As is often a tradition in Georgia towns and cities, one of the grandest homes in the city serves as a funeral home. In Sylvania, it’s the Thompson-Strickland-Waters Funeral Home. Its history is shared here by Nancy Hilton Scherr, via Norman Scherr: The funeral home was built in 1890 by my grandfather, Lee Holmes Hilton, who was only 25 at the time. He moved his wife and children in and the Hilton Home remained in our family until about 1950. He was killed in 1911 after achieving so much including bringing the first bicycle to Sylvania, the first car (an Orient Buckboard), the first bank (Screven County Bank), the first oil mill (Screven Oil Mill), and the first telephone company which was a line connecting Sylvania with the outside world at a station on the the Central of Georgia Railway. Founding the nearby town of Hiltonia, he served on the Sylvania Board of Education, and he also served in the 1900 and 1901 Georgia House of Representatives. My father, named after him, practiced law for years in Louisville, Kentucky, until he moved us back into the Hilton House where he had been born in 1904. I loved living there as a very young girl. Papa died at age 79 and was prepared for burial in the home he was born in, a full circle of life.
Conversations with several people in Screven County have led me to identify this as the old county jail. It was replaced in the 1930s or 1940s by a newer structure and the date of this one is unknown but likely late-19th early-20th century. Dale Reddick writes: The observation about the second story trap door placed in the floor really does suggest this was a jail and also a hanging facility (if necessary), when the open field public hanging space further along W.T. Sharpe Drive couldn’t be used. Rabun Alex Lee, Larry Waters, and I had some ‘fun’ pulling up the history of this building. There’s a very similar structure found less than a quarter-mile distant. Perhaps the same designer/ builder constructed both. These structures most probably were built following Sylvania’s Great Fire of 1897 when many new brick structures were erected.
It was also used as apartments in the mid-20th century.
A local gentleman and two others have identified this as the old calaboose. Dale Reddick confirms: It is known as the “Caliboose,” per both Larry Waters and Rabun Alex Lee – who know Sylvania and Screven County better than most.
As discussed on the website before, calabooses were essentially holding cells/drunk tanks. The structure is in poor condition and the roof has collapsed on one side.
This was one of the most popular restaurants in Sylvania in its day, with locals and tourists passing through on U. S. 301. It was a much busier road in those days and the stretch from Sylvania to the South Carolina state line still harbors many of these forlorn structures. The interstates ended the glory days of roadside travel and it took a lot of the economy of towns like Sylvania along with it. After Treado’s closed, it was home to at least two more restaurants, Ray’s and Honey’s. Thanks to Dale Reddick and others on the Facebook group Vanishing Georgia for identifying it and sharing their memories.
Alan McIlveen writes: I so much enjoyed your post about Treado’s restaurant. I grew up in Sylvania and had countless meals there. Truly nothing like it anywhere now.
Their cinnamon rolls were world famous. (Really mean it.) I’ve eaten a half dozen at one sitting with fresh milk many times. I have tried to find the recipe but no success. Always a mix of farmers,business men, families, and Yankees -no disrespect intended -sharing an exceptional meal. Always buffet and menu offered. Sylvania was a wonderful place to grow up in the 50’s. If you got in trouble your folks knew about before you got home.