WaterCrest is one of South-Central Georgia's most iconic properties. From the very instant one pulls up to the gate, it is apparent this is a special place. The founders, Julian T. and Grace Hightower, set out to create something few achieve, a property that assumes its own identity and transcends generations. Located minutes from Thomaston, Georgia, this 1,469 +/- acre property features the “Hightower House,” a landmark home of Georgia built in 1947 by famed architect Philip Shutze and completely modernized in 2015, overlooking a beautiful 68 +/- acre lake.
Everyone who has been its landowner over the last 100 years has done an exceptional job of maintaining and preserving this special place, particularly its current steward. Originally founded by Julian T. and Grace Hightower in 1945, little expense and talent was spared creating what was to become one of Georgia's finest examples of Anglo-Palladian country house architecture, garden grounds, and private lake. Today, the entire estate has been meticulously restored, modernized and is one of the finest recreational properties in the South. I don't think anyone who has visited it leaves without feeling its reverence.
A lot of the properties that we represent are compared to owning a State Park, but better capitalized; WaterCrest is no exception. Famed architect Philip Shutze was commissioned to design The Hightower House at WaterCrest. Construction lasted two years and included building models, for example President James Madison's Montpelier and President Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Famed woodcarver, Herbert J. Millard, embellishments are found throughout the country home. The home is featured on the cover of Landmark Homes of Georgia 1733-1983 and is regarded as one of the last great country houses built in America in the classical tradition. It is the last house that famed architect, Philip Shutze, designed in Georgia. The style matches Alexander Hamilton's estates, the Hamilton Grange Mansion.
In 2015, a complete restoration was completed bringing the 12,000 +/- square foot home up to modern day amenities. Flooring made from three-quarter inch thick walnut can be found throughout. The extensive kitchen update features Wolf Stainless appliances, induction stove, Teppanyaki, Walnut and Quartzite counters with galley sink, deadhead cypress beams, pot filler, steam oven, regular oven and butler's Pantry. In 2021, the new owner did further renovations to the house, such as new marble flooring in the foyer, adding a powder bath on the main level, adding an elevator.and adding a new large master bathroom. So, the master bedroom now has a new full bathroom and a half bath. In total, the home has four bedrooms, five full baths, and three half baths. The downstairs boasts 12 ft. ceilings, while the upstairs has 10 ft. ceilings. There is a gym, laundry, and bank vault below grade. There is a two-car detached garage with half bath. For someone that appreciates great architecture combined with great land will recognize that this is one of America's most outstanding private estates.
The custom brick gated entrance leads way to a significantly-built road through a beautiful oak and hardwood hammock. This road leads to a circle drive in front of the main house which features immaculate landscaping and views on the grounds. The ground surrounding the main house are nothing short of amazing. The brick garden sits west of the house.
While the awe inspiring WaterCrest main house receives national accolades, it's the lake house that has an almost magnetic draw. It would be difficult to envision, much less, create a better structure for families and guests to enjoy the outdoors. From the pin ball machines in the theater room, to the bar overlooking the lake and swim spa on the dock, there is something for everyone. Covered bays for two boats make it super easy for guests to enjoy the private 68 +/- acre lake. For cooler evenings, there is an outdoor fireplace as well as a lakeside fire pit. A unique feature is the live bait well. The lakes fish population is excellent with the last fish census being conducted in 2016 (it recommended harvesting 1,500 lbs. of bass.)
A quaint manager's house, guest cottage, small barn and garage make up the balance of the improvements. Again, there is little to no observed deferred maintenance here either.
The woods and habitat are in the condition one would expect of an estate of this caliber. The acres around the lake have been left in a pristine state with no timber harvesting in what appears to be the last 25 years. The western side has been actively managed for both wildlife and timber with a very good fire frequency and a diverse and productive understory conducive for quail hunting. The type and diversity of timber, particularly large upland hardwoods are exceptional. The eastern portion of the property has been used as a private park and has not been hunted for a decade. However, there are approximately 18 +/- acres of food plots connected by exceptional road system. There is also a fenced and cross fenced 12-acre horse pasture and a flowing spring as well as an additional site for another lake.
The property contains almost 1.5 miles of Potato Creek. Most of the creek entails spectacular whitewater as well as the shoals. This property has more than one mile of gorgeous free flowing shoals. A portion of the property is not contiguous, 356 +/- acres on high demand area of Peach Belt Road, and it contains nearly a mile of running creek frontage. There is amazing elevation change on the property.
There is currently no conservation easement and it would make an exceptional candidate.
WaterCrest is convenient to Thomaston, Georgia and just 7.8 +/- miles away from the Upson County Regional Commercial Airport that offers private or Jet strip terminals. Visit the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park located in Macon or Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain for a quick day trip. Newnan is just 45 minutes away where The Walking Dead fans can tour filming locations for seasons 2-6. Head 45 minutes south to soak in the historical sites Columbus has to offer or visit the Swamp Fox Distillery to enjoy libations. Atlanta is just 60 miles away allowing for convenient departure out of the Atlanta Hartsfield airport.
This is a rare opportunity to own one of South-Central Georgia's iconic properties. The beautiful rolling topography, great wildlife, 68 +/- acre stocked lake, the lake house with game/theater room, swim spa, boat slips and outdoor fireplace, the two cottages, and the amazing restored and modernized landmark home, makes WaterCrest a year round family-use property.
Note - this property is also being offered divided:
WaterCrest - main estate and surrounding 740+/- acreage for $6,998,500
Crest Shoals - two southern 372+/- and 356+/- parcels for $3,655,810
Potato Creek - 372+/- acres bordering main estate for $1,667,960
Peach Belt - separate 356+/- acres further south of Potato Creek for $1,961,630
Please visit my website for additional photos, maps and information.
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