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The title on the property dates back to 1891 when A.C. Heggie was the owner. The residence that is now the Stanley House was built in 1895 by lumber executive W.P. Stevens as the summer residence of the favorite uncle and aunt of President Woodrow Wilson, Dr. James Woodrow and his wife, Felixina Baker. Dr. Woodrow was the first professor with a Ph.D. in the state of Georgia and a Presbyterian minister. He and "Felie" were married in Dalton, Georgia by Woodrow Wilson's father, also a Presbyterian minister.
Dr. Woodrow was the subject of controversy in his time as he believed and taught evolution. This excerpt is from the historical archives of the Marietta Daily Journal, August 19, 1886:
The trial of Dr. James Woodrow by the charges proferred by Dr. William Adains, of Augusta Presbytory, began in Bethany, Green County on the 16th. The charges are that Woodrow promulgate doctrines and opinions in conflict with the sacred Scriptures, in teaching that the body of Adam was probably the product of evolution from the body of some lower animal. The case was conducted Tuesday and Dr. Woodrow found not guilty. An appeal will be taken to the Synod at Sparta next October.
Woodrow Wilson referenced his uncle in his speech at the rebirth of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia and as published in the New York Times on September 25, 1916:
“Some of the most interesting memories of my life are connected with what my father and uncle, Dr. James Woodrow, who was a professor at Oglethorpe, have told me of the former days of the university, and I feel almost a personal affection for it. Its work in the past was very distinguished, and I hope and believe that its work in the future will be. "
It has been said that President Woodrow Wilson once slept at the Stanley House.
In the early 1900's, Bertha Field and her family rented the house and then finally bought it in 1925. It was the home of various members of the Field Family until 1960 when Mr. James Stanley purchased the building and converted it to apartments. Mr. Stanley was known to collect the rent in person wearing a suit and bow tie.
In 1984, the Stanley House was renovated and returned to its original splendor for its current use as a bed and breakfast and special events venue, mostly weddings. It now serves a second generation of brides.