Home demolished on LaGrange St.
by Celia Shortt
The LaGrange Street home of Newnan’s late, longtime educator and civic leader Sarah Louise “Sally” Bowen was torn down on Wednesday.
The house at 124 LaGrange Street was set to be demolished following a recommendation by Newnan’s city staff to the city council at its July 8 meeting.
According to Newnan City Manager Cleatus Phillips, the city received a bid of $19,000 for the demolition and a lien of that amount would be placed against the property.
In September 2013, the roof of the house split along its crest. Laura Rivers had owned the house for 15 years, and according to Shane Pridgen, an inspector for Newnan, Rivers was “unaware of the situation” when he first notified her.
At a November council meeting, Rivers was granted a 90-day extension, with some additional stipulations, to repair the house. The council wanted her to give two-week updates to ensure communication between all the parties.
At the Dec. 17 council meeting, Newnan City Attorney C. Bradford Sears told the council it appeared that foreclosure proceedings on Rivers’ property had begun, and at the May 13 city council meeting, the council approved a 30-day resolution to repair or demolish, as it was estimated to cost more than 50 percent of what the house is worth.
Bowen died after a long battle with cancer in 1999. A native of LaGrange, she moved to Newnan as a preschooler and graduated at the top of the 1943 class at Newnan High School.
Bowen held degrees from Wesleyan College, Duke University and West Georgia College – now the University of West Georgia. She also studied at Emory University, the University of Kentucky and the University of Georgia.
Bowen taught Latin and social studies for 45 years before retiring in 1992. She taught at Atkinson Grammar School, Newnan High and the Heritage School in Newnan, at Oak Mountain Academy in Carrollton, and at J.C. Booth Middle School in Peachtree City.