Southside mansion put on the market for $850,000


Location. Location. Location.

It's the old adage in real estate, and it's the current problem facing The Rockwell House, the grand old home on Allen Memorial Drive.

The 12-acre property recently was put on the market with an asking price of $850,000. Walter Reynolds is listed as the realtor for the listing, which can be viewed HERE.

The Rockwell House most recently was a short-term rental and the second-priciest VRBO property in Baldwin County. "Immerse yourself in history and grandeur while visiting Milledgeville, Georgia's 19th century capital," read the previous VRBO listing. "The Rockwell House (c. 1838) is a recently restored 14-room Federal/Greek Revival house that was once home to a Georgia governor. Relax and entertain with a delightfully fresh interior design blended with breathtaking historic architectural features and antiques.

Enjoy the peaceful sounds of the self-playing grand piano or take a quiet moment to explore the fenced 12-acre grounds and pond. With 14 ft ceilings and 20x20 rooms, the scale of the Rockwell House is awe-inspiring. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, each room features historic hand-crafted architectural details. After being greeted by the show-stopping spiral staircase in the main foyer, you'll find ornate touches throughout the home including custom hewn wainscoting, hand-pulled plaster cornices, and marble fireplaces."

At $795 per night, The Rockwell House was the only high-priced VRBO in Baldwin County not located on Lake Sinclair. Instead, it's located in the heart of the southside and in a Census tract that's 30-something percent "mobile homes."

The mansion was completed in 1812 and built for Samuel Rockwell, a New York-born attorney who lived in Milledgeville. The home later was used as a second residence for the governor during Milledgeville's antebellum capital days.

Realtor and Georgia College & State University graduate Ross Sheppard purchased the home in March 2019 for $319,500.Sheppard's original plan was to rent the mansion out to college students for $500 per student per month, back when $500 per student per month in Milledgeville was unheard of. These days, unfortunately, it's pretty common.

Sheppard purchased the property from local woman Joanne Ogden. Ogden and her late husband – Cecil – bought the house and surrounding 12 acres in 1971 and lived their through old age. The renovation was extensive. At the time, Sheppard told WMAZ in Macon that he expected his total investment to reach roughly a half-million dollars.

"The heating and air system is almost $50,000, the exterior paint job is $30,000, the wiring will be close to $20,000, plumbing will probably be another $20,000, so we have a pretty short list of big-ticket items," Sheppard said at the time


The end result was a success, and the property essentially was restored to its original glory. Sheppard later called an audible and began listing the property as an Airbnb before eventually switching over to Airbnb's rival – VRBO.

At the time of its purchase back in 2019, the census tract surrounding the Rockwell House had a per capita income of $17,512, which is roughly half the national average, according to Census data. Also, 36.6 percent of people living in the Census tract live below the poverty line, which is more than three-and-a-half times higher than the national average, while 31 percent of the “dwellings” in the Census tract are “mobile homes.”

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