Don’t be surprised to see fields full of sunflowers if you’re driving near Pitts in the summertime. Clay Oliver, of Oliver Farm, has grown a new industry in Wilcox County with his highly awarded pecan, sunflower and other cold pressed oils. He’s recently added peanut, sesame, and pumpkin oils and flours to his product line. My personal favorite, which I can’t do without, is the pecan oil, but I also use the sunflower oil. You can order from his website, but many of his products are available in specialty food stores throughout the Southeast, with new locations being added regularly.
Ida Azulay writes: The house pictured was my father’s family home until his death in 1992. The house was built by Mr. Robert King’s father. My grandfather was born in the house and planted a magnolia tree in the front yard as a child. The tree has long since been taken down. My father and his brother were both born in the house and raised there. My sister and I were the 3rd generation in the house.
Sidney McWhorter writes: My mother, Mardelle Stonecypher McWhorter, used to tell me every time we went by there, that she went to school there when she was a little girl. Wayne Reed adds, via Facebook: My mother used to walk by this school on her way to school in Pitts This was a black school in the 20’s and 30’s. Mother is 98 and has a great memory. According to Shawn Rhodes, it was most recently used as Snow Hill Church (early 1980s – 2003).
This iconic view is largely a result of the work of Dr. Delano Braziel, a retired art professor, master potter and native son of Pitts, who has worked diligently to restore the appearance of his hometown. I finally got to meet Dr. Braziel and his son, Jim, on a recent visit and have an even greater appreciation for this place than I did before. “Dr. B” notes that Pitts was founded in the late 1800s and incorporated in 1905. At its peak there were 33 stores and businesses in the town, as well as three doctors. His father, J. H. Braziel operated a general store until December 1971. It was the last business of its kind in Pitts and signaled the end of an era. (From the description of his painting “Downtown Pitts”, © Delano Braziel, 2010).
According to Gerri Lipthratt, Pitts was named for her great-grandfather, Ashley Jordan Pitts, who was also the town’s first postmaster.