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"From Both Sides Now"

Article by Kathleen Walls
Photos by Kathleen and Martin Walls

Dorminy-Massee House Bed and Breakfast

The story of the Dorminy-Massee Bed and Breakfast in Fitzgerald, Georgia is wrapped up in the history of a remarkable family and an even more remarkable city. It was a place where both sides came together after the most difficult period in American history. Fitzgerald is a city founded by P.H. Fitzgerald for Union veterans in 1896. People of the time probably shook their heads at such a scheme, founding a colony of Union veterans in the heart of the deep south. What is he thinking? However, Fitzgerald was proven right. former enemies can reconcile their differences and become friends. (look for a more about Fitzgerald's remarkable story next issue)

"Captain Jack," as he was respectfully called, was an entrepreneur whose family roots were firmly established in Georgia. He began selling wood for fuel on riverboats and later went into the lumber business.

Captain Jack saw the potential in the new city of Fitzgerald. He moved there and built his home when this unique colony was less than 20 years old.

Living Room at Dorminy-Massee B and B

When he build his home he personally supervised the trees from which the virgin heart of pine lumber was cut. The colonial styled home was built in 1915 by Jacob Jackson Dorminy for his wife Rachel and his four daughters. The diverse atmosphere of Fitzgerald was good for Captain Jack. He eventually owned a cotton mill/warehouse and became president of the National bank of Fitzgerald. He was respected by Union colonists and Confederate locals alike until his death in 1952.

Breakfast is always special.

After, Rachel died in 1941, one of the daughter Eulalie Dorminy Massee, bought the house from the estate and lived there and lovingly cared for it until her death in 1995. 

The home remains in the family and is operated as a bed and breakfast by Sherry and Mark Massee, Mark is the great-grandson of Captain Jack and Rachel.

The garden is filled with intimate spots like this pond.

The inn still retains the family atmosphere blended seamlessly with modern comforts right down to the latest "necessity for travelers," wi-fi. There are six rooms, each with its private bath. C ontinental breakfast is served in a intimate dining room; An elegant living room and a parlor for relaxing, reading, and conversation await you there. The grounds lend themselves well to relaxed living as they are beautifully landscaped with a goldfish pool, smokehouse, greenhouse, and gazebo . You may even spot a few of Fitzgerald's exotic wild chickens strolling around. The chickens are an integral part of Fitzgerald since they were brought in by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in the 1960s to establish a hunting species along the nearby Ocmulgee River. The chickens left the river and migrated to Fitzgerald where they remain, loved by visitors and many residents, detested by some other residents.

One of Fitzgerald's wild chickens

Each room is named in memory of an important person or thing in its history: The Colony Room, Eulalie's Room, Lee-Grant Room, Blue-Gray Room, Jeff Davis Room and P. H. Fitzgerald Room.

The inn is the place to stay when you visit Fitzgerald as it's only two blocks from the famed Blue and Gray Museum filled with artifacts of Fitzgerald's early days. The Jefferson Davis Capture Site is just a few miles away. There is a museum and park there also.

 

 

 

For more info:  www. dorminymasseehouse.com

Provided by American Roads Travel Magazine - Visit American Roads Travel Magazine website.



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