Established by a group of Freedmen in 1869, Antioch-Lithonia Missionary Baptist Church [known originally as Antioch Baptist Church] is thought to be the oldest African-American congregation in Lithonia and DeKalb County. The church first met in a brush arbor and built their first permanent structure circa 1871. It was replaced by this structure, clad in local stone, in 1911, and served the congregation until 2004, when a larger facility was built at another location.
The house pictured above originated as a log cabin, built by Joseph Emmanuel Lyon in the 1820s. It was expanded in 1853 and again in 1893, when it took on its present appearance. It is one of the oldest houses in DeKalb County and Lyon family descendants remained on the property until 2007. Slaves from the early days of the farm remained in the area and later established the Flat Rock community nearby.
The house is reminiscent of the Plantation Plain style, but with two bays on one side and one bay on the other, is a bit unusual in its layout.
The gateposts are local granite, as are the boundary stones and flower bed areas.
Grape arbors were common features of many farms; this one was likely added in the 20th century.
The historic smokehouse, thought to be the oldest overall structure on the farm, was recently restored.
The overall form of this home is unmistakably Georgian Cottage, but the Folk Victorian element is quite dominant. Like many homes throughout the area, it has a yard boundary of local granite or similar stone.
Conyers Residential Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Vesta was formally established in the late 19th century and had a post office from 1888-1904. According to Kenneth Krakow’s Georgia Place Names: Their History and Origins it was named for Vesta Johnson, the daughter of a local settler. Darryl James McKoon writes: [This was the] Pass Brothers General Store. The store, general merchandise, a butcher shop, and Gulf branded gasoline, was on the right, storage building on the left. It is now used for community BBQ events.There was an old multiple story wood cotton gin to the right of the store where the residence is now. Back in the day it was quite busy. Belt driven equipment by a three cylinder upright diesel engine with a two cylinder backup.Long gone, across the street to the right of the flag pole, was a large wooden structure that was also a Pass Brothers General Store. The owners were the older generation of the owners across the street.
Both structures date to the 1930s-1940s, from what I’ve been able to locate.
Local tradition suggests that this gin was built of Georgia granite to replace an earlier frame structure destroyed by a tornado in the early 1900s, though I am unable to confirm this. It was operational until at least the 1950s and was established by Nathaniel (Nat.) Dowdy Arnold (1859-1928), who was the namesake of this small agricultural community. Arnold’s wife was Annie Susan Callaway (1863-1901), from the Callaway Plantation in Wilkes County.
The original settlement, dating to the 1770s, was established near an important Native American trading route and was known as Cherokee Corner. By 1811, a sawmill, gin, and general store were present in the community. A Presbyterian minister named Safford operated the Cherokee Corner Academy and until at least the 1840s was involved in the cultivation of silkworm cocoons.
In 1894, local merchant Edwin Shaw established a post office and named the village Edwin after himself. In 1896, Nathaniel D. Arnold bought Shaw’s store and his postal rights and the town became Arnoldsville.
This fascinating cemetery is located in the McIntosh Reserve Park, a property associated with Chief William McIntosh and maintained as a public park by Carroll County.
The Bowen family were pioneers in this area and likely had some connection to Chief McIntosh, perhaps as traders or through some other association.
The earliest discernible burial in the cemetery dates to 1830.
Though many names have been lost over time, this cemetery is important not only for its historical connection to early settlers but for its limestone slab (or other local stone?) tombs, which are quite rare today.
It’s a well-preserved example of a family burying ground utilizing materials on hand and offers a fascinating glimpse into the funerary practices of early-19th century rural Georgia
Emmanuel is the oldest Episcopal congregation in Athens, dating to 1842. When Dr. Richard Dudley Moore brought his new wife, Elizabeth Stockton, to Athens in 1835 she was concerned that there was no Episcopal church in the city. The daughter of the governor of Delaware and a granddaughter of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Elizabeth had been a member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in her native state. When the congregation was organized by Dr. William Bacon Stevens, the name was chosen to honor her. A New England-style structure was built in 1843 but by the 1890s the congregation had outgrown it. The cornerstone was laid in 1895 and this Gothic chapel, sided in Georgia granite, was completed in 1899.
Cobbham Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Known as the Georgia Guidestones and standing nearly 20 feet high, the six granite slabs situated beside a field nine miles north of Elberton have become a curious tourist attraction since their erection in 1980. Because of the anonymous origin and patronage of the guidestones, controversy has always surrounded them. In their April 2009 issue, Wired dubbed them the “American Stonehenge” and published a great essay on their history and the ensuing conspiracy theories. They noted that they may be the most enigmatic monument in America…inscribed with directions for rebuilding civilization after the apocalypse.
Four slabs radiate from a central slab with a capstone atop the array which, when viewed from above give the appearance of a star. Ten guidelines are inscribed on the guidestones in eight modern languages (English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Russian) with a shorter message inscribed on top in four ancient languages (Babylonian Cuneiform, Classic Greek, Sanskrit, Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs) . The ten guidelines, translated, are: 1) Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature. 2) Guide reproduction wisely-improving diversity and fitness. 3) Unite humanity with a living new language. 4) Rule passion-faith-tradition-and all things with tempered reason. 5) Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts. 6) Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court. 7) Avoid petty laws and useless officials. 8) Balance personal rights with social duties. 9) Prize truth-beauty-love-seeking harmony with the infinite. 10) Be not a cancer on the earth- Leave room for nature- Leave room for nature.
An explanatory tablet, a few feet away from the Guidestones, notes the date of dedication (22 March 1980), identifies the languages used and the astronomical coordinates of the site, and reads: Let these be guidestones to an Age of Reason.