The overall appearance of this house is Victorian, though the porch may be a later addition..
I’m so excited to be able to share this photograph, which was shared by my friend John Brown. He made the shot circa 1995. It’s the old Oliver School and was lost to fire a few years after the photograph was made.
Oliver was one of about 40 white schools in Screven County surveyed by M. L. Duggan for the Georgia Department of Education in 1916. The steeple or bell tower was a design element present only in the larger schools of the county, including Capitola, Douglas Branch, Gilgal, Harmony, Rocky Ford, and Sylvania. At the time of the survey, W. S. Brown was teacher and principal, and Miss Fannie Ryon was his assistant. There were 10 grades and 62 students, with a 32-week school year. The school was valued at $3000 and was noted to be in very good condition.
Oliver Landing is a great place to access the Ogeechee.
The rear section of this very eclectic house is a Plantation Plain form.
Thanks to John Robert Peavy for the identification. This has most recently served as the Oliver city hall.
According to Dawn Daley, via present pastor Vernon Edenfield, this is the oldest church in Screven County, and thought to be the second oldest Baptist church in Georgia. Robert Peavy writes: Oliver native Miss Pauline Smith (1885-1963) indicated in her three-page historical sketch of the town of Oliver that the present building was erected about 1912 (when the old Methodist Church was built and when the town was incorporated—the School House, now gone, had been built in 1910). An old photograph of the short-lived Lutheran Church shows rather dimly, in the distance with the cemetery separating them, a not-overly fancy church with a neo-classical porch roof supported by four square columns, which would have replaced the original log building of the Little Ogeechee Baptist Congregation; thus, the present structure is at least the third building for this congregation, which dates to 1790. Robin Robbins also notes that the church was used as a set location for the 1974 movie, Buster and Billie.
Gravestone Art at Little Ogeechee Baptist Church Cemetery
Little Ogeechee, like many old cemeteries, is a beautiful showplace for the stonemason’s art. I’ve chosen a few of my favorite decorative headstones to share.
Stephen T. Newton (29 May 1829-6 December 1882)
Naomi Morton (1806-16 October 1887)
Bernard Horton Huggins (25 August 1906-26 March 1908)
Daughter of W.V. & L. O. Lanier (14 March 1917-2 February 1918)
Florie A. Brewer (12 August 1845-17 September 1891)
Oscar W. Brewer (17 October 1872-8 March 1889)
Levina Morton (20 May 1825-16 June 1899)
Martha A. Dugger (14 June 1829-13 February 1897)
Miriam Lee (22 February 1908-22 November 1910)
Thanks to Sharmon Brannen for the identification. It’s not all visible to the eye, but much restoration work has been done on the house by the new owners. I’m so glad that they’re saving this house. It’s though to date to at least the late 1880s.
This Methodist church features three large stained-glass windows with the Star of David motif, traditionally a symbol of the Jewish faith. The Star of David was common among many sects during the late Victorian era. According to Bob Peavy: The congregation of Oliver Methodist Church was established in 1907. My father was christened there in 1919; his father’s farm was a very few miles down Old Louisville Road just across Wallowing Branch (in adjacent Effingham County), and the family likely attended from the congregation’s beginning. The Methodist Church there had no cemetery; the white families of the area had been buried nearby at Little Ogeechee Baptist Church (which had been established in 1790.)
Illuminating the difficulties of tracking down church histories, Bob later wrote: A history of the town of Oliver, written in 1942 by Pauline Smith…indicated that the congregation was founded in 1899, and that this building was erected in 1912. The last church sign indicated that it was established in 1907 (I’ve not yet verified dates).
The church has most recently been used as a restaurant, Oliver on 24.