Completed in 1859, the 18,000 square foot, 24 room Hay House was the most opulent of the mansions built in Macon before the Civil War. William B. Johnston included indoor bathrooms, hot and cold running water, central heat and many other features that were only then becoming popular. The four story mansion, which has a three story cupola on top, is built in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, quite different from the Greek Revival style that was common on mansions in the South before the Civil War.
The Johnson family occupied the home until 1926, when William Johnson's daughter, Mary Ellen, and her husband William Felton sold the home to Parks Lee Hays, a local banker. The Hay family owned the home until 1962, when it was converted into a museum. In 1977 the home was donated to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, which runs the home as a museum, education and cultural event center, and tourist attraction.
Inside, the home is a beauty to behold. There are wonderful pieces of art, period pieces of furniture, and stained-glass windows. If you are traveling to visit Hay House, be sure to call first, as the home is occasionally rented for weddings and other events.
Other Attractions in Macon
Ocmulgee Indian Mounds
Georgia Music Hall of Fame
Elisha Winn House
Margaret Mitchell House
Peter Kolb's Farm
Chieftains Musuem / Major Ridge Home