Clayton County Jail, 1869, Jonesboro

The old Clayton County Jail is quite old as surviving Georgia jails go, and has one of the more unusual forms I’ve seen. The parapetted facade is common enough, but the narrow overall depth is unusual.

As can be faintly seen in the photo below, an off-center, narrow wing containing jail cells protrudes at the rear of the structure. It is even narrower than the front of the building.

The structure has most recently served as the home of the Clayton County History Center.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Clayton County Courthouse, 1899, Jonesboro

The third Clayton County Courthouse served the community for a century. Designed by the firm of Golucke & Stewart, it was replaced by a modern facility in 1999.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Clayton County Courthouse, 1869, Jonesboro

This structure replaced the original Clayton County Courthouse, built on this site in 1860 and burned during the Battle of Jonesboro. It was decommissioned in 1898 and has served as the Jonesboro Lodge No. 87 F & AM ever since.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Shotgun Office Building, Jonesboro

At the intersection of vernacular and commercial there is a once-common Georgia form known as the shotgun office or shotgun store. These structures were often used as lawyer’s offices in the 19th century and were clustered around town squares but they also served as stores in many towns. Some still survive in scattered locations. Though this appears to have a retail purpose today, it likely originated as an office. For all I know, it could have been moved here, but I’ll wait to hear from someone who knows; either way, it’s a good illustration of vernacular commercial usage

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Main Street Storefronts, Jonesboro

These late-19th/early-20th century storefronts are located just down Main Street from the Davis Block. The red brick structure is home to the wonderful Arts Clayton Gallery, where I was honored to serve as a judge for an Atlanta Celebrates Photography exhibit a few years ago.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Davis Block, Circa 1868, Jonesboro

The corner building here is identified as the Davis Block. It’s likely among the oldest surviving commercial structures built after the Battle of Jonesboro left much of the town in disarray. Other early storefronts are visible in this view along Main Street.

Cannon & Evans Drug Company and Evans Dry Goods were among the Davis Block’s best known tenants over the years.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Central of Georgia Railway Depot, 1880, Jonesboro

Most sources note that this depot was built in 1867, which it was, but it wasn’t built in Jonesboro. During the Battle of Jonesboro, on 31 August 1864, Union troops burned the original 1846 Macon and Western Railroad Depot and the rail bed turned into what came to be known as “Sherman’s neckties”.

As Todd DeFeo notes, It’s not enough to say Jonesboro’s depot was built in 1867. The structure seen here was built for the Macon and Western in Barnesville in 1867 and moved stone-by-stone and rebuilt at this location in 1880. By this time, it would have been a Central of Georgia-branded property.

It’s home to the Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Road to Tara Museum.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Jesse “Lone Cat” Fuller Mural, Jonesboro

Jesse “Lone Cat” Fuller isn’t well known today, outside music circles, but he should be. The itinerant bluesman left his native Jonesboro after a childhood typical of Black Georgians of his day and after a series of manual labor jobs in various states, wound up in California circa 1920. He worked as a shoe-shine man outside the United Artists studio in Hollywood and was a favorite of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., who helped set him up with a hot dog stand. He also got him work as an extra, in such notable films as Thief of Baghdad. With the money he saved from that enterprise, he moved to Oakland and began working for the Southern Pacific Railroad. When his railroad job ended after World War II, he went back to shining shoes, singing as he worked, and gained notice from musicians in the burgeoning Folk movement who were then flocking to the Bay Area. Due to his exposure in local bars and cafes, he recorded his first album in 1958. He had trouble finding, or paying, other musicians to back him up; as a result he invented the fotdella, a six-string bass, rigged with a cymbal. He also invented a rack to hold his harmonica and kazoo. He was a one-man band. Bob Dylan supposedly adopted his harmonica rig after listening to Fuller and recorded his song “You’re No Good” on his first album.

Fuller gained notoriety for “San Francisco Bay Blues”, which was covered by numerous artists including the Grateful Dead, Janis, Joplin, Jim Croce, and Eric Clapton.

The mural, by Shannon Lake, is a nice tribute to this influential artist.

Scarlett O’Hara Mural, Jonesboro

Clayton County calls itself “The Home of Gone With the Wind” and signs of its connection to the popular movie and book abound in Jonesboro. Perhaps one of the boldest statements is this mural (circa 2018) by Shannon Lake featuring film heroine Scarlett O’Hara [a la Vivien Leigh, because that’s how nearly everyone sees her]. It’s brilliantly paired with one of her most famous utterances, “Fiddle Dee Dee!”

Granite Store, Circa 1900, Klondike

A post office was established at Klondike in 1898, and this structure, clad in local granite, is representative of this industry. This is the oldest of just a few surviving commercial structures related to the community. According to a Georgia State University resource survey completed in 2016, it once served as a granite store and was most recently used as the Oak Grove Junction Convenience Store. It is a critical resource for the community and should be preserved.

[This view was made from the rear of the building. The front is nearly identical.]

Klondike Historic District, National Register of Historic Places & Arabia Mountain National Heritage Preserve