Category Archives: Lilly GA

Pyramidal Roof Cottage, Lilly

I’ve always liked this house and was amazed it was still someone’s home until very recently. It appears to have taken on some storm damage since the last time I was through Lilly.


Lilly Drug Company, 1911

Like the City Hall next door, the Lilly Drug Company building is one of the few to have survived a fire in 1920 which destroyed most of the town’s commercial core.

Lilly Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Murray’s Barber Shop, Lilly

Though resources note that this tiny structure was originally a doctor’s office, built in the 1920s, Blakely Humber and Amy Thompson note that it later served as their grandfather’s (Claude Hugh Murray, d. 1965) barber shop.

Lilly Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Greek Revival Cottage, Lilly

This vernacular Greek Revival was likely built between 1902-1905.

Lilly Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Atlanta, Birmingham & Atlantic Railroad Depot, Circa 1902, Lilly

Though it’s been moved a short distance from its original location, the old AB&A Depot at Lilly is one of the best unrestored examples of early 20th century railroad structures of this type in Georgia. It’s an iconic structure which attracts numerous photographers to the area.

Victor McGough writes: When I was very young, I remember seeing the depot operating in full vigor. There were two sides. One side held freight. the other side was for passengers. I remember seeing a man with an eyeshade on sitting at a desk working at something. Later on when this depot ceased to be a working depot, the Atlantic Coast Line RR built a small shelter painted white & purple, the color of their locomotives. I only saw people get off in Lily once. I have stated before that I use to watch Mr. Pierce Nelson string up the mail bag for the train to come roaring through and drop the incoming mail on the ground. I have a video of my son waving to the engineer in a train going by the depot in the picture.

Lilly Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Lilly School, 1912, Dooly County

On my return photo trip to Lilly I was lucky enough to meet Mike Bowen, who shared the history of the school and the church across the street. He also let me go inside and look around, which I greatly appreciated. The school was built by Governor George Busbee’s father, Perry, at a cost of $1500. Though monies were appropriated several years ago for restoration, it has never been completed. Mike reports that a buyer with a mind toward preservation is planning to restore it. Janis McGough Taylor added this to the history: My great-grandfather James E. McGough donated the land for this building. My father, uncles and aunt attended here as did my mother and her sister. My great grandfather’s house was a large 2 story in the lot beside the school. It burned after he died in about 1939. My father had many cousins who attended here, also. They went home for lunch (dinner in the south) but my mother had to bring her lunch as they lived out in the country.

The wainscoating is found throughout and one of the rooms even has the original blackboards.

The Lilly School is one of just a few surviving schoolhouses in Georgia with an auditorium on the second floor.  Betsy McGriff notes that the old Stillmore School (recently burned) had one and Rebecca Wind states that the old Atkinson County High School building in Pearson also has one. It’s quite an interesting feature, as the following photos will attest. The chairs are not original to the building; they were surplus, given by a school in Wilcox County.

Lilly Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


Methodist Church, 1905, Lilly

Though no longer used as a church in the traditional sense, this landmark is used for receptions, reunions and the like.

Lilly Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Lilly Baptist Church, 1905

This beautiful church was built by a local man, Perry G. Busbee, who was the father of Governor George Busbee.

Lilly Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Bank of Lilly & Ingram’s Store, Lilly

Though it now serves as the city hall, Victor McGough notes that The Bank of Lilly operated in the left corner of this building, before the stock market crash of 1929. For many years thereafter the remainder of the structure was the general merchandise store of Clay Ingram. Mr. Ingram’s store could be entered from either Oak St or Railroad St. It wrapped around the bank. The elevated roof is a modern addition.

Lilly was founded by brothers John, Frank, and Robert Lilly in 1902, when the railroad came through the area. It had originally been known as Fuqua in the late 19th century and, briefly, was known as Midway, for its location between Cordele and Montezuma. The commercial block now housing the city hall likely dates to the first few years of the town’s organization, between 1902-1910.

Lilly Historic District, National Register of Historic Places