Tag Archives: Georgia False Front Structures

Stonewall J. Williams Plantation, 1880s, Screven County

This massive Folk Victorian house sits at the end of a row of majestic cedars, which appear to be well over a century old.

Cedar lanes were once a popular landscaping choice but most of the old ones are long gone, lost to disease or storms over the years. These have somehow miraculously survived.

The house appears to date to the late 19th century.

An historic commissary stands at the front of the property, confirming that this was once a very busy plantation. It is still part of a large working farm. I walked up the lane to try to find someone to tell me about the place, to no avail. I imagine they were out in the fields busy with the cotton harvest.

This is one of the most pristine historic plantation properties I’ve ever seen and the owners have done a wonderful service in their efforts to preserve it. Thanks to Dale Reddick, and other members of the Screven County history group on Facebook, for the identification.

R. E. Ringer General Merchandise, 1927, Carroll County

This tin-sided false front store should get your attention if you’re traveling on US Highway 27, just south of Carrollton. A sign on the building notes that the store operated from 1927-1957. Like the Johnson Sweet Potato barn, another roadside icon located nearby, the Ringer Store’s Coca-Cola signs and murals have been repainted.

Summerford Dairy, Pelham

This has been identified as part of George Summerford’s dairy operation.

False Front General Store, Rayle

One may notice a trend when in Rayle. The historic storefronts and warehouses are all sided with tin. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why this is the most interesting and significant of the bunch. There’s the wonderful Jefferson Island Salt mural, the tin brick, and the fact that it’s a rare two-story false front store (a shed roof has been removed). But most importantly, the owners have allowed it to stand intact all these years. I hope to learn more about it and hope it’s around for a long time.

False Front Store & Residence, Macon

This false front store with attached residence likely dates to circa 1900.

Macon Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

B. C. Wilcher General Merchandise, Mitchell

This is an amazingly well-preserved general store, like most of the commercial structures in the historic area of Michell. I’m really surprised the whole downtown isn’t on the National Register of Historic Places. It should be.

Wade Plantation Commissary, Screven County

My identification of this structure is an educated guess, considering it is surrounded by the historic Wade Plantation. It looks to date from circa 1910-1930. It’s possible it was a general store independent of the plantation but this seems unlikely. (There is a location known locally as Hill’s Store just down the road but I don’t think this is associated with it). False front structures are quite rare in rural Georgia and I can’t recall having seen a commissary of this style. The pressed tin is in amazingly good condition, though the structure has likely been neglected for many years.

General Store, Indian Springs

This old general merchandise store has most recently been home to Watkins Outfitters, an outdoor specialist. It dates to the early 1900s.

Dyer’s Store, Garland

Janis Fowler writes that this was originally Joseph Dyer’s Store and that the Garland community was originally known as Dyersville. She also notes that the post office was located here.

Bell’s Hardware, Fortsonia

Frank Fortson shared this wonderful history: “[This was] Guy Bell’s Hardware Store. The original store was just the left section. Mr. Bell later added the smaller attached section on the right, which was used by various businesses over the years (laundromat, game room, craft store). The hardware store had, what appeared to be a LOT of items, to me as a kid. Everything from baseball gloves (where I bought two) to hardware, plus just about every needed item except groceries and gas. There were stairs in the center of the store about 2/3rds way back that took you to the furniture area. In that area, he sold couches, beds, dressers, etc. Mr. Bell and his store were very popular during its day. I can remember sitting on the front steps about age 10, drinking a cold Coke from his cooler, pouring peanuts into the Coke. I also remember when Mr. Bell started selling the larger (than 6 oz) Cokes, as the price went from 5 to 7 cents. I don’t know the build date for the store, but it existed before the mid 1940s.Jane (my first cousin) and John Coleman now own the store. It has been inactive for many years.Behind the store, in the early 1900s, my grandfather ran a sawmill (among other enterprises). I suspect that the wood used to construct the northernmost store [Gilmer’s Grocery] came from that sawmill.