Patmos, Georgia

The following history of Patmos is from Jessica McDaniel, who covers everything Baker County in her extensive blog, Southwest Georgia in Photographs*. She has a family connection through her great aunt, who owned Tennille Grocery, the last store in the community. If you’re interested in this part of the state, please check it out. She’s shared common landmarks, natural features, and even some special places that aren’t publicly accessible.

Patmos was first settled by John Frizzell Griffin of Dobbs County, North Carolina, who came to Georgia after buying a land lot in Baker County. He soon married Mary Elizabeth Griffin and they built their home in what is now Patmos. In 1882 a church was built to serve a handful of families who had moved to the area. They named the church ‘Patmos’ after the Isle of Patmos from the Bible; the name stuck and the town was known by that name from that day forward. The Patmos school was built in 1870, but later moved to Milford to serve that town. Two more schools were built in Patmos to serve the area, they were Midway School and Vilulah School, both schools served the whites in town. Midway and Vilulah schools were combined and a new three-room school house was built in 1922, this school was eventually demolished to make way for the brick Patmos School, which opened in 1934 and closed in 1964. West Baker School, another white school, also closed at this time. White families were quick to establish a private school in order to keep a school in Patmos and used the former West Baker school as the location. Baker Academy was only open for about three years and then closed as families moved to Southwest Georgia Academy in nearby Damascus, Early County. The Patmos Free Will Baptist Church was established on July 30, 1882 by nine Free Will Baptist faithful in the town; it still thrives today. Patmos has always been a farming town, but at one time had four mills, a grarage, and three general stores. It’s is still a tiny, but thriving community, which still supports one store.

*- I don’t think Jessica has updated the blog in a long time, but thankfully she continues to make it available for all to enjoy. It’s an important resource for an area that isn’t otherwise well-represented online.

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