Tag Archives: Georgia Ghost Towns

New Lois Consolidated School, 1933, Berrien County

The New Lois Consolidated School opened in 1933 to serve students in southern Berrien County. It replaced the Old Lois School. I’ve had trouble locating much information about the Lois community, but it had a post office between 1882 and 1904.

Bryan Shaw writes: The community of the New Lois School was named for the daughter of the first postmaster. It was a sawmill and shingle mill town with a mill pond created by a wooden planked dam. The mill was built by William E. Connell, Sr. Lois also had a mercantile store, a gristmill, a hardware store, a church, and of course a two room school house. The 1908 Hudgins Co. Berrien County map shows the school district called Lois. Most of the children of the village and surrounding farms attended the school. A rail road line from Cecil once reached as far as Lois, until the dam failed to hold enough water back to operate the shingle mill and the gristmill. The town site eventually was taken over by the Georgia landscape, and only a couple of deteriorated residential structures exist today. The Lois School operated until 1933, when Berrien County consolidated the one and two room schools into the New Lois Consolidated School. The original campus was much larger than the remaining structure today. The auditorium and lunch room is all that remains and has served as the assembly hall for the New Lois Community for several decades. If you would like to learn more of the Old Lois townsite, you may wish to view the PowerPoint video titled “Ghost Towns of Berrien—Episode 1” produced by the Berrien Historical Foundation...

The old schoolhouse serves as the New Lois community center today.


Hartford, Georgia

There isn’t much left of the “ghost town” of Hartford. This abandoned building, which was either a store or part of the agribusiness endeavor located next door, is, along with a church, the only evidence of a settlement here. But that isn’t the whole story.

In Georgia’s early days, after lands along the Ocmulgee River were opened to white settlement, the village of Hartford was one of two locations suggested to replace Louisville as the state capital. It was named for Nancy Hart, years before the establishment of Hart County. Milledgeville ultimately won the distinction, largely due to its more central location, but Hartford grew as a result of this attention and after a brief association with Laurens County, became the seat of government of the newly formed county of Pulaski.

It was a crossroads for many of the earliest roads leading south from Milledgeville and west from the coast. Several forts, including Fort Mitchell and Fort Greene, were built nearby to expel Native Americans who had lived in the area for centuries. Andrew Jackson even made camp at Hartford for a week in 1818, during his ongoing campaign against the Seminole nation.

Eventually, the need for higher ground west of the river led to the formation of Hawkinsville, and it became the county seat in 1836.

Folk Victorian House, Empire

This photograph dates to 2009 and I’m not sure if the house survives. I never published it, hoping to return later for a better view, but I never made it. It’s a simple hip-roof house with Queen Anne porch posts.

Empire was a sawmill town, which was established circa 1887 and incorporated in 1911. The name was meant to attract newcomers, but never had the desired effect. The Empire post office operated from 1887-1965. It’s a few miles south of Cochran, and part of the community lies in Bleckley County.

Hall-and-Parlor Cottage, Scarboro

This small home is a survivor of the days when Scarboro was a prominent settlement, its economy dependent on the Ogeechee River.

W. S. Miller Merchandise, Millerville

This is one of the most important vernacular landmarks in Screven County, no doubt maintained for generations by the builder’s descendants and those with a keen interest in local history. Amazingly there are similar resources nearby. It represents a time when small farm communities were dependent on nearby stores for basic items. It likely dates to the 1920s or 1930s, when many families still didn’t own automobiles and did not have the luxury of time to travel to larger towns. Such resources, in original condition like this one, are increasingly rare today.

Wes Krulic notes that his grandfather, Richardson Sealy Parker, operated the store before the Miller family purchased it circa 1925. It may have been owned by Augustus Milton Arnold, prior to 1925, per Cail Collins.

Georgia Woodlands Railroad, Hillman

The Georgia Woodlands Railroad is a short line which runs 17.3 miles from Washington to Barnett. It primarily moves products such as wood chips, lumber and lumber products, as well as other industrial materials. Originally built as the Washington line of the Georgia Railroad in 1852, it has remained in use under various companies ever since.

General Store, Circa 1910, Dennis Station

This landmark general store is thought to have been built in the early 1900s. It served the community around Dennis Station, which appears on maps as Dennis. Dennis Station undoubtedly references the railroad presence here.

A post office known as Dennis was open from 1853-1866 and 1923-1936. Another Georgia community known as Dennis, in Murray County, had a post office from 1882-1906.

Vernacular Farmhouse, Cadley

Like the house in the previous post, this originated as a central hallway form and was later expanded. Barry Hyman noted in an earlier post that this was his grandfather’s house, but I haven’t been able to get more information.

Central Hallway Farmhouse, Cadley

This early central hallway form was later expanded to a gabled-ell. I’m not sure if it’s still standing.

Shotgun Store, Cadley

This photograph dates to 2013. I imagine the store was probably built in the early 1900s and it is of the shotgun form, among the most common designs for rural Georgia stores in the early 20th century.