Author Archives: Brian Brown

About Brian Brown

Brian Brown is a documentary photographer, author, and historian who lives in Coastal Georgia.

Frog Leg Dinner, Sylvania

No, I don’t eat frog legs. And I don’t care whether they taste like chicken or not. But they’re quite popular with some folks and they were the dinner special at S & S Seafood Market in Sylvania the day I made this photograph in 2014. Most frog legs sold in restaurants are commercially raised. Their popularity in the South probably comes from early French immigrants, and they’re still considered a delicacy in France.

Gabled-Wing Cottage, Circa 1920, Bath

This is an eclectic version of the gabled-wing form. It appears to have been re-sided at some point, but the architectural elements are likely original.

Hall and Parlor Farmhouse, McDuffie County

I photographed this abandoned house in 2016. It may well be gone by now. It was located somewhere near the Rock House or the Bowdre-Rees-Knox House. It doesn’t look like a typical hall and parlor design but that was the best I could discern by the placement of the door [barely visible]. It is possible that it is a single-pen. The chimney is in an unusual location, as well, but the layout of these early vernacular house types depended more on the ingenuity of the carpenter than any proscribed standards.

Clarks Hill Lake, McDuffie County

This man-made lake, now officially known as Lake Strom Thurmond, retains its original designation as Clarks Hill Lake in Georgia. Its creation was made possible by the construction of the Clarks Hill Dam near the confluence of the Savannah River and the Little River in 1952. It is the third largest man-made lake east of the Mississippi River and provides abundant recreation and fishing opportunities for residents and tourists alike.

This view was made on a western section of the lake, near the old town of Raysville. The lake is bordered by McCormick County, South Carolina, and Lincoln, Columbia, McDuffie, and Wilkes counties in Georgia.

Folk Victorian Farmhouse, Circa 1890, Columbia County

The house has different architectural elements, including Neoclassical and Folk Victorian. It’s located just south of Harlem. It’s a beautiful structure in an ideal setting.

Sawdust, Georgia

Saw Dust, as its post office was known when it operated between 1852 and 1895, was the first settlement in the area that would later come to be known as Harlem. Its name came from the presence of three sawmills, which derived their power from Big Kiokee Creek. The town had a raucous reputation for its numerous bars and saloons and this prompted a name change from community leaders. This structure was likely a commissary or general/grocery store.

Kinchafoonee Creek, Lee County

Rising near Buena Vista, Kinchafoonee Creek flows southeasterly for nearly 92 miles before joining the Flint River at Albany. According to Ken Krakow, the name is Creek for Bone Mortar or Mortar Nutshells, which referred to a device for cracking nuts. The creek [longer than many rivers] was such an important artery in the early settlement of the area that it gave its name to Kinchafoonee County, which was later changed to Webster County.

Praise House, Circa 1930s, Long County

Driving the back roads of Long County the other day, I came across this gem and soon met Mr. Worthy, the landowner. He explained that this was an original praise house and that it was at least 80 years old. [This particular area has a long history of Black farmers and in earlier times, there was a large turpentine operation in the area. This likely explains its remote presence here]. To my knowledge, it’s the only surviving praise house in Long County.

Praise houses were tiny shelters used by Geechee-Gullah, and other African-Americans, for worship and as community gathering places. They are the rarest examples of religious architecture in Georgia, with just a few surviving in the coastal region.

The sign, reading “Thee Body of Christ”, is what initially got my attention.

Mr. Worthy noted that the sign, and other work in the yard, was done by his wife, Shelly Worthy.

Mrs. Worthy also created this small chapel as a place of worship and reflection.

Her inspired handiwork can be seen all over the property.

It is a fascinating place and an important example of a passion for history and a passion for faith coming together to protect a resource of great significance.

Double Shotgun House, Long County

This gable front farmhouse is of a variety sometimes referred to as a “double shotgun”, as it is divided by a common wall in the middle with two doors for separate access.

Central Hallway Farmhouse, Long County

This is a nice example of the common central hallway form, likely dating to the late 19th century.