Stone Gables: My Great-Grandfather’s House

By Paul Knight on November 26, 2012 — 2 mins read

When I was back in the rural holler of the Georgia mountains a couple weeks ago I made a visit to Pinedale, my old family estate. I had not been there in probably 15 years. Pinedale’s story goes: Sometime in the middle 1800’s my great-great-grandfather hopped on a wagon in Michigan with his wife and aunt. They were on their way to Florida. After reaching the North Georgia mountains they got tired of traveling and ended up homesteading on 180 acres. I think they got the land through adverse possession (which I would like to try some day), but I am not sure. Anyway, they had some children, one of which was Floyd Knight, my great-grandfather. Floyd was an artist and amateur architect who designed and built Stone Gables, the house featured herein. He started on it in the 1930’s; it was a work in progress his whole life.

The construction of the house is legit with giant stone lintels, stone brackets, wood beams, and slate roofs. The main interior space is quite nice with an expansive proportion. The second floor hangs over the first like a mezzanine via rods attached to the roof’s ridge beam. One of the bedrooms even has a built-in fish pond in the floor right under the window. Since Floyd was an artist he could experiment with bad ideas like that, I suppose.

The man himself:

A tower was intended to be constructed at one end of the house. You can see the stone keys that were left to allow the future tower to structurally plug right in.

Throughout the house you will also find large nautilus shells along with a giant piece of coral (which weighs hundreds of pounds) next to the fireplace. Floyd probably figured since Pinedale would never be in Florida he would just bring Florida to Pinedale. Like the image below, many of the scenes are set up like still lifes that the Old Masters would paint.

It was great to see the house again with my acquired architect’s eye. Unfortunately, Stone Gables has some bad recent history. About five years ago some people broke in and stole all the original furniture. The thieves are still at large. And the large tree at the front of the house (which you can see in the photos) had to be cut down before it did further damage. Still, the house is an inspiring Appalachian castle. I am fortunate that architecture runs in my blood.

Apologies for the inconsistencies and gaps in this story but it is the best I can do at the moment until more research is done. As my next steps, I need to read the book about the house and talk to more of my extended family.

For more photos see my Flickr account.

Posted in: Architecture, Featured

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Leave a Reply to Abbe Cancel reply

    • Right now the house is being maintained as much as possible, but the long term picture does not look good for it. It would require such a substantial amount of money to bring it up to code, and I cannot really think of a way to make it “commercially viable” (as developers like to say). Perhaps the city (or someone like Ted Turner) could come and preserve it.

  • Paul what a great heritage the house is to you let’s figure out how to save it PS you also look exactly like your great-great-grandfather best jim

  • I have just started reading the book “Stone Gables.” I happened to pick the vintage story book up at an antique shop while browsing for some fun and light hearted reading.
    I wanted to see the whereabouts of this house in Georgia; began searching…and here you have an actual photo gallery of Stone Gables. This is GREAT!
    Thank you for sharing.

  • I have an aunt who lives in Clarkesville and she gave me the book to read written by Brenda Knight and she met Brenda,my aunt is also a knight. She came from south Florida when she was about 16 years old and now she is 72 she knew one of your uncles I guess Charles Knight who has since passed away I think she said. I always look when we go by that way to see if I can see anything, but I can’t. I would love to drive up the lane to see the stone house. Would that be possible? Is there anyone close by that would show me. Is there any family still living close by? I like bed the stonegable book.

  • Stone Gables is a beautiful place. I have had the privilege of seeing the house inside and out. Mu daughter was flower girl and my son a jr. groomsman at a Knight family wedding there about 17 years ago. It is one of the most interesting and amazing places I’ve seen. I especially like the stair case and the shallow (height) stairs.
    What a joy it must have been to grow up in that place.

  • Hi. My name Beth Harris. I was engaged to Jon Knight when I was in college at Mt. Berry in Rome, Georgia. We did not marry but stayed in contact until he was killed in a car accident years later. We spent some time at Zelda and Stan’s cabin in the woods. Anyways my hairdresser’s parents currently live in Clarksville. I still have some of Jon’s letters. He was a wonderful. Smart. Talented writer and builder. I have the book Stone Gables and need to read it. I visited there one time years later. Stan’s daughter showed me where Jon is buried on the property.