away. In 2005, Barrington Hall won the restoration project of the year by the Georgia Trust of Historic Preservation. Sarah Winner then sold Barrington Hall to the City of Roswell in 2005 so that it could be shared with the community.
The King Legacy
In 2005, Barrington Hall was purchased by the City of Roswell with the intention of opening it to the public for the first time in the site’s history. Interpreting the lives of the three primary generations of residents (Kings, Bakers, and Simpsons) is the focus along with many educational and community programs. The seven acres of park like grounds feature the only antebellum garden in the Metro Atlanta area that is open to the public. Along with the Archibald Smith Plantation Home and Bulloch Hall, Barrington Hall stands today full of the early memories of Roswell and the families who laid the foundation for it to become the community it is today.
King Family Biographies
1798-1866The third out of 10 children born to Roswell and Catherine King, Barrington King was born in Darien, Georgia. He died in Roswell in 1866 after being injured by his horse.
Catharine Margaret King
1804-1887Catharine Margaret Esther Nephew was married to Barrington King in McIntosh County, Georgia, on January 30, 1822.
Rev. Charles Barrington King
1824-1880Married Anna Wylly Habersham and had 10 children. Graduated from the University of Georgia and Seminary College at Princeton. He became a Presbyterian minister and served churches in Savannah and Columbus, Georgia, for over 40 years. He served as the executor of his father's estate which took over 20 years to settle. In 2004, his known descendants who reside primarily in the southeastern U.S. number over 470 and include the author and former U.S. Ambassador to Brunei, Barrington King III, the artist Mary Cooper Smith, and Sarah King Harrison, who married into the Harrison family of Virginia, an earlier branch of which produced a signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and two U.S. Presidents. Sarah lived at Brandon, the historic home of the Harrison family on James River. Another Sarah, Sarah Joyce King Cooper, the granddaughter of Charles Barrington King, wrote a book entitled "King and Allied Families," which provides history and genealogy of the King and allied families. Nephew King Clark, Jr., the great-grandson of Charles Barrington King donated portraits of Charles and Anna to the Roswell Historical Society which are displayed in Barrington Hall.
Dr. William Nephew King
1825-1894He married Virginia Way and lived in Savannah. During the Civil War, he attended wounded soldiers including his own brother. He wrote a letter to his parents describing their wounds and his own impressions of the war. This letter is preserved in the archives of the Roswell Historical Society. After the Civic War, in 1879, he moved from Savannah to New York and when Virginia died, he married Fanny DeCamp. He was a graduate of the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons and studied surgery for three years in Paris. He was a specialist in the diseases of women and children and ran a very large charity practice. He had three children. His eldest son was a newspaper journalist who moved to Venezuela, married, and served President Crespo. In 2004, there were only 13 known descendants in this branch of the family.
Captain James Roswell King
1827-1897Married Fanny Hillhouse Prince. They lived in Holly Hill, an antebellum home in Roswell. After Fanny's death, he married his distant cousin Meta Lewis and moved to Atlanta. During most of the Civil War, James stayed in Roswell to run the family's mills. The mills manufactured and supplied gray woolen goods used as uniforms for the Confederate Army. At his own expense, James organized a company of cavalry called the Roswell Battalion and joined the Confederate Army as a Captain. After Sherman's troops burned the mills in 1864, the Roswell Battalion engaged the enemy, and after a few months of fighting, Captain King was detailed to take charge of railroad construction work. He continued his services until the Confederacy's surrender in 1865. James had 10 children. His descendants include the sculptor William Dickey King, and Fanny Prince King Pratt, who worked tirelessly to preserve the King family history. She left hundreds of letters and photos, including correspondence to Henry Ford and President Franklin Roosevelt. By 2004, the known descendants of James King numbered 148.
Captain Thomas Edward King
1829-1863Marred Marie Clemons. They lived at Bulloch Hall in Roswell, Georgia. He enlisted in the Confederate Army at the beginning of the Civil War and was seriously wounded at the first battle of Manassas. He was a member of the staff of Brig. General Preston Smith with whom he was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga. The magazine Southern Bivouac (1887) mentions his death: "Thomas was true, noble, and unselfish - when wounded and dying, he insisted that the friends who were moving him out of the way of shells and balls, should not go farther, but lay him under a tree nearby and then return to the fight. He knew that he had done his duty and that God was with him - the testimony of a friend of him and his." Thomas had three children. 150 years later, he had over 154 known descendants.
Colonel Barrington Simeral King
1833-1865Married Bessie Macleod. Barrington was a colonel in the Cobb County Georgia Legion; he died in the last days of the Civil War while leading the charge on Kilpatrick's Camp at Aversboro, NC. Before he died, he said, "Say to my wife that I die willingly defending my country." After his death, his servant Jesse Alexander, brought Barrington's three swords and a horse's bit back to the family. These historical items were donated to the Historical Society along with Barrington's gold crest ring and pocket watch. One of the swords Barrington used in fighting, another is one he took off a Union soldier, and the third is one he was awarded for Valiancy. The book "Dear Old Roswell" contains the Civil War letters written between Barrington, his wife, Bessie, and other King family members. Barrington has over 60 descendants, many of whom live on the U.S. west coast.
Ralph Browne King
1838-1900Married Florrie Stilwell. Ralph joined the Confederate Army under General W.J. Hardee and was a member of the Chatham County Artillery. He was seriously injured during the war and never completely recovered. After the war, he moved to New York where he worked at Tiffany's and lived at 204 5th Avenue. He was much distressed and opposed to his brother Clifford taking his wife and little ones out to "that wild mining camp." There are no known living descendants.
Catherine Evelyn King Baker
1837-1923Known as 'Eva', Catherine King fell in love with William Elliott Baker. William graduated 2nd in his class from Princeton (then known as the College of New Jersey) in 1850. In 1854, he sailed an 89 day trip via Panama to Sacramento, CA where, on April 27, 1856, he founded the First Presbyterian Church of CA (now the Westminister Presbyterian Church). That same year, he returned to Roswell to marry Eva in the parlor of Barrington Hall on July 17th. Then, ignoring the strong opposition of Eva's parents, Eva and William traveled back to Sacramento to continue William's missionary work. In 1857, William accepted a pastoral position at 1st Presbyterian Church in Staunton, VA, where he succeeded Dr. Wilson, the father of the US President Woodrow Wilson. While in Staunton, the Baker family lived the manse provided by the Presbyterian Church. "Today, this house is open to the public as the "Birthplace of Woodrow Wilson".
The Bakers lived and worked in Staunton from 1857-1883. They raised their seven children there. The Baker's were instrumental in persuading Miss Mary Baldwin to take charge of the Augusta Female Seminary (today known as Mary Baldwin College), which was directly across the street from their church.
In 1883, at the age of 53, William gave up the pastorate and he, Eva, their 4 daughters, and youngest son, moved to Barrington Hall to live with Eva's widowed mother. The Bakers two oldest sons were living in Minneapolis where they created a successful company which would pioneer 'soluble' (instant) coffee. Their high end coffee products were called "Barrington Hall" and featured a photo of the home on advertisements and labels. "Baker & Co, Importers and Roaster of Coffee" remained in business until WWII, at which time the US Government took over the company and converted production to K-rations for the Allied troops.
After Mrs. King's death in 1887, William and Eva purchased Barrington Hall from the estate. The Bakers lived in Barrington Hall until 1923, when Eva died. After Eva Baker's death, her children and 1 grandchild inherited Barrington Hall. In 2004, Eva had over 340 known descendants.
Joseph Henry King
1839-1917Married Nellie Palmer Stubbs. Joseph went to Fort Pulaska before Georgia seceded from the Union. He joined the Confederate Army in Virginia as a private under the command of General Bartow and fought under Joseph E. Johnston. In 1861, he was seriously wounded at the first Battle of Manassas in the hip, leg, and hand. Joseph never fully recovered from his injuries. After the war, he founded Eldorado, a popular rest site on the Florida intracoastal waterway (New Smyrna, FL). Years later, in a single night, almost all of his descendants were drowned in Lake Okeechobee during the great hurricane of 1928 which ranks among the worst natural disasters in the U.S. This category four storm produced an unexpected large tidal surge, 18" of rain, and winds of over 150 mph. Headlines around the nation summarized the calamity: "Florida Destroyed!" A vivid account of this tragedy is chronicled in Lawrence E. Will's book, "Okeechobee Hurricane and the Hoover Dike." In 2004, there were no known living descendants of Joesph King.
Clifford Alozo King
1842-1911His first wife was Eliza Hardee who he married during the Civil War. They had 7 children, and when Eliza died at the age of 52, Clifford married again, a woman named Virginia. Clifford was a Captain in the Confederate Army. He served under General W. J. Hardee, his wife’s uncle. After the Civil War, Clifford struggled with finances. His father, Barrington, had died soon after the war ended and the family estate was tied up and remained unsettled for over 20 years. In an attempt to gain some immediate cash, he renounced all claims to his share of his father's estate in exchange for $1700. A few years later, he filed bankruptcy and all his property was sold.
In 1887, Clifford was living in Waco, Texas, and planning to go to Austin to pursue the cotton business. In January 1896, Clifford wrote to his brother from Colorado Springs. In the letter he said he was forced to sell his home in Smithville, TX, and needed money or his family would be living on the streets. He wrote of how much he and his family liked Colorado Springs (they were living at the foot of Pikes Peak) . Clifford wrote he was going to work in the insurance business, and also had a part share in a mining business. He was killed while exploring a mine.
Clifford has over 155 known descendants. In the early 1900s, his son, John Hardee King performed in Vaudeville. His two grand-daughters, Mamie and Jane performed in Vaudeville and on Broadway. Mamie was in the original Broadway production of "Irene" in 1924. In 2004, most of Clifford's descendants live in the western United States.
Barrington Hall Building & Grounds
Barrington Hall was built for Barrington King by Connecticut born architect/builder Willis Ball. It was one of many public and private buildings in Roswell built by Ball in the popular Greek Revival style. Barrington Hall is surrounded on three sides by a colonnade of 14 Doric columns. Lumber was cut for Barrington Hall in 1837 and allowed to cure for two years. Construction began in 1839 and was complete in 1842. The house remained in the family until 2002.
Restoration of Barrington HallThe award-winning restoration of Barrington Hall began in 2002 and was completed in 2004. All restoration and rehabilitation work was done to the preservation standards of the , the , and the . In 2005, The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation presented Barrington Hall with an award for Outstanding Restoration.
Barrington Hall has been restored as close to its original form as possible. The horsehair plaster walls throughout the house were cracked and severely damaged by fire and water. Craftsmen, skilled in the lost art of plastering, spent seven months restoring the walls, ceilings, and moldings. The original heart pine floors and walnut doors have been refinished. They have not been stained; the rich glow is the true wood color. Many of the doors in the home were originally faux painted, and these doors have also been restored to their original appearance. Doorknobs and hinges throughout the home have been repaired and refinished; they are original to the home.
The Main HouseThe main house never had any heat or air conditioning. The previous owners spent the cold winter months in two rooms at the rear of the home, huddled in front of the fireplace or room heaters. When restoration began, there were no functional bathrooms in the house, and the electrical wiring was in terrible condition. Barrington Hall now has new central heat and air along with all new plumbing, electrical, and security systems.
In 1970, Katharine Simpson made a detailed list of every item in the home. In this inventory, Miss Katharine described the history and origin of every item in Barrington Hall. Using this list and family letters, Sarah Winner had all the original furnishings and paintings restored. Historical books, letters, photos, china, sterling silver, and other personal items left in Barrington Hall were all donated to the Roswell Historical Society.
Restoration Efforts by ManyGene Surber, a respected Atlanta architect and member of the Board of Directors for The National Trust for Historic Preservation, led a team of Georgia Tech graduate architecture students who spent five months documenting every architectural component of Barrington Hall. With amazing attention to detail, they documented everything including moldings and exterior brick patterns. The result of their efforts was a thirty-five page set of architectural diagrams which have been accepted by HABS (Historic American Building Survey). HABS is an integral part of the federal government’s commitment to historic preservation. HABS documents are important to American architectural sites and archive their collection at the , where the architectural drawings are made available to the public.
Barrington Hall Floor Plans
Grounds & Gardens
The History of the GardenBarrington Hall was built by Barrington King, co-founder of Roswell, Georgia, and was completed in 1842. Barrington's wife, Mrs. Catharine King (1804-1887), designed the first Barrington Hall garden shortly after they moved in. She is thought to have used Frances Minhinette, an English stoneworker to help her with the garden structure.
The Formal GardenOf the three historic houses in Roswell that are open to the public, Barrington Hall was the only house to have a formal garden. The focus of the property is the formal East Garden containing a boxwood garden screened by a hedge of Bridal Wreath Spirea.
The Top GardenThe top garden has a double ring of American boxwood, filled with flowers that were available in the mid 1800s. The garden leads to four symmetrical lower gardens. A central avenue is marked in the upper gardens with a tunnel of scuppernong grapes over an arbor.
Eva's GardenThe four lower quadrants are being developed to represent the turn of the Victorian era in the late nineteenth century and the roaring twenties and thirties. Barrington's daughter Eva (1837-1923) tended the garden and populated the porch with potted plants. In 1930, Eva's granddaughter Katherine Simpson inherited the house when many more plants were available.
The garden flowers are placed where they were corded to be located. Others are mentioned in letters and have no specific location. One such instance is the "hedge of jonuils" that were mentioned in a letter written by Mr. George Camp in 1854. He doesn't mention the location of the hedge, so we are recreating this as a hedge of daffodils lining the main walkway. Other daffodils are in the boxwood garden and the lower gardens.
Self-Guided ToursSelf-guided tours are available for download or by using a cell phone to call 770-225-2457. The self-guided tours are of the grounds only.
We bring you the 2020 edition of the Lighting of the Square! While we can’t be together this year, we are with you in spirit. From our family to yours - happy holidays, Roswell!
We’re all set for a day of holiday fun, starting off with Santa’s See, Snap, and Go at Roswell Area Park! 🎄
Back to the top