Ludowici Club House, Circa 1904

The Ludowici Roof Tile Company opened a factory in Johnston Station, Georgia in 1904. This large structure was its de facto community center and also provided lodging for traveling executives, salesmen and contractors.

The tiny settlement of Johnston Station was renamed in honor of William Ludowici, who donated most of the money required to build a schoolhouse in the overnight boomtown . The economic impact of the factory was massive and during its ten years in operation, it provided over 2 million square feet of roofing materials for government buildings in the Panama Canal Zone. After Ludowici Roof Tile left town in 1914, the Club House was generally used as residential housing.

John A. Brown, who made this photograph circa 1965 and graciously shared it with me, recalls that his Brown grandparents lived here during World War I, when it was owned by a Lang (Laing?) family. He also remembers a spring-fed pool on the property. His grandfather and a partner were in a cross-tie business known as Kendricks & Brown who had a government contract during World War I. I believe it was used as a boarding house but it may have also been rented to single families. I’m not sure when it was torn down, either, but it was likely not too long after this photograph was made.

1 thought on “Ludowici Club House, Circa 1904

  1. Rafe Semmes

    Hello, Brian,

    Enjoyed the post, thanks for sending. “Brown’s Grocery & Hardware” was a good customer of my family’s wholesale business for many years, until Marlin Brown died, probably some 30 or so years ago. His wife Amanda ran it for a few years after that, then remarried and closed it soon after. That old one-story building is still standing, the last time I was there, but is in increasing disrepair.

    Local law enforcement for many years “supplemented” the town budget by operating “stringent traffic control” on US 17, which was the main north-south route from NY to FL in the years before I-95 was built. When Lester Maddox was Governor, back in the late 1960’s or early ’70’s, he responded to complaints by putting up billboards on both sides of town, warning motorists that they were approaching a speed trap.

    I read somewhere once that his attorney general advised him that the state had no control over a federal highway, so that was the only thing he could do at the time. Now we have new laws regulating the operation of “speed control devices” and limiting the amount of revenue a town could get from traffic fines, as a percentage of their budget.

    Long County is small and very rural, mostly timber-driven. But they do now have a Dairy Queen in town.

    Rafe Semmes Midway GA


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