Category Archives: –BAKER COUNTY GA–

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.


Historic Storefront No. 1, Patmos

This is the larger of two historic general stores still standing on Georgia Highway 216 in Patmos. Like its neighbor it has a shotgun style layout, with the wings likely added as the business grew.

Historic Storefront No. 2, Patmos

This is located adjacent to the previous store, and was probably a related business.

Commissary, Baker County

I believe this was part of a large working farm [there’s an old windmill across the road] and may have served as a commissary or general store.

Bush House, Baker County

The Bush home is located beside the Stephen Bush Cemetery.

Stephen Bush Memorial, 1916, Baker County

Stephen Henry Bush, Sr. (28 October 1867-9 October 1916)

The memorial for Stephen Henry Bush, Sr., towering over his small family cemetery in the Bethany community of rural Baker County, is the nicest Woodmen of the World grave marker I’ve ever seen. The tree stump memorials were benefits of an insurance plan and one of this quality, with the custom sculpture in his likeness, would have been quite costly. Mr. Bush was first married to Malinda Mattie Kimbrel (6 May 1866-1 January 1894), with whom he had four children. After her death, he married Hortense Hudson (26 July 1878-1 June 1968), with whom he had six more children.

Pleasant View Church, Baker County

I believe this congregation, in the Phillipsburg community, dates to circa 1915. It was affiliated with the Church of God at one time. There was a school on the property in the early days, as well. The adjacent cemetery is well-maintained but the church is in critical condition.

C. Irvin Murphy writes: Lived in Miller county for short period of time. This church was indeed at one time occupied by members of the Church of God, which was headquartered in Anderson, Indiana. The church was closed I think in 1981. Reverend John Addington came from their headquarters in Indiana and met with the congregation to close the church. He was a former pastor and dear friend of my family.

Shelia Annette Mathis writes: My father’s family lived shortly down the road from this church. My grandfather, Simmie Mathis & others donated the land for this church. My father drove a horse & buggy “school bus” to the church/school.

Longleaf Pine Plantation, Baker County

It’s always encouraging to see Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) in the landscape, and there is quite a lot of it in Baker County, like this stand on Williamsburg Road.

The savanna [grassy woodland] is the habitat most associated with Longleaf and is essential to the health of numerous keystone species, including the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Leuconotopicus borealis), Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), and Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi). Many of the plants and animals the environment supports are threatened or endangered.

Vanishing Georgia Featured in the New Issue of Southwest Georgia Living

I’m honored to be featured in the current issue of Southwest Georgia Living. KK Snyder does a wonderful job with this well-loved magazine, which covers people and places in the region and far beyond. Katie Murray Alt wrote the article and was a delight to work with. See the photos and read the article here.