Jeff Harvey

We continue with our tour of Athens homes courtesy of the Ella Holroyd written and Margaret Ann Scott edited article in the 1987 edition of the Mercer County Historical Society’s “History of Mercer County.”

We left off with the Bailey/Perry/Neely home on the north side of Route 20. The next home in order was the now-gone Hambrick home, where James Lindsey and Martha Ann Hambrick raised a large family, including future veterinarian George Walter Hambrick.

The next home was built in the 1960s by local contractor Harry Wiley. It was occupied by Dr. Herbert Bergstein, who was one of my management professors at Concord, his wife June, who was a school teacher and their children Ritchie and Ruth.

Next on our tour is the Chapman house, the home of Dr. Carl Chapman and his wife Sherry, who still reside there. It was built, finished and sold twice before anyone almost knew it was here.

Mrs. Lena Martin built a cottage which is next on the list. I don’t know if it’s the same building as the white house next to the car wash or not. Mrs. Martin was the daughter of Jimmie Bennett and granddaughter of old-time preacher Brother James W. Bennett.

The car wash sits on the location of the old Mountain Lion restaurant. Basil and Sarah Shumate owned and operated it, the Texaco station and the Mountain Lion motel. The property was part of the Sam Barrett estate bought by Shumate.

Another gas station owned by Barrett later became the home for the Athens Volunteer Fire Department.

Barrett’s home was next door to the gas station. After he and his wife passed away, Miss Verlie White, the longtime office nurse to Dr. Donzie Lilly and Dr. Uriah Vermillion, bought the home and lived there.

Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at

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