and Seventy-Four Ranch in Pickens County, Georgia
Courtesy of Jessica Bowers of www.pickenslivingonline.com
Head west on Highway 53 through Pickens County and you’ll come to the tiny community of Hinton. At the intersection of the highway and 136 connector, there is a beautiful, historic home. Welcome to the Butler-Cape House on the Seventy-Four Ranch owned by Larry Butler and Pam Martin Butler. Pam gave Pickens Living Online a tour and talked with us about the history and their love of the property.
The Cherokee nation called this land their home until their removal to Fort Newnan located near Blaine. Though the date of the home’s construction isn’t quite clear, experts believe it was begun in the 1850’s. The Capes that lend their name to the home were the first known non-Native Americans to live there.
The Capes were a very influential family. The patriarch, Lee, was a county policeman and revenuer. He waged a campaign against the local illegal moonshiners. Lee’s profession made family life strained and eventually cost him his life.
Two of Lee’s sons, Levy and Waldo, ran moon shine operations despite their families’ attempts to dissuade them. Levy even killed their brother Hobert when he took a stand and threw out Levy’s alcohol. The deadly bullet went right through Hobert and can still be seen in the front porch of the Cape-Butler House. Lee tried to arrest Levy and was shot for his efforts, though he survived the wound. Hobert’s room is one that guests can stay in when they visit the Seventy-Four Ranch. Waldo took over the moonshine business after Levy was sent to prison for the murder. He was shot and killed by a local lawman who was later acquitted of the crime.
Though Lee survived the drama with his children, local moonshiners killed and dismembered him. They scattered his remains in a trail ending in Adairsville, Ga. When the police had collected all the body parts they could, a grand funeral was held with Lee laid out in the front hall of the Cape-Butler House. It was one of the largest funerals in the history of Pickens County. Sam Tate even came to pay his respects and speak.
With such a rich history, Larry and Pam knew they wanted to preserve as much of the original home as they could. They found an inspired artist in Jim Wilson of Wilson Restorations. Walking through the buildings, you can feel the love Jim had for his work. He created an amazing piece in the kitchen based on a design of an antique pie shelf. Original floors, walls, and ceilings have been uncovered and restored. Though the home is historic with much of its natural integrity preserved, at no time do you feel you are walking through a show piece. The Butler-Cape House was meant to be enjoyed and lived in.
Exploration is endless on Seventy-Four Ranch. From the Strike-a-Light pouch circa 1890s hung in the dining room to the unique art by local artists, the Butler-Cape House has amazing pieces in it. There are two rooms upstairs for guests: the Blue Room, named for a favorite horse, and Hobert’s Room.
Out back, there is a stunning, hand-crafted pavilion made from 17 types of local Georgia trees. A campfire area is ringed with benches for stories and marshmallows. The old tin storage buildings have been reinvented for more guest lodging with an Old West flair. In the pasture behind the house, you can find Parker’s Pond stocked with Bass, Bream and aerated with a windmill.
Get an intimate view of old fashioned living when you stay in their Cowboy Cabin. This replica of a Wyoming Line Shack has no power, includes a wood burning stove, and its windows open onto the rolling pasture and horses.
Their newest edition to the ranch is a fruit orchard. You will be able to pick your own peaches, apples, or pears to have in your breakfast! They also have a small vegetable garden. At the Seventy-Four Ranch, they try to keep things as chemical free as possible, the way nature made it!
Trail rides, ghost stories, camping, fishing, roping, cattle driving, riding lessons, and the list of activities is ever growing. Need some time for yourself, enjoy a book while relaxing with one of the many loving canines cuddled up with you. Comfortable, relaxing moments are waiting to be shared right here in our backyard. You don’t have to leave Pickens County to have a fantastic vacation.
If you would like more information and pictures, please visit www.pickenslivingonline.com/Butler-Cape Hoouse