Hafford-Groszmann House, Circa 1910, Waycross

This eclectic Craftsman was built of cypress lumber from the Okefenokee Swamp by Dr. Wilbur Alderman Hafford (1886-1950). Hafford was a country doctor who took care of many of the old-timers who lived in the swamp and was one of the founders of the Okefenokee Swamp Park.

The home was later owned by Dr. Hafford’s daughter, Lois Hafford Groszmann (1917-2010), a well-loved biology teacher at Waycross High School from 1949-1984. According to Sheila Willis of the Okefenokee Bird Club, who brought the house to my attention: Mrs. Groszmann was a leader in the Georgia Garden Club Federation plus a charter member of the Okefenokee Bird Club. Also, add in a world traveler. A wonderful lady!

In the back, by a small greenhouse built onto the house, is a Red Buckeye which was once the largest in the state. (The tree remains but I was unable to get a good photograph).  Sheila continues: In the adjacent area “was” a yard filled with all the old type camellias, azaleas, and other plants. From these she won many ribbons at flower shows. She also had planted a variety of other beautiful plants and trees around her house and in the back. And she had trailing vines over a trellis for the hummingbirds and an old grapevine on its supports shading the driveway. 

A few years ago before she died, I contacted LeConte-Woodmanston Plantation near Riceboro & got them to come over to try to help me get some of these legacy plants to places where they might be protected. They took cuttings & after letting them grow in their greenhouse for a while, the plan was to transplant them to their recreated plantation garden.
The fate of the house is unsure at this time, but hopefully, it will be saved.





Filed under --WARE COUNTY GA--, Waycross GA

5 responses to “Hafford-Groszmann House, Circa 1910, Waycross

  1. mel duncan

    The Hafford-Groszmann house is no more. Whoever owned it stripped off all the Cypress wood from the outside of the house and then just recently, demolished the house. There were some beautiful windows in the house but I don’t know if any were saved. To see the , stripped , empty lot, hurts my heart. I am so sorry Mrs. Groszmann.

  2. mel duncan

    While they have cut down most of the plants, hopefully the roots remain and some will come back up.. Keep an eye out for Sprouts….

  3. Sheila Willis

    Sadly, the bank owners after Mrs. Groszmann recently cleared out the adjacent lot of hers plus around her house which was filled w/ literally hundreds of prize-winning camellias, azaleas, & other special plants. Some types are no longer being planted (aka “heritage”). She had also gathered & planted “ole timey” farm plants such as Tea Olive. And she had old Red Cedar & a few other local types. All gone now!! What a shock!! I hate to even look at it as I pass by. It is obvious that the new owners did not know/did not care about what a treasure they had. I suspect the bank is aiming to make it where that lot could become a “traditional” grass yard if sold to private folks or a parking lot if sold for a medical office. This section is zoned for that & the open wood lot across from her house is now also up for sale. Also, I know one set of pictures, clippings, & scrapbooks from her years in the garden clubs & other groups was thrown out by family shortly before her death & then apparently by workers afterwards. Mrs. Groszmann had told me the remaining family wasn’t interested in them (they live in Atlanta). They could have donated them to the local college which has an Okefenokee Swamp Area room & contains our past Okefenokee Bird Club minutes & scrapbooks plus many other historic documents tied to the swamp. Mrs. Groszmann was planning to do that but a sudden illness which resulted in her having to finally leave her home kept her from following thru. What a tragic loss for our community of both her & her home!!

  4. Sharon Rice

    Wonderful history of house and owners. Please let us know when this is being restored. Too nice to let nature reclaim.

  5. Elizabeth Scruggs

    I really hope they restore and save the house and surrounding greenery. This is how we lose so much of our history and have alot of pride in our state but especially the south because I grew up in the St. Marys and Kingsland area. I still have family there. South Georgia is a world of its own. Nice article.

    Elizabeth Scruggs

    On Sat, May 11, 2019, 6:50 AM Vanishing South Georgia Photographs by Brian Brown wrote:

    > Brian Brown posted: ” This eclectic Craftsman was built of cypress lumber > from the Okefenokee Swamp by Dr. Wilbur Alderman Hafford (1886-1950). > Hafford was a country doctor who took care of many of the old-timers who > lived in the swamp and was one of the founders of the Ok” >

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