C. M. Copeland Workshop, Fitzgerald

I made these photographs in 2019, a few months before this structure was razed. For most of my life, it was known as C. M. Copeland’s workshop and studio. I believe it was originally a neighborhood grocery store but I can’t confirm that at this time.

C. M. Copeland, Fitzgerald, 1977 [detail]. Library of Congress. Public domain.

C. M. Copeland (15 July 1916-4 February 2000) was a brilliant wood carver, best known for his sculptures of wildlife made with cypress knees. He was often referred to as “The Happy Wood Carver”. He was also a banjo picker and folk singer, who had a radio show on local radio station WBHB with Wimpy Fowler, The Wimpy and Jigs Show.

C. M. Copeland Treasures in Wood, Fitzgerald, 1977. Library of Congress. Public domain.

He was documented by folklorists for the South Georgia Folklife Project in 1977, both for his picking and his carving.

Wimpy Fowler and C. M. Copeland, Fitzgerald, 1977. Library of Congress. Public domain.

At the time of the South Georgia Folklife Project photographs, his shop was a few blocks down the road from this location. This structure was adjacent to his home and I believe he moved his operations here sometime after 1977 for the sake of convenience.

1 thought on “C. M. Copeland Workshop, Fitzgerald

  1. Melissa Stanfill

    I live in what used to be my grandparents house in Fitzgerald. I believe I have some of his pieces here. The squirrels one shelf up from the bottom on the right side. I don’t know if it’s the exact same ones in the picture or if he carved several of the same squirrels

    Reply

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