The J.T. Roberts House represents more than just a classic Victorian house. The building's history starts even before there was a Valdosta.

The house was eventually refurbished into the graceful home that can be seen at 206 Wells St., but it was first a home in 1845 for William E. Wisenbaker. He was the man who helped to put Valdosta on the map by selling 125 acres of property to the Lowndes County Commission to start a new city to be built along the railroad from Savannah to Montgomery.

The house would eventually be sold to John Taylor Roberts, who was a businessman, city councilman and mayor. It stayed in his family for more than 100 years.

Today, thanks to the generosity of two members of the Roberts family, Catherine Redles and Bootsie Smotherman, the house belongs to the Valdosta Heritage Foundation. They donated the building to the Foundation after buying it back from another owner.

The Foundation has already started on an ambitious plan to refurbish the house, already spending $144,000 and seeing the need for $500,000 more in work. Members hope to use the house for offices for the industrial authority in addition to having it serve as a showcase for historic preservation.

We urge support for this effort by donating money to the Valdosta Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 1792, Valdosta, Ga. 31603. Future generations will appreciate your foresight.



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