This image dates to circa 2011. The church is still standing but has been sided with metal and expanded from its original form.
Grady Sconyers married Cortez Henderson in 1936 and they soon opened a general mercantile store, which they operated for about ten years. In 1947, he opened Turner County Frozen Foods, which served as the local “meat locker” and also sold frozen foods. They sold this business in 1950 and opened the Sycamore Gin, which served farmers for a 30-mile radius. Mr. Sconyers was one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Turner County. [This photograph dates to 2010. I’m unsure if the building is still standing].
This home was built by Sycamore Gin owner Grady Sconyers. Bill Adams recalls: [The house] came down through Cortez’s family. It was a large red brick home with a porch and steps facing East towards the church, and the South side (now the front) was rather plain. Grady had the changes made to model it after a house which he saw on the road between Palatka and St. Augustine. I don’t recall when it was remodeled…In the years after WWII, as that farm area got electricity, the farmers were able to prosper with tractors, etc. Many remodeled their homes, and often would put out on the porch furniture with marble tops (wash basins and such). If Grady saw one, he would stop and offer to buy it. He saved the marble and later had it converted and used in the house remodel.
Joy Jones Gregory: I remember going to Mr. Julius Wynn’s garage as a young child, with my father. The oil smell, the pot belly heater, an several men always sitting around the warmth. The one other thing I remember was the sign on the wall. It said” if you spit on the floor at home, go home and spit.”
I received sad news this morning (2 May 2016) that this house, a longtime favorite of mine and a Sycamore landmark, burned last night. According to owner Chris NeSmith, it was built in 1888 by Edwin and Marianna Smith. They came to Sycamore from Somerton, Virginia, when the railroad was connecting here.
The house was built from timbers harvested nearby to resemble their home in Virginia. The modifications to the front were made in the late 1950s or early 1960s. The photo above is the Smith family in front of the house as it originally appeared. Below are the ruins of the house as of this morning. Both photos are courtesy of Chris NeSmith.
For more about the fire, click here.
Grady Moore Sconyers, a successful local entrepreneur, built this gin in 1952, after establishing Turner County Frozen Foods a few years earlier.
Bill Adams writes: When I was approximately 14 years old I spent the summer with Aunt Bert (Henderson) & Cortez and Grady Sconyers. Grady was in the process of building this new Continental Gin. It was powered by a water cooled two cylinder vertical diesel engine in the South end of the building. The engine stood approx. 8 ft high with a ladder to a catwalk at the top. A water vat outside the SE corner of the building cooled the water. North of the engine room were three gins in a row, the overflow room, and two baling presses. Power from the engine was supplied by overhead shafts and belt pulleys. The original building had a shed type roof across the front of the building. The suction tube to unload the trucks was under this roof. There was a concrete loading ramp on the North end by the baling presses. At the start up, I drove a wagon with a pair of mules hauling bales from the ramp around to Gradys’ warehouse at the NE corner of Railroad and Willis Street where they were weighed, and samples taken. In back of the gin was a cotton seed storage building(the seed was blown from the gin to the building). This was considered “state of the art” in the 1940′s.
A group of members of Prospect Methodist in Chamblee moved to South Georgia in 1907 and soon thereafter established this church. The first church was built in 1908, but was destroyed by wind in 1925. The Bethel school served as the church home in the interim. The present structure was completed in 1938, under the leadership of Rev. E. J. Nottingham.