In 1916, Ellen Washington Bellamy donated a site on the corner of Washington Avenue and College Street for the construction of a new library to be built in honor of her brother, Hugh Vernon Washington.
The site donated by Mrs. Bellamy was known as Washington Place and was the home of James H. R. Washington, a former mayor of Macon. The old Washington home was once the scene of grand social occasions, and British author William Makepeace Thackeray was entertained there when he came to Macon to give a reading. The house has since been moved to Park Place. Memorials to the Washington family are incorporated into the original building's architecture. The coat of arms of the Washington family is displayed above the old front door and bas-relief cameos of Ellen Washington Bellamy, her brother Hugh Washington and their parents, James and Mary Washington, are located high on the north and south interior walls below the barrel-vaulted ceiling.