The Brown-Stetson-Sanford House, designed originally as an inn by British architect John Marlor, is one of the finest examples of the style called Milledgeville Federal. A distinctive blend of elements from Late Georgian, Plantation Plain, Federal, and Early Greek Revival, the house museum holds an important place in the preservation of this historic small town.
Commissioned by local doctor and planter George A. Brown, the structure started as an inn for legislators who came into Georgia’s capital on business and was known for its elegance and hospitality. Over the years, the inn passed into the hands of Daniel B. Stetson, a prominent local merchant, who bought the property as a private residence for his family. The house once again passed down through the Stetsons to the Sanford family.
The home was leased as a Tea Room in 1951 and gained acclaim for its beauty and cuisine. After closing in 1966, a developer had the house slated for demolition. The Sanford family donated the house to the Old Capital Historical Society, which then raised the funds to relocate the structure to preserve it and its history. This helped spur excitement for preservation in Milledgeville and the surrounding county.