The historic Carnegie Library served as Albany’s main library from 1906-1966. The fine Neoclassical structure, located adjacent to the Municipal Auditorium, has been home to the Albany Area Arts Council since 1992.
As Albany grew, cultural events became more prominent in the community. These pursuits were led by Dr. N. A. Duncan, a native of Syracuse, New York, who purchased a plantation near Albany in 1888. Dr. Duncan formed the Albany Chautauqua Society and his work in promoting the movement culminated in the construction of the Municipal Auditorium in 1915. Atlanta architect A. Ten Eyck Brown created a radically progressive design for the structure. With its large blank walls punctuated by smaller windows, the space was very unusual and “modern” for its time.
The auditorium was abandoned in 1972. After much-needed renovations, it reopened in 1990, with native son Ray Charles headlining the event.
In 1890, Dr. Henry Dawson Allen, Sr., bought the old Oglethorpe University property in the Midway community and in 1891 opened a private hospital for chronic incurable cases, likely as an alternative to the less personal care offered at the nearby State Lunatic Asylum.
Allen’s Invalid Home for the Treatment of Nervous Diseases was among the first private psychiatric institutions in the Southeastern United States. Dr. Allen was very progressive and bought up as much of the surrounding land, on which were grown a great variety of vegetables and stock for the use of the institution. Patients weren’t required to work but could if they chose to. Dr. Allen’s sons, Dr. H. D. Allen, Jr., and Dr. Edwin Whitaker Allen, Sr., eventually practiced alongside their father.
Abandoned Interiors of Allen’s Invalid Home
Please note that this is private property. I had permission to photograph. If you wish to photograph you may wish to make a donation to the Maranatha Mission, which oversees the property.
While photographing in Camden County with Cynthia Jennings yesterday, I met Mr. Marshall Glover. Mr. Glover is leading the work of restoring the historic Kinlaw Rosenwald School, which was built in 1921. The formal education of African-American children in Kinlaw began in a one-room schoolhouse built on the site in 1896.
The African-American community of Kinlaw was very progressive and embraced better education for its children. Upon learning of the existence of the Rosenwald grants from Matilda Harris, Camden County’s supervisor of black schools, the people of Kinlaw began exploring the possibility of replacing their schoolhouse with a better facility. They raised $909 and with matching contributions and grants began construction on this structure in 1920, with the first classes beginning in 1921. The school offered instruction for children from first to seventh grade and was one of three Rosenwald facilities in the county. Kinlaw is the only one that survives today.
Mr. Glover told me that his father and grandfather both attended the school and that he was glad to be doing the restoration as a way of honoring them. He noted that he has been working for over a year and spent much of that time caulking the tongue-and-groove paneling. He pointed out that the excellent material and construction of the school has been evident during the restoration, with much of the work being cosmetic. He stated that there were some parts of the floor that were compromised due to leaks in the old roof, but they are getting to that work now. With a team of volunteers, he has done an excellent job.
Please consider a contribution to continue this important work. Secure donations can be made here.
The only reference I can locate regarding this structure is from the old Friendship Baptist Church minute book. It was noted on 23 January 1864 that the schoolhouse and adjacent five acres were purchased by the congregation for $500. Considering the church was built in 1857, it is possible that the schoolhouse predates it. The portico is obviously a later addition.
I first identified this historic structure, south of Mauk, as a schoolhouse, largely due to the fact that it still has traces of red paint. But George Woodall, who grew up in Mauk, relates that it was Liberty Methodist Church. It’s definitely endangered and will likely not survive much longer without intervention.