Category Archives: –ELBERT COUNTY GA–

Balchin Store, Elbert County

Diane Culpepper writes, via our Facebook page: The general store pictured above is Balchin Store on Lincolnton Highway in Elbert County. Thriving store until the early 70’s.



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Rice Town, Georgia

You won’t find Rice Town on any map, but it’s a settlement of many Rice family members and descendants on GA79, east of Elberton. The Rice Garage looks like it may have also once had gas pumps and a country store.


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Commercial Block, Elberton

This large commercial block has been home to numerous businesses over the years, including a stone supply company and appliance service. If not too far gone, it would be a great restoration project.

Elberton Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Seaboard Air Line Railway Depot, 1910, Elberton

One of Georgia’s finest old depots, this is now home to the Elbert County Historical Society.

National Register of Historic Places

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Georgia Guidestones, 1980, Elbert County

Known as the Georgia Guidestones and standing nearly 20 feet high, the six granite slabs situated beside a field nine miles north of Elberton have become a curious tourist attraction since their erection in 1980. Because of the anonymous origin and patronage of the guidestones, controversy has always surrounded them.  In their April 2009 issue, Wired dubbed them the “American Stonehenge” and published a great essay on their history and the ensuing conspiracy theories. They noted that they may be the most enigmatic monument in America…inscribed with directions for rebuilding civilization after the apocalypse.

Four slabs radiate from a central slab with a capstone atop the array which, when viewed from above give the appearance of a star. Ten guidelines are inscribed on the guidestones in eight modern languages (English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Russian) with a shorter message inscribed on top in four ancient languages (Babylonian Cuneiform, Classic Greek, Sanskrit, Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs) . The ten guidelines, translated, are: 1) Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2) Guide reproduction wisely-improving diversity and fitness. 3) Unite humanity with a living new language. 4) Rule passion-faith-tradition-and all things with tempered reason. 5) Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts. 6) Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court. 7) Avoid petty laws and useless officials. 8) Balance personal rights with social duties. 9) Prize truth-beauty-love-seeking harmony with the infinite. 10) Be not a cancer on the earth- Leave room for nature- Leave room for nature.

An explanatory tablet, a few feet away from the Guidestones, notes the date of dedication (22 March 1980), identifies the languages used and the astronomical coordinates of the site, and reads: Let these be guidestones to an Age of Reason.


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Rexall Drug Store, Bowman

Bowman GA Elbert County Downtown Rexall Drugs SIgn Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

The Rexall sign on the Bowman Drug store catches my eye every time I pass by it. I only wish the weather had been better this time. The skies were threatening the whole time, but I still enjoyed walking around this friendly little town, with its antique dealers and quaint old storefronts. Bowman was incorporated in 1907 but its origins date to the late 1870s, when a road connecting Elberton and Toccoa was cut through the area. Subsequently, a depot was located here and named for Colonel Thomas J. Bowman, who had surveyed the land.


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Witcher’s Store, Bowman

Bowman GA Elbert County Red Building Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Letha Dickerson writes that this was Hoyt Witcher’s store. Geraldine Baker recalls it being a service station. I imagine it was both, a forerunner of today’s convenience stores.

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