Category Archives: –ELBERT COUNTY GA–

A Last Look at the Georgia Guidestones

After hearing the news of the destruction of the Georgia Guidestones in the early morning hours of 6 July 2022, I decided to revisit my photographs of the place. I’ve talked to people from Elberton and most just thought of them as a curiosity, but they were a tourist attraction; how much impact they actually had on the community in this regard has always been up for debate.

They also fed conspiracy theories, most recently highlighted by fringe gubernatorial candidate Kandiss Taylor (3.4% of the vote in the 2022 Republican primary) who declared them “satanic” and made their removal a tenet of her candidacy.

Elberton mayor Daniel Graves recently told Stephen Fowler, in an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition: “[the] county is a solidly conservative and religiously observant, so outside voices claiming Satan’s hold on the stones don’t add up. “Our view of righteousness is not an Almighty God that needs zealots to do his dirty work and destruction,” Graves said. “That’s hatred … all the dynamite in the world can’t change a man’s heart.”

The only controversy regarding this relatively plain monument when it was unveiled on 22 March 1980 had to do with its origins and the identity of its mysterious patron. The man chose his pseudonym, R. C. Christian, because of his faith, but nothing else was ever revealed. Perhaps that’s what helped feed growing theories regarding the “New World Order” and satanism over time.

Occupying the highest point in Elbert County, the Guidestones were sometimes referred to as America’s Stonehenge, even though Stonehenge was laid out in a circular fashion and the Guidestones formed an “x”. There only similarity to Stonehenge was in their use as a sort of celestial sundial.

Elberton is known as the Granite Capital of the World, and is a charming small town. Personally, I prefer the area’s architectural gems, but I think it will be a challenge to draw people to the area on that aspect alone.

As Elberton Star editor Rose Scoggins told NPR: “I do think that we will slowly start to see just how big of an impact they had, because it will affect our tourism…I think we will unfortunately see that decline.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) hasn’t released any updates recently, but they do have video footage of the vehicle that was at the site just before the explosive device was detonated. Elbert County intends to prosecute anyone responsible.

Two slabs were destroyed in the initial explosion and the GBI took out the remaining stones as a safety measure. For now, to my knowledge, there aren’t plans to replace the Guidestones.

Haynes House, Circa 1818, Elbert County

Thanks to Anna O’Neal, who has educated me about many locations in her home county and environs, for identifying this important house, thought to be among the oldest extant in Elbert County.

Athens architect and designer extraordinaire Scott Reed writes: Absolutely remarkable…It was built in 1818 as a stylish five-bay Federal cottage and enlarged over time. The double-leaf entry doors are [excellent]...I am so glad to finally see signs of a possible effort to at least keep it standing.

Mark Phillips, a well-versed student of Georgia’s historic architecture notes: It belonged, and may still belong, to the Haynes/Hanes/Haines family , who either built it, or acquired it c. 1810-20. An early T. Haynes (possibly builder) married a daughter of a Greer (originally from Washington County, and Elbert)…The Hudson and Beasley families are also associated with the house…probably through later marriages.

Hillcrest Cemetery, Bowman

The Bowman City Cemetery was renamed Hillcrest in 1947. Many of the gravestones and the pavilion are much earlier.

The angel monument overlooking the Gloer family plot is perhaps the most ornate in the cemetery. Several of the burials in this plot date to the 1890s and early 1900s.

Bowman United Methodist Church, 1925, Elbert County

Bowman United Methodist Church was established by a small group who first met in a rural log schoolhouse in 1874. It is thought that the first formal home, a frame structure, was occupied by the late 1870s. By 1894, the congregation had grown to around 225. In 1924, members decided to raze the old church and construction began on the present structure. Mr. D. C. Griffin of Hartwell supervised the construction. It was completed in 1925. It is one of the nicest little churches to be found in a town of this size.

 

Famous Little Police Station, Bowman

While it may not be the smallest police station in America, Bowman’s s “Famous Little Police Station” is certainly on the list. It’s located adjacent to the town well, which you can’t miss.

Ray’s Food Market, Bowman

Sunbeam and a small town independent grocery store. It doesn’t get much more Southern than that!

Bowman Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places