Round Barn Facts
The Round Barn has attracted much interest both because of its unique architecture and because of the reputation of selling the highest quality mattresses at the lowest price. It still retains the effects of a barn. A silo runs in the center of the structure and houses the office. Customers can look up to see the original rafters and the wooden roof. The Round Barn is listed on the National Register of Historical Sites. The Round Barn is located about 20 minutes from Athens or Gainesville and less than hour from Atlanta.
The Round Barn was built in 1913 by George Williamson who
used the structure in conjunction with a dairy operation. In the
late 1930's, Hugh and Jessie Maley purchased the barn and
surrounding house and land. After some repairs and painting
to the barn, Mr. and Mrs. Maley's only child, Dories and her
husband Louis Turner, began a successful business in 1964.
Mr. Turner retired in 1994, but their daughter and son-in-law,
Imogene and Mark Roncadori, continue the business tradition.
Just beyond Apple Valley, heading toward Jefferson on the Jefferson-Commerce Road (Hwy. 15), sits a Jackson County landmark. Most everyone has at least seen the Round Barn
and marveled at its unusual shape and bright red color. Although the circular structure has been called Round Barn Mattresses since 1964, it did not begin life as a commercial
venture. However, it still looks much as it did in the early 1900s. A silo occupies the center of the two-story structure. On the upper floor, the center section of the old silo is in use as the
store’s office. A set of old wooden stairs leads to the lower level. Mattresses surround the circular silo. Looking up, customers can see the rafters and the original wooden shingle roof. George Williamson built the round barn in 1913 for his dairy operation. He built his house, which is across the street, at the same time.
“He traveled away from here, saw a round barn somewhere and thought it was cool,” said Imogene Roncadori. She and her husband Mark currently own and operate the mattress shop. In the late 1930s, Hugh and Jessie Maley, Roncadori’s grandparents, bought the farm, including the barn.“Sometime in the mid-1950s, my grandfather almost tore it down,” she said. “It desperately needed a roof.” Luckily, he found a company in Athens that was able to cover the old shakes with asphalt shingles. Six years ago, those shingles were replaced.
When Roncadori’s parents, Dories and Louis Turner, first opened their furniture store in the round structure, cows still roamed the ground floor and the furniture was upstairs. Eventually, the cows were booted out. Initially the store sold both furniture and mattresses; as the business grew, the focus became mattresses.
After Turner retired, his daughter and son-in-law kept the business going. On July 7, 1996, the Williamson/Maley/Turner Farm, which includes the round barn, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. According to Professor Hubka, when compared with the number of common barns in any region, “round barns are undeniably memorable.” He explained that for the most part they were built by wealthy farmers and reached a “high point of popularity” during the second half of the 19th Century.
Dories & Louis Turner
The Round Barn in 1968
The Round Barn in 2012
Dories & Louis Turner
The Round Barn office
The Round Barn showroom
The Round Barn in 1958