Joiner Cemetery, Dooly County

Situated at the end of a dirt road and surrounded by fields and forest, the Joiner Cemetery is typical of many rural burying grounds at first glance.

Further inspection reveals that it’s anything but typical. It contains a mixture of Victorian and vernacular memorials. I’m only focusing on the vernacular examples here.

Vernacular Memorials of Joiner Cemetery

All of the vernacular memorials in Joiner Cemetery feature similar design elements, notably saw-tooth frames around text and the use of stenciled letters; unfortunately, most have some sort of damage and should be considered highly endangered. I believe they are made of poured concrete and are not all contemporary to the burials, as is most evident with the Mashburn burials. The font of the stenciled letters is not contemporary to their death dates.

Eliza Joiner Bullington (18 August 1839-4 July 1884)

The Eliza Joiner Bullington memorial is the most extraordinary in Joiner Cemetery. The top of the stone contains a pictograph featuring a hand print, an unknown symbol, and a star in a circle, representative of heavenly eternity as best I can guess.

Eliza Joiner Bullington, Detail

The crowded text, surrounded by a saw-tooth frame found on other vernacular memorials in the cemetery, reads: Mrs. Eliza Wife Of Rev R [Rubin] Bullington Born Aug The 18th 1839 & Died July The 4 1884 Thy Hand O God Doth Save Me And The Star Of Thy Heavens Doth Give Me Light

Mary L. Bullington (16 November 1880-24 August 1881)

The tomb of Rubin and Eliza Joiner Bullington’s daughter, Mary, is perhaps the nicest of the vernacular memorials, though it has been badly damaged over the years.

Infant of William L. & Betty Joiner (12 October 1878-12 October 1878)

The gravesite of the unnamed infant of William and Betty Joiner is similar to the previous memorial for Mary Joiner, though not as elaborate in design. The inscription reads: Its Spirit Returns to God Who Gave It

Susan Carr (4 September 1861-21 September 1880*)

The fading inscription on this memorial reads: Susan Carr Wife of Alaxander [sic] S. Carr Born Sept. the 4th 1861 & Died Sept. the 21th [sic] 1881. Blessed Is The Pure In Heart For They Shall See God. She Shoutingly Exclaimed That She Could See Her Loved Ones Who Had Gone Before. Susan We Know How Precious You Were On This Green Earth But How Can We Envy Heaven Of So Bright a Juel [sic].

*- The transcribed date of death on Findagrave is 1881, but viewing it through an infrared filter, I believe it to be 1881.

Carear Bell Bullington (8 or 9 October 1886-5 May 1887)

This is a representative example of the saw-tooth frame found on headstones throughout Joiner Cemetery. The decedent was the infant daughter of Reverend Rubin and Seebelle Bullington. I presume this is the same Reverend R. Bullington who was married to Eliza Joiner until her death.

Lewellen Mashburn (30 March 1819-3 January 1872)

The marker reads: In Remembrance of Luallen* [sic] Mashburn…Blessed Are The Dead That Die In The Lord. They Rest From Their Labor And Their Works Do Follow Them.

*-Misspellings are quite common on vernacular headstones, as is the case here. With names, it can sometimes be a guessing game, but there’s a more formal stone associated with this burial, so I know that Lewellen is the correct spelling.

Mary Amanda Mashburn (17 February 1853-19 December 1855)

This tomb is of the same style as Mary Bullington’s and the Joiner Infant’s. I believe it was a later marking of an earlier burial, likely done around the same time as the aforementioned, in the 1870s-1880s.

James Daniel Mashburn (10 October 1854-27 January 1860)

James Daniel Mashburn’s memorial is also likely a later replacement of an earlier version. It’s decorated with a lamb, commonly associated with children. He and sister Mary Amanda were the children of Lewellen and Elizabeth F. Lock(e)* Mashburn.

Elizabeth F. Lock(e) was the daughter of James Lock and Athali E. Adams Lock. I believe the spelling error to be a simple transcription error.

James Lock (9 May 1808-18 April 1858)

The inscription reads: For I Know That My Redeemer Liveth And That He Shall Steady At The Latter Day If On The Earth: And Though After [remainder illegible]

Athalia Adams Locke (17 March 1813-11 December 1890)

The stone on this memorial reads: How Bright Is The Day When The Christian Receive The Sweet Message To Come To Rise To The Mansions Of Glory And Be There Forever At Home

Martha Delia Scarborough (1 October 1875-30 September 1896)

This is one of the last of the vernacular memorials, chronologically. Martha Delia was the daughter of John F. and Susan Singletary Scarborough.

Dessie Joiner (23 September 1888-30 April 1889)

This tapered obelisk is unique among the vernacular memorials at Joiner Cemetery. The iron frame was added to preserve it after a break. Dessie was the infant daughter of W. G. and Mary E. Joiner.


Jenkins School, 1934, Vienna

The Vienna School, as it was known upon construction, was the comprehensive education facility for the city’s white population. An early project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), it was built in the English Vernacular Revival style, to replace an earlier two-story wooden school on the site. Bert Gregory notes that his grandmother, Marywood Gregory, was up early nursing her son Alton on Christmas morning when she saw the old school on fire. She woke up the others in the house and they called the fire department to the scene.

As is evident on the cartouche, the school was first called the Vienna School, but was later renamed the Jenkins School in honor of the superintendent who was instrumental in getting it constructed.

Vienna Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Vienna Industrial & High School, 1926

This school, which served Vienna’s African-American community before desegregation, was built in part with funds provided by the Rosenwald Fund and utilized it “Six Teacher Community School Plan”. It was built by Governor George Busbee’s father, who also built the nearby Lilly School. N. B. Lavender was the first principal.

The National Register of Historic Places listing for the school is a bit confusing, as it identifies this as the County Training School, noting the vocational focus of many schools for African-Americans at the time. However, the original cornerstone for the school identifies it as the Vienna Industrial & High School. An equalization school was built adjacent to the property in 1959, and the campus included all of the earlier Rosenwald structures.

A shop building for vocational activities was built near the schoolhouse, also in 1926. A second shop building (not pictured) was built in 1959 to the right of the schoolhouse.

A food processing/canning plant was attached to the old shop building at a later date..

Members of the Class of 1945 are remembered on the steps of the old shop building, including: R. Lilly; L. Chaney; R. Chaney; A. Graham; F. Smith; L. Smith; E. Bell; B. Godwin; H. Reece; G. Fudge; O. Barnes; G. Eunice; C. Wallace; and M. Edwards.

National Register of Historic Places

Walter F. George Law Office, 1890s, Vienna

Originally located on West Cotton Street, this structure dates to the late 19th century. It was first used as a laundry, then from 1906-1922, it was Walter F. George‘s law office. From 1922-1976, it was home to several different businesses.

It has been moved a couple of times but retains its defining characteristics.

Vienna Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Hartford, Georgia

There isn’t much left of the “ghost town” of Hartford. This abandoned building, which was either a store or part of the agribusiness endeavor located next door, is, along with a church, the only evidence of a settlement here. But that isn’t anywhere near the whole story.

In Georgia’s early days, after lands along the Ocmulgee River were opened to white settlement, the village of Hartford was one of two locations suggested to replace Louisville as the state capital. It was named for Nancy Hart, years before the establishment of Hart County. Milledgeville ultimately won the distinction, largely due to its more central location, but Hartford grew as a result of this attention and after a brief association with Laurens County, became the seat of government of the newly formed county of Pulaski.

It was a crossroads for many of the earliest roads leading south from Milledgeville and west from the coast. Several forts, including Fort Mitchell and Fort Greene, were built nearby to expel Native Americans who had lived in the area for centuries. Andrew Jackson even made camp at Hartford for a week in 1818, during his ongoing campaign against the Seminole nation.

Eventually, the need for higher ground west of the river led to the formation of Hawkinsville, and it became the county seat in 1836.

Brown-Blount-Brush House, Circa 1908, Hawkinsville

I believe this historic Neoclassical Revival home was recently used as a bed and breakfast inn, perhaps the Black Swan, but is now a private residence again.

New South Cottage, Hawkinsville

This transitional house type was popular between circa 1890-1920. This example likely dates to circa 1910.

Springfield Baptist Church, Hawkinsville

Springfield Baptist is among the oldest African-American congregations in Hawkinsville, dating to just after the Civil War, circa 1865. The cornerstone for the present church building dates to 1957, during the pastorate of Dr. J. F. Glover. I believe this may actually indicate when the brick was added to an earlier structure, judging by the architecture. Deacons at the time were L. B. Slappey, J. Stuckey, M. Nichols, M. L. Clark, and A. Grace. J. L. Bozeman was Chairman of the Trustees, and the board included G. Love, O. L. Barnes, N. Williams, S. Tharpe, R. Young, and W. Anderson.

Commercial Block, Hawkinsville

This building on Commerce Street has always intrigued me, with its row of chimneys and trompe l’oeil windows and awnings. I first thought it was an old firehouse, but apparently, that was in a different location. I hope someone can help me identify it. I would date it to the early 1900s.

Hawkinsville Commercial and Industrial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Dortch Building, 1880, Hawkinsville

According to the Hawkinsville Self-Guided Walking Tour, this structure was built for E. F. Dortch [by local draftsman E. A. Burch] and was among the first masonry buildings in the commercial district. The first floor was a grocery store from the late 1800s and served that purpose well into the 20th century. The second floor served as the Anderson Lodge No. 24 of the International Order of Odd Fellows in the 1880s and 1890s and as a Masonic Lodge in the 1900s and 1910s. In the 1960s and 1970s, the entire building was used as a Coca-Cola Bottling plant.

Hawkinsville Commercial and Industrial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places