Tag Archives: Endangered Places in North Georgia

Baptist Church, Meansville

I have heard from a couple of sources that this was the old location of the Meansville Baptist Church. It’s on the edge of town and was apparently last used as a private residence. I would appreciate any corrections or further information.

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Filed under --PIKE COUNTY GA--, Meansville GA

Queen Anne House, 1910, Taylorsville

This massive house commands a prominent position in downtown Taylorsville and looks like it’s awaiting a new life.

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Filed under --BARTOW COUNTY GA--, Taylorsville GA

Industrial Ruins, Stilesboro

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Filed under --BARTOW COUNTY GA--, Stilesboro GA

Stilesboro Academy, 1859, Bartow County

Stilesboro was incorporated in 1866 and retained that distinction until 1995. It was named for Savannah attorney William Henry Stiles, who served in Congress and the Georgia House of Representatives.

A high school was established here in the late 1850s and the community raised funds and completed the present structure in 1859. It was the center of the community and during the Civil War was used for sewing Confederate uniforms. Though it is likely apocryphal, a legend persists that in May 1864 Sherman spared the Academy due to an interior inscription: Deo ac Patriae [God and Country]. [I say it’s likely apocryphal because there’s a story like this for nearly every surviving antebellum building in the South].

The Stilesboro Improvement Club, a woman’s benevolent society, lobbied to save the old Academy when a new school was built nearby, and has owned the building since the school closed in 1939-1940. Formed in 1910, the club, at the suggestion of Miss Campie Hawkins, began holding an annual chrysanthemum show in 1912. The Stilesboro Chrysanthemum Show continues to be a popular event, 108 years later. It has taken place every year, except during the Great Influenza (1918) and World War II (1942).

The Etowah Valley Historical Society notes that research on the history of the Academy is incomplete.

 

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Filed under --BARTOW COUNTY GA--, Stilesboro GA

Lindale Mill, 1896, Floyd County

Massachusetts Cotton Mill of Lowell, Massachusetts, opened this mill in 1896, and with 42,000 spindles and 1400 looms, it soon became one of the largest mills in the state. 75 multi-family houses were built to house workers and a free elementary school was also provided. The mill doubled in size in 1903 and continued to add employees. In 1926, it was purchased by the Peperrell Manufacturing Company.

During the Depression, employees built a huge lighted wooden star and strung it between the smokestacks at Christmastime. It has remained a tradition ever since. The mill played an integral role in clothing the military during World War II and remained an integral part of the local economy and community until it closed in 2001.

Today, the property features a wedding venue and has been used by the movie industry as a set location.

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Filed under --FLOYD COUNTY GA--, Lindale GA

Goodyear Elementary School, 1930, Rockmart

This elementary school, built by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company soon after they opened a factory in Rockmart, is typical of other schools of the era. It is no longer in use. The Rockmart plant of Goodyear Tire & Rubber was responsible, for many years, for the production of the giant balloons used each year in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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Filed under --POLK COUNTY GA--, Rockmart GA

Van Wert Methodist Church, 1846, Polk County

Van Wert was settled in the early 1830s [formally laid out in 1837] in Paulding County. It was named for Isaac Van Wert, one of the captors of Benedict Arnold’s co-conspirator, Major John André. Van Wert served as the county seat until 1851 when a section of Paulding County became Polk County. The Methodist Church was built in 1846 and was shared by the Baptists until 1850.

In 1872, the most famous preacher in the South got his start at this church. Samuel Porter Jones, known professionally as Sam P. Jones, is estimated to have preached to over 3 million people all over America, throughout his career. Upon his death in 1906, his body lay in state in the capitol in Atanta before burial in Cartersville.

The church is leaning a bit to the right, but I understand it has been recently stabilized.

 

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Filed under --POLK COUNTY GA--, Rockmart GA, Van Wert GA

Brewster Mercantile Company, 1901, Esom Hill

A 1994 article by Gordon Sargent in North Georgia Journal notes that as long as most people can remember, this northwest Georgia community has enjoyed a rich reputation for high crimes and high times. Such has been the reputation for the little state line community in northwest Georgia’s Polk County for decades, an image fostered by a long record of illicit activities such as moonshining, gambling, and even darker crimes like murder.  And surprisingly, it seemed the stronger the criminal element became in the township, the less visible was law enforcement. Despite its infamy, Esom Hill, according to many residents, is a friendly community with caring neighbors and a bad name circulated by “outsiders”.  Just like many situations, the truth lies somewhere in
between.

A post office was established in the community, which was associated with the Shiloh Baptist Church, in 1850. It’s only about a mile from the Alabama state line. The origins of the name are unclear. In its heyday, Easom Hill had five general stores, three churches, a school, and a saloon. Two gins and a sawmill were also present.

Joseph Proctor Screven Brewster, who built this store after his first mercantile burned in 1901, was one of the pioneers of Esom Hill. It was one of the first businesses in the county to have electric power, provided by an early Delco System generator. It also served as the post office, with Brewster serving as postmaster.

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Filed under --POLK COUNTY GA--, Esom Hill GA

Braswell Methodist Church, 1926, Paulding County

Braswell Methodist is one of the most fascinating vernacular church buildings in Georgia. Its small utilitarian size as well as its local interpretation of the church form might seem crude to some, but they are proof that most rural Georgians did the best with the materials they had available. It stands not only as a testament to the faith of this small historical congregation but as a work of art in itself.

In the 1880s, Henry Braswell and New Yorker William McCracken opened a timber business, focused on crossties, in this section of Paulding County, and the nearby town was named for Braswell. It was a thriving village for about thirty years but was in decline by the 1920s. Mr. Braswell died in 1902 but not before donating land on Brushy Mountain for the purpose of building a Methodist Church. That congregation didn’t materialize until the early 1920s and this unique little church was completed around Christmas Day, 1926, with the first services coming early in the New Year of 1927. The church disbanded many years ago and is now owned by the City of Braswell.

Recently, a group of concerned local citizens, including descendants of members, has led an effort to restore the church.

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Filed under --PAULDING COUNTY GA--, Braswell GA

Old Post Office, 1892, Sargent

This served as the post office until 1982.

Sargent Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --COWETA COUNTY GA--, Sargent GA