This historic congregation near Shingler was established in 1876. The earliest members were: J. A. Reid; Dave Newkirk; Dan Boyd; Charlie Walker; Millie Walker; Walter Terry; Jacob Lamar; and R. B. Wynn.
As I was driving through Sylvester with my parents recently I turned on a side street and this delightful home immediately caught my eye. I got shots of all the other houses I was interested in and couldn’t wait to take a closer look at this one. Moreover, I was surprised I’d never noticed it before.
It wasn’t easy tracking down information, but my father recalled having seen a fascinating story on the Albany news about a gentleman who was working on a community garden in Sylvester that included a banana farm. He thought, just perhaps, this could be his home.
I’m always excited to find a new art environment and this one was special. As I approached the house, I felt it wasn’t the work of a traditional folk artist, but rather that of a skilled and trained professional. I also knew the creator was sharing a vision. The images depicted on the house blend Native American and African iconography and seem to pay tribute to displaced and endangered peoples.
After a bit of research I discovered that it was, in fact, the home of the gentleman my father had suggested. His name is Sam X White, and he’s known by many as The Gourdmaster Sam X, for his masterpieces of gourd art. But Sam is a Renaissance man. He’s a community activist, art educator, supporter of 4-H, and the man behind Sylvester’s Village Community Garden. He’s an ambassador for so much more than art and I hope his neighbors love his work as much as I do. I hope to meet him in the future.
Georgia is lucky to have three landmark minor league parks dating to the 1920s [Golden Park in Columbus (1926); Grayson Stadium in Savannah(1926); and Luther Williams Field in Macon (1929)], but none is as old as Sylvester’s historic Pope Park. It’s been in continuous use as a baseball venue since 1910.
Named for Colonel John D. Pope, it has hosted amateur, semi-pro, American Legion and county league teams throughout its history. It’s presently home to the Worth County Rams high school team. The wooden grandstand is a rare sight in the modern era of baseball and is the centerpiece of Pope Park. The property is maintained jointly by the City of Sylvester and Worth County High School.
This was one of numerous motor courts along busy U.S. Highway 82 built between the 1930s and early 1960s. The wrought iron posts are obviously later additions, as they aren’t visible in the vintage postcard, below. Dr. Gordon Davis III writes: Gordon Motor Court opened in approximately 1950-1951. My family still owns the property. We closed the “motor court” in the 70’s after I-75 opened completely from Detroit to Tampa. Was named for my grandfather, Gordon Davis, Sr., my father, Gordon Davis, Jr., and me, Gordon Davis, III. Many fond memories !
Linen postcard, circa 1951. Courtesy The Tichnor Brothers Collection, Boston Public Library.