The Atlanta and Hawkinsville Railroad was chartered in 1886 and, though it never reached Hawkinsville, built this depot along the way in 1888. The line was renamed the Atlanta and Florida Railway in 1893 and was sold to the Southern Railway in 1895.
In recent years, the depot was beautifully restored and is now home to the Lions Club and used for other functions, as well.
Mississippi soaks up all the attention for juke joints, and rightfully so, but they were once common in Georgia, as well. When I was growing up, there were still a few around and I remember that the word juke fascinated me. Some contend the origin of the term is the African word juga, meaning bad or wicked. Others suggest it comes from juice, which referred to early electric guitars and those who played them.
The Famous Get-A-Way in Zebulon is one of the best examples of an authentic old-fashioned juke joint that I’ve come across. It also served as a pool hall and sold gas and perhaps sundries from time to time. I got the impression it meant a lot to this community and luckily, the owners have preserved it as a landmark. My guess is that it dates from the late 1930s to about 1950.
It obviously grew in popularity over the years, as evidenced by the addition of this green cinderblock wing.
It’s one of just a few surviving such places to be found in Georgia to my knowledge.
A blacked-out Coca-Cola sign identifies the place as the “Famous Get-a-way”.
The gas pumps were probably a later innovation of the business but indicate that it was a successful enterprise.
And if there were any question about the reputation of the place, this sign on the porch suggests that the owners didn’t suffer foolishness.
Juke joints were places of revelry and community but they were also usually operated in a very business-like manner.
This landmark is presently being restored. Becky Clark Watts shares, via Lynn Ballard Cunningham: The home of Mr. and Mrs. J. P. McKinley on Jackson Street was one of the houses built in ‘Old Newnan,’ Pike’s first ‘capital.’ It was moved to Zebulon with the county seat, and would thus date circa 1824. Originally it had two rooms and a hall downstairs and two rooms up. A shed room was added later. At one time there was a second story porch.
During remodeling several years ago, a reddish wood, probably heart pine, “…too hard to saw,” was uncovered in the walls. The house has four fireplaces, and the downstairs mantel pieces and the front door have handsome hand carving. The ceilings, walls and floors, once wide boards, have now been covered, and shingles had been placed over the old clapboards. The stone chimney still stands, though brick was added to make them higher and reduce the danger of fire.