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 Bonaparte “Bona” Allen, Sr

Bonaparte “Bona” Allen, Sr

Birth
Death 18 Oct 1925 (aged 78)
Buford, Gwinnett County, Georgia, USA
Burial Buford, Gwinnett County, Georgia, USA
Memorial ID 10125075 · View Source
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Founder, Owner and Operator of Bona Allen, Inc., a nationally known leather tanery and harness shop. Bona Allen founded the booming tannery business in Buford in the late 1800's and was responsible for employing two-thirds of the town's population. Mr. Allen Sr. became one of the wealthiest men in the Southeast with his company, Bona Allen, Inc. which manufactured everything from horse saddles to shoes & boots. They were best known for their superior saddles and bridles. Their clientele included such noted celebrities as William Cody and Roy Rogers' horse, Trigger.

Bona Allen, Inc. also had a pennant winning semi-pro baseball team. The Shoemakers won the National Semi-Pro Championship in 1938. In 1944, 3 of its players were named to the Semi-Pro Hall of Fame.

Mr. Allen spared no expense when building his home in Buford . Designed by noted Atlanta architect, Haralson Bleckley, the main house has 17 rooms, twelve foot ceilings, original carved wood paneling, intricate moldings, stained glass windows, and seven fireplaces. The magnificent two story entry showcases an original Italian wall mural of the Castello Villa Franca in South Rome. The mansion is a wonderful example of the "Italianate" style with its cream colored brick and red clay tile roof. The lion sculptures which flank the front steps are replicas of works by renowned sculptor, Antonio Canova (1757-1822). The originals may be found at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The home sits on six walled acres of manicured grounds and gardens with five original out buildings including a carriage house and a caretaker's cottage. At one point, the Allen's property included over 1700 acres.

Bona Allen Sr. lived in the mansion until his death in 1925. The estate then became home to Bona Allen Jr. who resided there until his death in 1964. The property was purchased in 1968 by the Tandy Corporation who operated the leather goods business until its demise.

In 1981, a fire destroyed the tannery operation. After sitting vacant for several years, the grand estate was purchased and was completely restored to its original grandeur. Bona Allen Mansion is now on the National Register of Historic Places.


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  • Created by: Keith Phillips
  • Added: 15 Dec 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10125075
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Bonaparte “Bona” Allen, Sr (27 Dec 1846–18 Oct 1925), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10125075, citing Hillcrest Cemetery, Buford, Gwinnett County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by Keith Phillips (contributor 23992132) .