I first thought this to be a commissary but Hugh Harris West writes that this was not a commercial structure. It was a shotgun cotton mill house and I knew the families who lived there in the ’40’s and ’50’s. There was an identical house to the right of this. I do not know what is stored, if anything, in this structure now. The exterior window treatments were changed when it ceased to be a dwelling.
The white building on the left has always been Poulan’s grocery store. Hugh Harris West writes: Mr. Harvey Carter and wife Ella Ruth, ran this store. Russell and Gertie Houston ran the store and market during the 60’s. Mr. Leon Gray and wife Gladys came next I believe. Mr. Alton Gray (Leon’s brother) had already closed his store by this time.
The early 20th century was a time of vast civic improvements in the United States, and small towns were as involved in these efforts as were larger cities. The Poulan Library and its initial collection of books was a gift from philanthropist and Michigan governor (1911-13) Chase Osborne, who often stayed at his nearby plantation, Possum Poke. Significantly, the Poulan Library was the only public library in Worth County until the Worth County Public Library opened in 1931. The library was also the meeting place of the Poulan Women’s Club from its founding in 1916 until the 1930s. Still open today, it’s said to be the smallest public library in Georgia.
National Register of Historic Places
Hugh Harris West shared a bit of the history of this old bank: After the bank closed, it was used as the Post Office for a long time. Later, It was used as “Ms. Pricilla Garner’s Studio of Piano and Voice.” I took voice lessons there for a few years in high school…I never learned to sing very good. I did a few local weddings since there was not too many folks available…(Later) Fred Carter (made) a laundromat out of it. I ride by it weekly. It would make a wonderful little museum.
Built by early Poulan businessman D. A. Phelps, this structure has served many purposes over the years. Hugh Harris West writes: This was Mr. Goodman’s Drug Store during my years in Poulaln. There was a gasoline pump out front at the corner and we could see the gasoline as it entered the glass top after being pumped. Dr. Harris came to Poulan about twice a week. His office was above the front of the store…At one time in the early 40’s the Post Office was in the rear of the building. Later, apartments were made in the upper and lower rear of the building. I understand that the Phelps family was an important part of Poulan’s development around the early 1900’s.