The Gainesville, Jefferson & Southern Railroad line reached Talmo circa 1883 and was integral for the shipment of the highly prized short-staple cotton being grown in the area. It was an important catalyst for the growth of the community and is well-preserved today.
Talmo Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Vesta was formally established in the late 19th century and had a post office from 1888-1904. According to Kenneth Krakow’s Georgia Place Names: Their History and Origins it was named for Vesta Johnson, the daughter of a local settler. Darryl James McKoon writes: [This was the] Pass Brothers General Store. The store, general merchandise, a butcher shop, and Gulf branded gasoline, was on the right, storage building on the left. It is now used for community BBQ events.There was an old multiple story wood cotton gin to the right of the store where the residence is now. Back in the day it was quite busy. Belt driven equipment by a three cylinder upright diesel engine with a two cylinder backup.Long gone, across the street to the right of the flag pole, was a large wooden structure that was also a Pass Brothers General Store. The owners were the older generation of the owners across the street.
Both structures date to the 1930s-1940s, from what I’ve been able to locate.
Built in 1904, this structure was home to Jersey’s only bank until the Great Depression brought on its failure in 1931. It was organized by Josiah Blasingame, Sr., a prominent landowner and merchant who served as the first postmaster and first mayor of Jersey. It was used for storage until the early 1980s and was later used as a dental office.
Since a fire destroyed the General Putnam Motel in 2018, the restaurant is all that remains, and it probably won’t be around much longer. This was a popular location for tourists on US 441 in the pre-interstate days and beyond, but is best known as one of the set locations for the movie My Cousin Vinny. It’s just north of Eatonton, but I believe a recent expansion of the municipal boundary places it within the city limits today. It likely dates to the late 1940s or early 1950s.