Tag Archives: Georgia Signs

Commercial Block, Colbert

This early 20th century commercial block was most notably home to a pharmacy, whose ghost sign remains.

Colbert Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --MADISON COUNTY GA--, Colbert GA

Sterchi’s Sign Barn, Jones County

This landmark, visible on Georgia Highway 22 between Gray and Haddock, is an amazing survivor from a time when the roofs of rural barns were used to advertise myriad businesses and attractions. The “See Rock City” barns have become icons, but many other businesses were promoted in this way. This example advertises Knoxville-based Sterchi* Brothers Furniture Company [It Costs Less at Sterchi’s], which was the largest furniture store chain in the nation in the early 20th century, with over 650 stores in the Southeast. There are only a few of these Sterchi barns documented, to my knowledge, and most are in Tennessee. It is believed that most are at least 80 years old. [Several commenters have suggested to me that the roof was painted over at times, most recently with a Georgia Bulldog; I applaud the owners for saving this historic sign and am amazed that the paint (lead, no doubt) has survived all these years].

*- Pronounced stir-keys

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Filed under --JONES COUNTY GA--

4 Way Lunch, 1931, Cartersville

Fred Garrison began selling made-to-order hamburgers on the corner of Main Street and Gilmer Street in downtown Cartersville in 1931. The business was so successful, in large part due to the boost in traffic from tourists passing through on the Dixie Highway, that Garrison built the no-frills lunch counter you see today. Fred’s son Ernest took over in 1972 and operated it for the rest of his life. It survived a fire in 1993 and remains as popular now as it was in 1931.

You can visit Monday-Saturday from 6AM-3PM, but you have to bring cash, and don’t try calling ahead to place an order. The 4 Way prides itself on the fact that they’ve never had a telephone.

Cartersville Downtown Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BARTOW COUNTY GA--, Cartersville GA

Mill Smokestack, 1898, Aragon

Aragon Mill was established in 1898 by Wolcott & Campbell of New York and the community bearing its name was linked inextricably to the fortunes of the business. It was purchased by Augustus Julliard in 1900 and saw numerous improvements and significant expansion during his ownership. It became a United Merchants Mill in the 1930s and shut down in 1970. Several efforts to revive the mill were made over the next three decades but most of the complex was lost to fire on 6 August 2002. The smokestack, bearing the name Aragon, is the most significant remaining relic of the mill.

The American labor and social activist Si Kahn penned a song about the loss of mill village culture entitled “Aragon Mill” in the early 1970s.


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Filed under --POLK COUNTY GA--, Aragon GA

R. E. Ringer General Merchandise, 1927, Carroll County

This tin-sided false front store should get your attention if you’re traveling on US Highway 27, just south of Carrollton. A sign on the building notes that the store operated from 1927-1957. Like the Johnson Sweet Potato barn, another roadside icon located nearby, the Ringer Store’s Coca-Cola signs and murals have been repainted.

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Filed under --CARROLL COUNTY GA--

Whitesville Grocery, Harris County

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Filed under --HARRIS COUNTY GA--, Whitesville GA

Collins Records & Tapes, Sparta

Sparta Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--, Sparta GA

J. T. Jones Grocery, Putnam County

This old country store was photographed in May 1991 by Anne Chamlee. It is presumed to be gone now.

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--

Callier’s Store, Po Biddy Crossroads

This iconic crossroads store was owned by Betty & Maro Callier. In trying to answer where the crossroads got its name, Norman Carter wrote in The Pobiddy Joke Book (1995): Nobody knows exactly how Pobiddy got its name. I remember when my good friends Betty and Maro Callier had a store at Pobiddy and Maro drew a little chicken on the front of the store and underneath wrote “Pobiddy”. Other people say there were some people sitting on the porch of a home in Pobiddy when a little chicken ran across the road and a car hit it and killed it. Someone on the porch said “po biddy!”.


Filed under --TALBOT COUNTY GA--

W. T. Bickers Store, Greene County

This is a wonderful example of the most common rural store type of early 20th century Georgia.

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Filed under --GREENE COUNTY GA--