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Old Town tells a story…

In the early 1900’s, Burns Koonce was a young boy growing up alongside the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, GA. Like most boys during that time (before the days of tablets and video games), Burns loved being outside and all the adventures that came with it. From time to time, such adventures included visiting his cousins in Prattville, AL, where they farmed hundreds of acres for corn and soybeans, as well as livestock for beef and dairy. For Burns, the times he spent in Prattville exploring the farm, a young boy’s endless playground, were some of his best childhood memories.

As he grew older, nostalgia motivated Burns to one day purchase, manage, and explore a farm of his own, and in 1950, Burns Koonce purchased his first parcel of land in Columbus, which 63 years later would become Old Town.


At the time Koonce purchased the property, there were four existing farmhouses. The largest of the four sat atop the highest hill on the land, which today is known as  Vee’s Park, named after Burns’ wife, Virginia, who was often referred to as Vee by her closest friends.


Koonce would enjoy the Muscogee county farm for many years raising chickens, Black Angus cattle, and free range guinea fowl. Above all else, Burns enjoyed taking his three children, Calvin, Virginia (named after her mother), and Franklin to the farm, hoping to provide them with timeless memories such as the ones Burns had from his childhood.


Many early, damp mornings were spent trailing a spaniel, anticipating his discovery of a covey of bobwhite quail. Summer afternoons in the Georgia heat, Calvin, Virginia, and Franklin would swim for hours to cool off in the lake Burns had built himself, which today can be gazed upon from the Old Town Mill or the lakeside Swallowtail Flats.

The years passed. Columbus was growing rapidly, and the Koonce farm quickly became very desirable real estate, something Koonce had anticipated back in 1950 when he purchased the land. Calvin, the oldest of the three children, would eventually control the welfare of the farm, and it was in 1994 when the Woodruff Company initially engaged Calvin regarding real estate opportunities for his family’s farm. With help from the Woodruff Company Calvin purchased adjoining parcels, and over time the Koonce family farm grew to become 300 acres, which today is known as Old Town, the first Southern Living Inspired Community in the country.

The vision of Old Town has existed for over 10 years. Through years of research, communication, investment, and implementation, Old Town comes from the sincerest of places. Old Town captures the spirit of Burns Koonce from his adventures as a boy on a farm. Old Town welcomes you to enjoy the simpler things, like Calvin and his siblings once did on this very property.

Old Town is a place where the best things in life occur outside, on front porches, in tree swings. Where southern charm and hospitality meet the modern conveniences of today…

Meet the Old Town Team

Founded in 1982 by James L. Strickland, Historical Concepts specializes in the art of traditional place-making.
The award-winning firm designs homes, neighborhoods and communities based on the long-standing principles of traditional architecture and planning.

Inspired by historical precedent and enamored by Southern vernacular, the design teams at Historical Concepts take great pride in creating places that are exceptional in quality and during in value. 

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