This historic lodge is among the most significant African-American resources in Jenkins County, and though it is endangered, is not too far gone for restoration. It likely served as a school, lodge, and community center for the adjacent church, which I was unable to photograph.
Saint Joseph in the Bay Branch community is a rare rural Catholic congregation which for many years was the only such church between Savannah and Augusta. In their sesquicentennial history, One Faith…One Family, the Savannah Diocese notes: Bishop Benjamin J. Keiley…dedicated Saint Joseph Catholic Church and Cemetery on May 14, 1911. For about 40 years before the Bay Branch church was built, Catholic Mass was celebrated by priests from Savannah in the homes of Slavic and German Catholic families in rural Screven County…
The simple architecture of the church is typical of rural congregations in Georgia throughout the late-19th and early-20th centuries. It is beautifully maintained.
Thomasboro is an historic farming community in Screven County. This was a general store and likely the location of the post office, which was in operation from 1914-1951. Like the nearby settlement of Millerville, it has been lovingly maintained as a tribute to its history and is closely watched over. Having seen so many places like this in ruins over the years, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate families and owners for maintaining these tangible links to the past.
Can’t you just see old men standing around here, drinking Co-Colas and talking about the price of cotton and comparing mules and tractors?!