Category Archives: Junction City GA

Moore Commissary, Circa 1906, Junction City

I believe this to be Charlie Moore’s commissary, which served employees in his milling and coffin building operations. William H. Davidson notes two stores in Junction City in his history of Talbot County.

J. Leonard Morgan’s general store wasn’t open until 1929, and this construction looks earlier than 1929 to me. I think this is what he identified as Marvin J. Hester’s general store, “located in Charlie Moore’s old commissary building“.

That would likely place this structure’s date of construction to circa 1906. It was a condition of Moore’s purchase of the Perkins properties [present day Junction City vicinity] that all structures of that enterprise be removed by 1 September 1906, so Moore likely built this commissary when he established the town.

Moore-Morgan House, 1919, Junction City

This Neoclassical Cottage, christened “Joy in My Heart” by Reverend Dr. R. H. Harris on 14 December 1919, was built by Charles Warren “Charlie” Moore. In A Rockaway in Talbot: Travels in an Old Georgia County, Vol. II, William H. Davidson notes that Mr. Moore was the principal developer of Junction City.

Davidson further notes, of Moore’s involvement in the settlement of the town: Two railroads crossed and a third had its terminus at a place in Talbot County incorporated as Junction City in 1906. The railroads were Atlantic, Birmingham & Coast, the Central of Georgia, and a local short line, Talbotton Railroad. The latter terminated with the Central at nearby Paschal. Perkins Company [which operated a large timber and sawmill operation in the area]…made an indenture…May 17, 1906, conveying to Charlie Moore…the heart of what became Junction City. It was hoped that the place would become a promising railroad town.

Moore established a bank, timber and milling operations, a coffin factory, and established the sand mining operations that continue today at Brownsand. The leading citizen of Junction City, Charlie Moore, died on 10 October 1944 in a car crash near Upatoi while enroute to take his grandchildren to the Chattahoochee Valley Fair in Columbus. His wife died from her injuries four days later.

James Leonard Morgan purchased the Moore House in 1948. During restoration, two of the original four columns on the front portico were damaged and not replaced. Sidelights at the front doors were also damaged and not replaced. The house, though slightly changed over the years, is an important connection to Junction City’s origins.

Farmers & Merchants Bank, Circa 1907, Junction City

This structure, which now serves as the city hall for Junction City, was built circa 1907 as the Farmers & Merchants Bank. It is a brick structure which at some point was sided with stucco. Junction City was incorporated in 1906.

Geneva Methodist Church Steeple, 1875, Junction City

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This steeple, once part of the old Methodist Church in nearby Geneva, was relocated and restored by Mike Buckner; it can now be found at Patsiliga Plantation. The original bell is still intact, as well, and I had fun ringing it.

Frick Steam Engine, Junction City

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Steam engines revolutionized farm and mill work in the 19th century. George Frick was among the most successful manufacturers. I enjoyed learning about this one in Mike Buckner’s collection from his son, John.

Photographed at Harvest Days in Old Talbot, Patsiliga Plantation, 2013

 

1918 Paige Truck, Junction City

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Richard Wall of Valley, Alabama, is the owner of this great old truck.

Photographed at Harvest Days in Old Talbot, Patsiliga Plantation, 2013

Model A Fords, Junction City

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These beauties, along with many others, were on display by members of the River Cities Model A Car Club of Columbus & Phenix City.

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Photographed at Harvest Days in Old Talbot, Patsiliga Plantation, 2013

Potter Allen Gee, Junction City

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Bulloch County native Allen Gee now lives and works in Meriwether County at the former home/studio of the late D. X. Gordy, one of several Gordy family members well-known for their pottery skills.  Gee’s traditional high-fired stoneware has earned him quite a following of his own and he works with a motorized washtub and electric wheel at festivals throughout the South to share the process with others. He says, “I mix the stoneware clay from a traditional recipe. After the clay is properly prepared, bowls, pitchers and mugs are turned on a pottery wheel. The glazes are made from local minerals including ground glass, hardwood ashes, and a gneiss-hornblende stone. These minerals are pulverized and milled to produce a fine powder that is mixed with clay ad water then applied to a bisque-fired pot.”

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He also notes, “The stoneware is fired in a wood-burning kiln or gas kiln where it reaches temperatures hot enough to melt the homemade mix into a permanent glaze. Hot embers and flames enhance the clay and glazes causing glaze runs, pooling, and fire flashing marks on the clay.”

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I have one of Allen Gee’s pieces and the quality is great. He creates a variety of one-of-a-kind pitchers, bowls, plates, pots and even face jugs.  If you’re interested in purchasing something, you can contact him at 23825 Roosevelt Highway, Greenville, Georgia 30222. (770) 927-0394. He can also be reached via email at geepottery@gmail.com

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Photographed at Harvest Days in Old Talbot, Patsiliga Plantation, 2013

Louise Brown Making White Oak Baskets, Junction City

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Meriwether County artist Louise Brown and her sister, Catherine Johnson, learned the art of basket making from their father, the late John Reeves. He began selling his white oak baskets at the Cotton Pickin’ Fair in nearby Gay, Georgia, over thirty years ago. Mrs. Brown weaves and sells her baskets at Plantation Days each year and I was lucky enough to meet and photograph her at this year’s festival.

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Her patience and skill are evident in her attention to detail.

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The work of making the baskets begins by carefully stripping pieces of white oak from saplings, soaking the oak strips in water, and weaving them into different patterns and forms.

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Again, I’m very glad I got to meet Mrs. Brown (pictured here with her husband John Henry). If you’d like to purchase one of her beautiful creations, she can be reached at (706) 672-4326. Otherwise, find her at the Harvest Days festival or the Cotton Pickin’ Fair.

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Photographed at Harvest Days in Old Talbot, Patsiliga Plantation, 2013

Fielder’s Mill, Junction City

Making Grits at Fielder's Mill Junction City GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

The historic Fielder’s Mill, one of the oldest continuous businesses in Talbot County, takes center stage at the annual Plantation Days in Talbot. It was built in 1930 on the site of the John Downs grist mill. There’s been a mill at this same location since the 1840s. The original mill was located on the far end of the present dam over the run of Patsiliga Creek. The timbers and foundation of the old site remain today.

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After a fire, the new mill was moved to the west end of the dam in 1930. The mill is powered by a Leffel-type turbine producing about 25 horsepower. Mike Buckner produces great cornmeal, grits, and flour at this water-powered mill.

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I believe my father began buying corn meal from Mike in the 1980s, when he was running to Manchester on the railroad. My family has used it ever since; it’s just not an option to run out as nothing comparable can be found in any grocery store.

Grinding Grits Junction City GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Here’s something from the Fielder’s Mill Cookbook, compiled by Mike & Debbie Buckner in 1994.

Washing Grits

Measure the amount of grits you wish to cook. Put grits in a deep bowl (I use a deep Cool Whip bowl for as many as 4-6 servings) and add plenty of warm water. Stir grits. Bran and specks will float to the top of the water; tilt the bowl to one side and pour the water and bran off. Do this procedure several times, usually three times or until the grits are “clean”. Place grits in a boiler, adding enough water to cover well. Cook on low heat for about 45 minutes. The water will cook out soon after heating; add more water or for a creamier taste add milk. There is more involved in cooking the course ground grits; however, the taste and added advantage of more dietary fiber make them an excellent substitute for quick grits. It seems the longer grits are cooked, the better they are, but you will have to add more liquid and stir them to prevent sticking. There are a number of variables so you may have to experiment and try cooking these grits a couple of times before you master their creamy goodness.

For busy cooks, try the Crock Pot Grits:

Wash grits as described above and place in the crock pot with appropriate amount of water, salt and butter before retiring for the night. Turn the crock pot on low and allow the grits to cook about 10 hours. Wake up the next morning to creamy grits. (If the grits are too stiff add water or milk-stir).

Photographed at Harvest Days in Old Talbot, Patsiliga Plantation, 2013