Category Archives: –TALIAFERRO COUNTY GA–

E. W. Johnson’s Store, Lyneville

I had a nice conversation and a tour of this old grocery/general store with the gentleman who farms the adjacent property.

He noted that it was formally known as E. W. Johnson’s Store, but that he never knew Mr. Johnson. He says his wife, Lucy, ran the store and was well-known in the community.

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Jennings Baptist Church, 1904, Taliaferro County

Historic Jennings Baptist Church Taliaferro County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

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Dr. White House, Crawfordville

Every time I’m in Crawfordville I check to make sure this house is still standing. It’s one of my favorite Gothic Revival cottages in Georgia, though notoriously difficult to photograph.

Crawfordville GA Taliaferro County Gothic Revival White House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

The only information I’ve been able to gather from locals is that it was the home of Dr. White, and that it’s been empty for many years. I hope someone can save it before it’s too late.

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Queen Anne House, Crawfordville

Crawfordville GA Queen Anne House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

This is next door to the colorful Queen Anne shown in the previous post.

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Queen Anne House, Crawfordville

Crawfordville GA Queen Anne House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

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Hillman, Georgia

Hillman GA Taliafero County Dozier House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Dozier House

In the 1880s and 1890s, Hillman was a boomtown, not because of agriculture or timber, but because of an unusual attraction known as the Electric Health Resort. Jackie Sturdivant Watson recently shared this history of Hillman: I heard stories of the “Rocks That Shock” from my Grandfather, Bill Dozier, who lived in Hillman from his birth in 1909 until the death of his father in 1922. His brother Wyman (who lived in the house pictured above) remained in Hillman and operated the family’s mercantile store until his death in 1966. As the story goes (very briefly), Reverend A. L. Hillman was searching for gold and alum and sank a shaft on his property. Spending time in the ankle deep water in the shaft reportedly caused cures to a variety of illnesses. As a result, a hotel was built on the property and people came from all around to spend time at the Electric Mound Hotel or “The Hillman”. Henry W Grady, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, was responsible for the financing and building of the hotel, according to an article in the Advocate-Democrat written by GrandDaddy (Bill Dozier, Nov. 1, 1991). GrandDaddy’s parents, Charles Wilder Dozier and Kate Jackson Dozier were operating the Hillman Hotel when it burned in 1901.

Hillman GA Taliafero County Woodlands Railroad Track Dozier House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Dozier House from the tracks of the Georgia Woodlands Railroad

I haven’t located anything about the early history of this house, but Jackie Sturdivant Watson writes: My great uncle Wyman Dozier and his wife Annie Sue lived in this house in Hillman in the 1950s and 1960s…The site of the old hotel built in the 1880s is across the road and on the other side of the railroad tracks. Kathy Wright Groseclose notes that the house was occupied as late as the 1980s and was in good condition at that time.

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Greater Level Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Taliaferro County

Greater Level Hill Missionary Baptist Church Taliafero County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

I’ve not yet located any history of this beautiful old church.

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Queen Anne House, Sharon

Sharon GA Taliaferro County Queen Anne House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

This is located beside the Church of the Purification. I don’t know if it was ever associated with the church.

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Locust Grove Cemetery, 1794, Sharon

Locust Grove Oldest Catholic Cemetery in Georgia Sharon Taliaferro County Headstones Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

This sacred ground, Georgia’s first and oldest Catholic cemetery, is a great place for walking around and exploring. A real sense of peace came over me when I was there. Though none of the late-18th-century burials are marked or discernible today, the first burial was recorded here in 1794. Fieldstones mark some graves and those are likely the earliest burials.  The headstones are similar to the styles you’d find in Savannah or Charleston, not in the Georgia Piedmont.

Locust Grove Oldest Catholic Cemetery in Georgia Sharon Taliaferro County Headstone with Reolutionary War Flag Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

One of the more interesting interments is that of Lieutenant John Cratin of the 2nd Maryland Regiment, Revolutionary War. Lieutenant Cratin was among the first Catholic settlers of Georgia. Born in 1752 in Maryland, he died on 8 September 1826 in Locust Grove.

Locust Grove Oldest Catholic Cemetery in Georgia Sharon Taliaferro County Stone Enclosure Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

The stone enclosure pictured above is a relatively common construction in cemeteries of this age in the Piedmont.

Locust Grove Oldest Catholic Cemetery in Georgia Sharon Taliaferro County Broken Headstone Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

John Burke (b. 1784, County Tipperary, Ireland – d. 25 September 1846)

Though a few headstones are damaged, the greatest danger to most is the erosion of the script due to nearly 200 years of exposure to the elements.

Locust Grove Oldest Catholic Cemetery in Georgia Sharon Taliaferro County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

If you ever find yourself in the area, take the time to visit Locust Grove. You won’t be disappointed.

Locust Grove Oldest Catholic Cemetery in Georgia Sharon Taliaferro County Headstone Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

Thomas Turley (b. 1807, Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland – d. 20 November 1835)

A list of interments at Locust Grove, compiled by Drexel Beck, can be viewed here.

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Church of the Purification, 1883, Sharon

Church of the Purification Locust Grove Catholic Sharon GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2016

The first Catholic congregation in Georgia dates to 1790, when several English families from Maryland established a church at Locust Grove, in present-day Taliaferro County. They first called their colony Mary Land, in honor of their home state, but the name was quickly changed, first to Mount Panoma and finally to Locust Grove, for the large number of locust trees in the area. (All that remains of Locust Grove, about 1.7 miles from Sharon, is the Catholic cemetery). A log church, built there in 1792 to accommodate 50-60 parishioners was the first Catholic church ever built in Georgia. It was christened the Church of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The “Maryland English” at Locust Grove were soon joined and surpassed in number by French Catholics seeking refuge from the revolution and from the slave revolt in Haiti. Their priest, Father Souze, accompanied them. Father Jean le Moyne settled here around 1793-94, though records now indicate that Father Oliver le Mercier was the first priest to officially serve the congregation. Over the next two decades, German and Irish settlers were added to the congregation. Ancestors of Margaret Mitchell and Flannery O’Connor were early members.

While the first Georgia Catholics were not people of great means, they were educated and wanted the same for their children. In 1818 or 1819, they established Locust Grove Academy in the old log church and in 1826 it was chartered by the General Assembly as the first Catholic school in Georgia. A more substantial church structure was built to serve the congregation in 1821. In 1883, the present church was built. By 2001, the church was downgraded to station status by the Atlanta Archdiocese and it was essentially abandoned. An effort is presently being made to restore the structure and ultimately, rebuild the congregation. Presently, a well-attended Christmas Eve Mass is held here.

Source: Jane Abbott, “English Catholics at Locust Grove”, pp 12-15. One Faith…One Family: The Diocese of Savannah 1850-2000

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