Category Archives: –BERRIEN COUNTY GA–

Central Hallway Farmhouse, Berrien County

This home is the center of an historic Centennial Farm, a designation meaning the property has been actively farmed by one family for at least a century. There were several historic outbuildings present, as well, but I was only able to get a shot of the house, which was later expanded into a winged-gable form.


Restoration of the Alapaha Depot

Alapaha’s iconic Brunswick and Western Railroad Depot, built in 1890, has been an important community landmark since its construction, but like many small down depots, had fallen into disuse in recent years. Concerned citizens, led by Mayor Ben Davis, accomplished the beautiful restoration you see in these photographs in an amazingly short time. From 2021 until the dedication of the new facility in December 2022, volunteers and skilled carpenters alike came together to spruce up this symbol of early Alapaha.

Congratulations to Mayor Davis and the people of Alapaha for a job well done, and a lesson to all that historic buildings are worth saving and can be saved when a community comes together.

Oaky Grove Primitive Baptist Church, Berrien County

Oaky Grove Primitive Baptist Church was constituted on 22 February 1890 as a member congregation of the Brushy Creek Association. Elder John Churchwell was the Moderator. Founding members were: David S. Robinson; Nancy F. Robinson; David M. Robinson; Melissa Robinson; Eliza Baker; Martha Baker; Peter C. Lastinger; Joanna Lastinger; Elder Jacob Young; Elder John Churchwell; and Fredonia Churchwell. It was constituted in the Union Association on 9 August 1929.

The church and cemetery property were given to the congregation by David S. Robinson in consideration for the love of the dead and the Church of God, on 26 March 1904. I’m unsure, considering this fact, if the church building dates to circa 1890 or 1904. It’s an unusually decorative example among the Primitive Baptist churches I’ve encountered in South Georgia and a real landmark in this sense. The church yard and cemetery are very well-maintained.

This information was taken from the granite marker [visible at right in above photographs] placed by descendants of David S. & Nancy Robinson in 1974.

Central Hallway Farmhouse, Berrien County

This small farmhouse is an exemplar of the central hallway form, including shed rooms at the rear, and has been wonderfully maintained. The decorative porch posts are a notable feature.

Pleasant Primitive Baptist Church, Berrien County

Pleasant Primitive Baptist Church [originally known simply as Pleasant Church] is the oldest congregation in present-day Berrien County. It was constituted on 27 June 1835 with charter members James Connell, Sarah Connell, Jeremiah Shaw, James Price, Resby Wilson, George Harnage, Anna Harnage, and Logan Sanders. E. J. Williams served as the first clerk and Elder Nelson Thigpen was the first pastor. The name “Pleasant” seems most appropriate as it’s located in one of the most scenic and beautiful areas of the county. Though the present structure is not original, some of the original timbers remain inside the framework.

Rules of Decorum for the church were fairly typical of the era. Some might seem unusual today: Rule 1: Church meeting or conferences shall be constantly and duly attended by every member, more especially the males to whom government more particularly belongs...Rule 10: No member shall whisper, talk or read in the time of a public speaking, but give due attention. John P. Webb, Sr., who compiled a historical sketch of the congregation in 1956, noted: This church carries on the customs of old with footwashing and communion once a year with wine from the vineyard prepared by the deacons and using unleavened bread prepared by the wives of the deacons…At Pleasant Church, the pastor sometimes lines out the songs, a practice that started when there were not enough song books. A member still will heist a tune to which the song is to be sung (books do not have musical notes)…

Mary Carter Grave House, Berrien County

Mary Susan Knight Carter (1867-1887) was the first wife of John Samuel Carter (25 May 1859-9 February 1941). Mr. Carter remarried, but paid tribute to his young bride with this Victorian grave house.

It’s located just past the entrance arch at historic Pleasant Cemetery, which is associated with Pleasant Primitive Baptist Church. It’s a beautiful location, as cemeteries go.

The grave house is typical of the era. It has obviously been restored or rebuilt, but done with attention to every detail.

Log Farmhouse, Berrien County

This is an early farmhouse. I couldn’t discern details, as it was only visible from the roadside, but like many such historic dwellings, it has been saved and put to utilitarian use.

New Lois Consolidated School, 1933, Berrien County

The New Lois Consolidated School opened in 1933 to serve students in southern Berrien County. It replaced the Old Lois School. I’ve had trouble locating much information about the Lois community, but it had a post office between 1882 and 1904.

Bryan Shaw writes: The community of the New Lois School was named for the daughter of the first postmaster. It was a sawmill and shingle mill town with a mill pond created by a wooden planked dam. The mill was built by William E. Connell, Sr. Lois also had a mercantile store, a gristmill, a hardware store, a church, and of course a two room school house. The 1908 Hudgins Co. Berrien County map shows the school district called Lois. Most of the children of the village and surrounding farms attended the school. A rail road line from Cecil once reached as far as Lois, until the dam failed to hold enough water back to operate the shingle mill and the gristmill. The town site eventually was taken over by the Georgia landscape, and only a couple of deteriorated residential structures exist today. The Lois School operated until 1933, when Berrien County consolidated the one and two room schools into the New Lois Consolidated School. The original campus was much larger than the remaining structure today. The auditorium and lunch room is all that remains and has served as the assembly hall for the New Lois Community for several decades. If you would like to learn more of the Old Lois townsite, you may wish to view the PowerPoint video titled “Ghost Towns of Berrien—Episode 1” produced by the Berrien Historical Foundation...

The old schoolhouse serves as the New Lois community center today.

Log Tobacco Barn, Berrien County

Tobacco barns have become quite rare and log versions are perhaps the rarest of these. The logs don’t necessarily mean they’re any older than other barns but are reflective of historic carpentry skills brought over by ancestors. I’ve documented other log barns dating from the 1920s-1950s.

Flat Creek Community House, Berrien County

Flat Creek is a large community located between Alapaha and Nashville and this structure has served as its gathering place. I’m not sure if it’s still being used.