Originally located down the street near the railroad tracks in Waresboro, this is now on the property of Joe Spence. It was an early general store/mercantile.
Waresboro is the most historic community in Ware County, having served as the county seat before the establishment of Waycross. While looking around the area for sites to photograph yesterday, I met Joe Spence while he was tidying up the yard of this beautiful home. At 81, he has the energy of a man in his 30s and a reverence for the history of this house and community. He’s spent the better part of the past two years stabilizing and restoring it. He notes that it was not “in the family” for 90 years but persistent attempts to buy it from its last owner finally prevailed.
The home’s builder was his ancestor, Dr. John Middleton Spence, who once owned over 16,000 acres of land in the area. Dr. Spence went to Galveston after the hurricane of 1900 to assist in the recovery effort. He was so impressed by one house standing amid the ruins of others, with not a shingle touched, that he set about to locate the builder of that house and when he did he brought him back to Waresboro to build this house.
Please note that this is private property and not available for public tours.
The South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church notes: Shortly after the town of Waresboro was settled, there were Methodists gathered for services. In the early records, the preacher from the Waresboro Circuit preached at the beginning of the church in Waycross…It was as part of the Waresboro Mission that the first services were held in Waycross. In 1888, this church was organized; Reverend J. G. Stern was the first pastor. There were 17 members and they met in a new building. The present frame building was built in 1935.