Tag Archives: Vanishing Middle Georgia

Board-and-Batten Shed, Hancock County

This is located near Old St. Galilee Church.

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St. Paul CME Church, 1890s, Hancock County

According to Harrell Lawson, St. Paul CME traces its origins to a group of enslaved men and women from David Dickson’s nearby plantation who began holding informal services in a brush arbor in 1857. In 1870, the members purchased land on which today’s church stands in order to have a permanent meeting place but due to confusion over two different deeds (1870, 1877), Lawson doesn’t note exactly when the first church was built. Since the CME church was not founded as a national entity until 1870, it is thought that that association came later. Resource surveys date the present structure to 1890, though I have been unable to confirm the date.

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St. Paul Meetinghouse, 1870s, Hancock County

Harrell Lawson’s History of St. Pau CME Church [2005] describes the two-story meetinghouse adjacent to the church as a building previously used as a school for the secular education of the youth of the community and as a meeting place for Masons and a burial society founded by St. Paul members in the early 1900’s.

A resource survey conducted in 2001 dates the structure to circa 1870. It was built in the school/lodge combination common among African-American congregations in this part of Georgia in the late 19th century. These structures inevitably served as de facto community centers, as well. No matter when they were built, they are important resources.

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Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--, Uncategorized

Old St. Galilee Baptist Church, Hancock County

This is the original home of Saint (St.) Galilee Baptist Church, which has a newer facility in Sparta today. I’m not sure when the church was established , nor when this structure was built. It was sided with false brick siding (tar paper) before it was bricked. A very large and well-maintained cemetery is adjacent to the property.

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Patterson’s Grocery, Milledgeville

This historic grocery store, across Greene Street from the old depot in Milledgeville, is adjacent to property once owned by the O’Connor family. It appears to date from the late 19th or early 20th century.

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Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Milledgeville GA

Georgian Cottage, Milledgeville

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Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Milledgeville GA

Randolph Cemetery, Harrisburg

Randolph Cemetery, set on a precipitous hillside southwest of Milledgeville, has the appearance of a typical early-20th-century African-American burying ground, with many handmade headstones and grave markers sourced from local materials. This monumental folk art arch makes it anything but a typical cemetery. [It might also be of interest that it is believed that a descendant of one of George Washington’s slaves is buried here].

The top of the arch contains relief carvings of oak leaves, plus some possible clues about the builder. Below a random series of letters and numbers [K PL47, perhaps designating Knights of Pythias Lodge 47?] and the phrase “He Watches Over Me” is what appears to be the date 1923 and the initials F B and ARB. It’s possible that the B is for Brown, as there are several Browns in this cemetery, but that is only a guess.

On both sides of the arch, there are relief depictions of traditional miners’ tools.
Considering that mining activity has persisted for the better part of two centuries in this area, it’s possible the builder was involved in the industry in some way. I even believe he may have used rock from his job in the construction of the arch. The shovel on the right (above) also has initials ending with the letter “B”.
Nearly as fascinating as the arch is this adjacent headstone for Cora Randolph (31 December 1875?-26 July 1924). If you look closely at the top of the marker you will see a handprint to the left. I’m grateful to my friend Cynthia Jennings, who has documented cemeteries in all 159 Georgia counties and has a particular interest in African-American cemeteries, for suggesting I find this place. It immediately became one of my favorite African-American cemeteries and I hope to learn more about the arch. It’s among the most important vernacular funerary monuments in Georgia.

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Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Harrisburg GA

Rosser-Barron House, Circa 1818, Clinton

Built by Daniel Rosser, this house was owned by Wiley Pope at the beginning of the Civil War. It is also known as the W. W. Barron House, for longtime owner William Wiley Barron.

Old Clinton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --JONES COUNTY GA--, Clinton GA

Lockett-Hamilton House, 1830, Clinton

This house was built by James Lockett. After the Civil War, it was home to James H. Blount, a lawyer who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1872-1892.

Old Clinton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Parrish-Billue House, 1810, Clinton

This home was built for one of Jones County’s earliest settlers, Captain John Parrish, who also served as an early county commissioner. During the the March to the Sea, the residence was briefly occupied by Union General Kirkpatrick as a temporary headquarters. The smaller structure attached to the right side of the house was built in 1821 and in 1830 served as the law office of Alfred Iverson, Sr., and Samuel Lowther. Iverson went on to serve in the Georgia legislature, the House of Representatives, and the United States Senate. His son, Alfred Iverson, Jr., served as a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army.

Old Clinton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --JONES COUNTY GA--, Clinton GA