I rarely meet an old dirt road I don’t like, and this one, punctuated by a dairy silo, is no exception. Even on an otherwise gloomy day, there’s nothing that says Georgia any better to me. John B. Gay writes: This is my family’s farm! I’m the 4th generation to farm here. It was a dairy farm from the 50’s till 2018. Now I raise row crops, beef cows and hogs.
Johnson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church is an historic Black congregation in southwestern Jenkins County, established in 1909. This chapel was replaced by a newer structure across the road in 1999 but still stands beside the cemetery.
Established in 1842, the congregation of Elam Baptist Church was a major factor in the settlement of the surrounding area. The original church is no longer standing but congregants moved into the old school, saving it in the process.
This general/grocery store once also had gasoline pumps out front and would have been an essential stop for farmers and others in this section of southern Jenkins County.
Dottie Leatherwood, who has been a friend of Vanishing Georgia for a long time, writes: My grandfather, R.L. “Boss” Turner, owned that little country store from the 20s until, I think the 60s. I have his ledger books from the 20s and 30s. So interesting. I think the original building burned and they rebuilt. My grandparents lived across from the Elam Baptist church… I have so many fond memories of Four Points and wandering all over the fields and woods as a child. – Betty Bennett ran the store during the 80s-90s. I’m not sure who ran it during the 70s but it was open because I remember going there as a child.
My identification of this structure is tentative. It is very similar to many precinct houses I’ve photographed throughout the state.
The Four Points community is a crossroads in Jenkins County, dominated by Elam Baptist Church and its large historic cemetery. There was never a post office here and it’s hard to find on a map, but ask a local where Four Points is located and they’ll gladly point you in the right direction. Undoubtedly, there are other places in the state which are known as Four Points. It’s a common geographical identifier.
This house is essentially a Georgian cottage with Victorian decorative elements.
The long forgotten village of Thrift experienced its greatest growth at the turn of the 19th century with the presence of the Millen & Southwestern Railroad, though growth is a relative term. The population in 1900 was just 61.
I believe this structure to be a depot of the Millen & Southwestern and, luckily, it has been preserved by the property owners. The loading platform is missing, but otherwise the depot looks to be in good shape.
This congregation was established in the Butts community in 1900 and built their first church around that time. Reverend I. W. Way was the pastor. During the tenure of Reverend S. L. Archer, the church was rebuilt in 1952. It was replaced by the present structure in 1991, when Reverend Lee Hunter was pastor.
I believe the lodge is associated with the Prince Hall Masons.
This historic congregation was established in 1872.
History relating to Herndon has been difficult to locate and what I have found has been difficult to confirm. Ken Krakow, in Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origin, states the community was named for Commander William Lewis Herndon, who died when the S. S. Central America sank off Cape Hatteras during a hurricane in 1857. It was the largest loss of life in any commercial ship disaster in U. S. History and Commander Herndon was praised for his role in saving women and children before going down with his crew.
I’m not sure of Krakow’s source for the name, but considering two other towns were named in Herndon’s honor around this time, it’s a real possibility. It’s also possible there was a family named Herndon in the area.
Volume III of Georgia: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form, published in 1906 describes Herndon as a village of Jenkins County…located on the Central of Georgia Railroad about ten miles west of Millen, and in 1900 reported a population of 200. It has a money order post office, an express office, stores with good local trade and does some shipping.
A post office operated here from 1858-1971, and it’s possible the structure pictured here, possibly a general store, as well as the store by the railroad tracks, served that purpose at one time.