Also known as the Lithonia Colored School, the Bruce Street School was opened in 1938 as the first public school for Black children in Lithonia. It was built as a community effort, with granite from local quarries. These ruins are presently the subject of community input for future use.
Allen Summers built the three-story hand-hewn structure known today as Dial Mill after purchasing three fractional lots at a public auction in the 1820s. It was one of the first commercial mills to be built in this region. The property is bounded by the historic Hightower (Etowah) Trail to the north and Little Haynes Creek to the east. Though the traditional date of construction is believed to be circa 1830, Summers may have begun construction of the mill earlier. Oral tradition has suggested that the dam for the mill was complete before 1830. Summers died in 1845 and the property was deeded to his son, James M. Summers, by his wife. The younger Summers leased the property to John Wells and William Puckett, with later assistance in the operation of the mill being provided by William’s brother, Pleasant Puckett. Pleasant’s wife Winnie is said to have protected the mill from Union troops during the Civil War.
In 1875, James M. Summers sold the mill to E. B. Rosser, who made a great success of the operation. In 1898, metal rollers replaced the grinding stones and the mill became known as Princeton Roller Mills [Princeton was in reference to the community which grew up around the mill]. In 1909, the mill was sold to George Dial and Sons, and though they only owned it for nine years, the name Dial Mill remains in use to this day. The Fowler family owned it from 1918-1942, and it was sold to the Costley Brothers , who owned it until 1964.
This structure is the last remaining store building in the historic Starrsville community, which was settled circa 1821. It has had several uses throughout its history and is also referred to as the Franklin and Banks Store. One resource notes that it was used as the Starrsville post office for a time, but I haven’t been able to confirm this yet.
Starrsville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
In 2013, I shared a post about this house, and identified it as the Allen Johnston House. The identification was made by people in Ludowici and there is some debate as to whether that is correct; nonetheless, it’s likely the oldest house in Ludowici and a recent clearing of the property is concerning.
Though parts of the house appear to be structurally sound, the eastern section is collapsing from the second floor down. According to previous comments, the house was still occupied in the early 1990s.
I believe this was originally the rear of the house but the entrance may have been switched to this side at some point in its history. There is more Ludowici Tile on this structure than on any other, to my knowledge, in Long County. Since the tile factory was in operation in the earliest part of the 20th century, the roof would have been a later addition, like the porches.
The kitchen was also attached to the house, as seen here.
The architecture of this rural schoolhouse, between The Rock and Thomaston, led me to think it was a Rosenwald, but it just has similar features. It has been identified by Cynthia Jennings as the Ben Hill School. It is very endangered. It was likely built between 1910-1930 to serve African-American children in the community.
Pike County Consolidated High School, in the Hilltop community of Concord, was the school for all Black students in the county from the 1950s until its closure in 1969. The Pike County superintendent decided not to renew contracts for any teachers or administrators of Pike Consolidated, including the principal, D. F. Glover. In protest, the students led a demonstration. They marched from Hilltop to Pike County High School in Zebulon, followed by state troopers, helicopters, and the Atlanta news media. As punishment, the students were denied their graduation ceremony and were refused diplomas. Though Mr. Glover was given a job in the newly desegregated Pike County High School, the episode was not forgotten by the students. In 2018, they received their diplomas, and an apology by way of resolution, from the Board of Education.