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Comparative Study

For the architectural study, chimneys with stacked-hearths and/or large granite slabs were examined for comparisons to the Spier House.  One stacked hearth stone chimney found at an archaeological site in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and has features similar to the Spier House’s stacked-hearth chimney.   The two most prominent similarities are exterior basement entrances to the left of the chimney and thick stone fireplace lintels.  The broader, more massive quality of the Virginia chimney is characteristic of an 18th century chimney and thus probably dates earlier than the Spier House.

In Georgia, two buildings with stacked hearth chimneys were visited and photographed for comparisons.  An early to mid-19th century I-House in DeKalb County has a stacked-hearth chimney originally in a detached kitchen located just behind the house.  The hearth in the basement is similar to the Spier House chimney in that it consists of large coursed granite blocks. The hearth is slightly wider than the Spier House basement hearth, which suggests that it was built slightly earlier than the Spier House.  Traveler’s Rest State Historic Site in Toccoa, Stephens County, Georgia also contains an enormous tripled stacked-hearth stone chimney.  From the exterior, the chimney’s masonry style somewhat resembles the Spier House’s front chimneys in that it contains a few narrow horizontal courses in between the large rough cut granite blocks.  The basement hearth dates to the mid-1830s and is also slightly wider than the Spier House basement hearth.  The inn’s fireplaces have large stone slabs for lintels, just like those at the Spier House. 

According to a reconnaissance survey of the Spier House vicinity, a house located about a mile southeast of the site contains a granite chimney similar in materials and masonry to the Spier House’s rear ell chimney.  It is possible that the builder of this chimney and the builder of the Spier House’s rear chimney may have been the same person who lived locally.  However, no chimneys in the area compare to the front chimneys of the Spier House in quality and craftsmanship