Category Archives: Leary GA

Saddlebag House & Ford Custom Pickup, Leary

The truck is at least 40 years old and the house is early 20th century. Two workhorses, from 2019.


Historic Storefront, Leary

This was located beside the old Bill Sheppard Ford dealership and behind the Bridges Pharmacy/Harpe Grocery building. The photo dates to 2012, so I’m not sure if this is still standing.

Old St. Maryland Baptist Church, Leary

Saint Maryland Missionary Baptist Church is one of the oldest and most historic African-American congregation in Calhoun County, dating to the time of slavery. This structure, likely built in the early 20th century, was replaced by a more modern facility next door in the late 1970s. Member Shirley Barnes suggests that the congregation would like to restore the old church building and is open to suggestions.

I am not sure how it got its interesting name, but perhaps it was a nod to the importance of Maryland in the Underground Railroad. That’s just a guess.

According to their website: This church was organized by black citizens in 1857.  The White citizens of Leary and Morgan came together and granted the Black citizens permission to hold meetings in the old building across the yard from our present building.  The Blacks held services on the second Sunday in each month and the Whites held service on the first Sunday. They also assisted in the appointing of our first pastor in 1857.  His name was Min. Verge Pittman.  The second pastor was Min. H. E. McKinley.  We do not know how long they served.

Old Jail, Leary

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.

Main Street, Leary, Circa 1950

Leary, Circa 1950, Photographer Unknown. Courtesy John McKinney

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.

Gabled-Ell House, Leary

While reviewing images for a manuscript, I came across this house in Leary and realized I’d never posted it before. The reason I’m posting it now is because on a recent trip I noticed it had been torn down. It was a large house, across from the Jordan houses.

The house was an elongated gabled-ell form.

Shotgun House, Leary

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.

Main Street, Leary

Sadly, Leary’s small commercial core on Main Street is greatly endangered. The only building that appears to be in really good condition is the Masonic Lodge (brick building with arched windows).

As of late 2016, I understand the building on the left has been razed. Bob Kemerait shared this photo.

Jordan Hardware, Leary

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.

Coca-Cola Mural, Leary

Though it’s barely discernible, this old Coca-Cola mural, like many others around Georgia, can still be made out if you look closely enough. The building it once brightly adorned was likely a general or grocery store.