- The Church of the Purification Locust Grove Academy
This hauntingly beautiful location is the site of one of the early Catholic churches in northern Georgia. Built in 1883 in Sharon, the church was successor to the first Roman Catholic parish in Georgia which was established in Locust Grove in 1800. Several notable Georgia families attended the Church of the Purification, including former state governor Alexander Stephens, and the Fitzgerald family, kin to Margaret Mitchell on her maternal side. The church is adjacent to the Locust Grove Academy, established in 1818 as the first chartered Roman Catholic Academy in Georgia, and the Locust Grove Cemetery, Georgia's oldest Catholic cemetery.
The marker reads as follows......
THE CHURCH OF THE PURIFICATION LOCUST GROVE ACADEMY
In 1790 several Catholic families of English descent from Maryland settled near Locust Grove. They established the first Roman Catholic Church in Georgia and erected a log church in 1792. A priest, Father John LeMoin, was sent to it from Baltimore. French families, fleeing the French Revolution and, later, several Irish families joined the colony. After 1860 a church was erected in Sharon, as the Locust Grove location had become too remote. Locust Grove Academy, the first chartered Roman Catholic Academy in Georgia, was formed about 1818. Many prominent Georgians have come from these early Catholic families.
GHM 131-5 GEORGIA HISTORICAL COMMISSION 1956
Directions from Atlanta:
Take I-20 East to exit #148 for GA 22, Crawfordville/Sparta.
Turn left towards Crawfordville, go about 2 miles.
At stop sign, turn right onto Broad St.
After about 1.2 miles, turn left (cross RR tracks) onto GA-47/Sharon St.
Stay on GA-47 for about 5 miles to take you into Sharon.
At intersection of Sharon St. (GA-47) and Washington Rd., turn left onto Washington Rd. (continues as GA-47). Church will be on the right, across from Overton Cemetery.