Category Archives: –OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA–

Maxeys Landmark Lost to Fire

This historic general store in Maxeys was lost to a tragic fire on 16 January 2021. [Thanks to Jennifer W. Newton for sharing the unfortunate news on the Vanishing Georgia Facebook group. My condolences go to the family who lost their loved one in this tragedy]. It was owned by the Vernor family for many years. It was most recently home to Maxeys Country Store and had been converted to dual use as a residence. The cause of the fire is under investigation. I will be updating with more history of the building soon.

Sally Giles wrote: I have many good memories of going into Mr. Vernor’s store in the 70s and 80s and trying on what my mom called “train suits” that looked like they were from the 60s. These were very sensible skirts with matching jackets that you would wear on the train, or later on the bus. Mr. Vernor had ladies gloves that you would have worn to church that were lain perfectly crossed over each in the long glass cabinet just waiting for glove wearing to come back into style. He told me that his wife would order the ladies things, and that he had not bought anything new for the cases since she had passed. Mr Vernor always wore a black suit no matter how hot it was, and the store had no air conditioning. His shirt was a starchy white, buttoned up all the way with no tie. I can remember feeling hotter than I should have just looking at Mr. Vernor in his black suit. Over time there was not much that was really for sale that anyone wanted except myself buying the old clothes, but there were co-colas (all beverages were called co-colas) and crackers that looked kinda old for sale on the rack. I have other memories that I could tell, but won’t.

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Carter House, 1884, Oglethorpe County

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Hogan’s Store, Oglethorpe County

The Hogan General Store is a familiar landmark in Oglethorpe County, located near the ruins of the Birdsong-Hogan House.

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Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church, 1896, Oglethorpe County

Settlers from Virginia and North Carolina first came to the area around Mt. Pleasant church in the late 1700s. Robert Smith, known as Uncle Robert, began holding irregular services in a brush arbor near here around 1812-1814 and in 1820 established the first Methodist congregation in a log church at this location. The first Methodist Sunday School north of Savannah was organized here in 1826, with William G. Andrews as superintendent. In 1844, a small frame church was built and the log church was put into use as a school house. When the frame church was sealed and windows added in 1873, some of the congregation’s more conservative members thought it “sacrilegious to have so much finery in God’s house”. (North Georgia Conference UMC Local Church Histories, Pitts Theology Library, Emory University)

In recent years the congregation dwindled to an unsustainable number and the church became Mt. Pleasant Community Church, which it is known as today.

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General Store & Residence, Circa 1919, Oglethorpe County

This is located just down the road from Mt. Pleasant church and was a combination store and residence.

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Hughey’s Certified Welding Sign, Oglethorpe County

This is one of the neatest signs I’ve ever seen in Georgia and it’s a well-known local landmark.  It’s reminiscent of the days when business owners often employed three-dimensional images to advertise their businesses, so even the illiterate would know what they were offering.

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Queen Anne Farmhouse, Oglethorpe County

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Gabled-Ell Farmhouse, Oglethorpe County

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Plantation Plain Farmhouse, Oglethorpe County

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Paul’s Bar-B-Q, Lexington

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According to almost anyone you ask in Lexington, or any of the myriad barbecue “experts” out there, Paul’s was one of the best barbecue restaurants in Georgia over its long history. [I’ve eaten at many of the “best barbecue in Georgia” joints and very few have impressed me. My favorite remains Armstrong’s in Summerville and it’s not even on many of those lists. They seem to have issues with their hours, though]. Online reviews raved about the perfect vinegar-based sauce, the thick Brunswick stew and sweet tea better than your granny’s. Paul’s was only open from 9:30-2:00 on Saturdays and on Independence Day. They finally shut their doors on 4 July 2016, a day which made many people sad.

Luckily, the good folks at the Southern Foodways Alliance interviewed the owners in 2008 and recorded an oral history of the business. It began in 1929 when Clifford Collins started cooking and barbecuing whole hogs in Lexington. He and Fudge Collins sold their product under the shade of a Mulberry tree on Main Street for the next forty years. With the advent of health regulations, the business moved inside this building and they began smoking hams instead of whole hogs. Clifford retired when he was in his 90s and passed the business on to his nephew, George Paul, Jr.  George was a farmer with no restaurant experience but he quickly learned the ropes. He and his son Jimmy operated the business from about 1979 until 2016, with George smoking the shoulders on a pit at his farm and Jimmy making the Brunswick stew.

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Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Lexington GA