Thanks to Don King, former police chief of Leary, I can confirm that this was the old jail/calaboose. Mr. King writes: This is the old jail. It was once located where the library is now. The old jail was purchased by the peanut mill and moved there. The library (block building) was once the jail that replaced the wooden jail structure.
Leary is one of my favorite little towns to explore in Southwest Georgia and in the past decade I’ve seen most of these structures vanish from Main Street. John McKinney shared this photo, circa 1950, to help put things into perspective. The Boyd monument, which is now in a green space at the end of the street, is seen here in its original location.
I found several shotgun houses in Leary. I’ve always liked them and find them increasingly difficult to locate in authentic condition. The tiny house and sustainable architecture movements have been responsible for new versions popping up all over the place, but the originals have a character all their own.
Even with such a simple style there’s variation and that’s what I like about the Leary examples.
The Mission Revival style saw its greatest popularity between 1890-1915. Once relatively popular in South Georgia, few examples survive in good condition. I don’t know if this was always a hardware store; the Ace sign likely dates to the 1970s, indicating it was open until at least that time.
I believe this was razed in late 2016.