Category Archives: –FRANKLIN COUNTY GA–

Athens Street, Carnesville

Carnesville isn’t well-known outside the area, and is one of the smaller county seats in Georgia, with between 500-600 residents. As county seats should, it sits smack dab in the middle of Franklin County, which was the first county in the state established after the Revolutionary War [much larger at the time, encompassing multiple modern counties]. While the location of Franklin County’s first seat of government is lost to history, Carnesville gained that designation in 1807.

It was named for Thomas Petters Carnes (1762-5 May 1822), whose service as a colonel in the Maryland Line during the Revolutionary War earned him a land bounty in Franklin County. He served in the Georgia House of Representatives, as a state court judge, Attorney General of Georgia, and in the U. S. House of Representatives, from 1793-1795, representing Athens [located at that time in Franklin County].

Royston, Georgia

When I was a teenager, the Datsun 280-Z was a really popular sports car. I don’t think Nissan even made them under the Datsun name in the 1980s but there were still a lot on the road and they were a bit of a status symbol for a certain set of kids. I don’t see many anymore and just thought I’d share this one from the archives.

Nails Creek, Franklin County

This lush stream rises in the Appalachian foothills a few miles north of Homer in Banks County and flows northeastward into Franklin County before turning southeastward and joining the Hudson River. All of these waterways feed the Broad River and its three forks.

Nails Creek was an important location in the development of industry in the region. J. D. Cromer had a sawmill, gristmill, and gin mill here in the late 19th century and this likely supported other small businesses, as well.

Bowers House, 1921, Canon

In its secluded setting, the Bowers House is difficult to capture, but that’s the point. It’s been put into service as a literary and creative retreat, in an effort by the family to keep the house while providing writers, artist, and musicians a quiet creative space. The family are descendants of Job Bowers II (31 August 1803-25 June 1888), an abolitionist, religious pacifist, and publisher who brought the Universalist Church to Georgia and laid out the town of Canon in what had originally been known as West Bowersville. Job’s grandfather, Revolutionary War soldier Job Bowers (1755-1779), was one of the earliest settlers of Franklin County. The family were also founders of the nearby town of Bowersville.

It was built as the Canon Hotel during what could be called the town’s boom time, when the railroad kept the mills running and cotton was king. Traders and salesmen were regulars but the property failed in the Great Depression in a region already ravaged by the deleterious effects of the boll weevil. The hotel was converted it into a private home thereafter.

Canon Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Note: This updates and replaces a post originally published on 22 July 2019.

Plantation Plain Farmhouse, 1884, Franklin County

This house is located just north of Lavonia & Interstate 85. It has been home to a used car dealership for many years. I am unsure of its history but I got the date from an older resource survey. Anyone who has traveled Georgia Highway 17 in this part of the state probably recognizes the house.

Note: This replaces a post originally published on 11 June 2014.

Union Ground Christian Church, Franklin County

Union Ground was organized in 1902 by Erastus Lamar Shellnut. The following background comes from Scott Harp’s excellent overview of the “Pioneer Preacher”, as Shellnut was sometimes known.

In 1902 the “Pioneer Preacher” again returned to his favorite work. He accepted the appointment from the Woman’s Society of Georgia Mission as an evangelist. Because of failing health he resigned that work after six and on half months. He organized two churches, Unity in Jackson County and Union Ground in Franklin County, while working under the auspices of the Woman’s Society of Georgia Missions.

During Mr. Shelnutt’s work in Franklin County he encountered opposition on the part of the Baptists. He was locked out of the community school building, was falsely accused, arrested and stood trial, although he was not convicted of any charge. Rev. Shelnutt, possessing a kind spirit, tried to come to some understanding with the Baptists, went to their worship services, but no reconciliation was made. He gives an interesting account of his Franklin County experiences in a pamphlet entitled, Encountering Opposition. He vividly describes the Baptist worship service he attended during his visit in the community: “The preacher, of the blonde type, read from the third chapter of Exodus of the ‘burning bush’, and took as his text II Pet. ii. 1-3. The sermon was harsh and sectarian in its conception and argument, and mad and abusive in its deliver. The preacher’s denunciations of the ‘Campbellites,’ as he called them ‘though’ he said, ‘they want to be ‘Christian’ and his expositions of the ‘damnable doctrine’, as he called it, directed the minds and eyes of quite a number in the audience toward me. He told them that the devil was loose in the community, and advised the people more than once not to hear me (the devil referred to) preach my ‘doctrine born of hell,’ that I would ‘decoy them and their children and lead them to hell for ever and ever.’ He further advised his people not to let me have food and shelter in their homes. If they did, they would be partakers with me in propagating the false doctrine. I quietly sat before him and pitied him for his ignorance and lack of the spirit of Christ and remembered that vengeance belongs to God (Rom. xii, 19) and that he will one day settle with him for his wicked words.”

 In spite of the unpleasant conditions under which Mr. Shelnutt labored, he was successful in organizing the church with twenty-seven charter members. The building was begun and the name chosen for the church-Union Ground Christian Church, September 16, 1902.

Gable Front Farmhouse, Franklin County

Abandoned Farmhouse, Franklin County

Service Station, Carnesville

Sullivan Drugs, Carnesville

Sullivan Drugs has been in business since 1957.