Tag Archives: North Georgia Ghost Towns
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.
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
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.
This transitional Federal I-House/Plantation Plain appears to date to early in the 19th century. I’ve not been able to locate any history of the house, but regarding the community, Greg Morrison, who lives nearby, notes: The Ricketson area was a militia district as well as Reese, Newsomes, Neals and English. All these areas are geographically connected and were all named for men who served in the Revolutionary War. He also suggests that he understands that this house was originally a dogtrot.
Corinth Methodist Church was organized by Reverend James Stockdale and Josiah Matthews in 1828. The congregation met at varied locations over their first four decades. This vernacular Greek Revival structure was dedicated by Reverend R. J. Corley on 24 October 1869. The congregation consolidated with the nearby Collinsworth Methodist Church in 1965.