Tag Archives: Georgia Landmarks

Farmers & Merchants Bank, Circa 1907, Junction City

This structure, which now serves as the city hall for Junction City, was built circa 1907 as the Farmers & Merchants Bank. It is a brick structure which at some point was sided with stucco. Junction City was incorporated in 1906.

Commercial Block, Gay

Signs on the window of this two-story turn-of-the-century commercial block suggest this was once the home of Sloane’s Haberdashery but Alice Walker notes: I live in Gay and this building has been empty for a long time. It’s now used as a movie location; Sloane’s Haberdashery was a set from the film Lawless. Most recently, it served as Bryant’s Grocery in the movie Till.

Enon Primitive Baptist Church, 1952, Gay

This congregation dates to the 1830 and the present church building, dedicated in 1952, is quite formal in contrast to many of the Primitive Baptist meeting houses. I’m most accustomed to their truly primitive architecture in South Georgia, and while I’ve seen other formal examples, this Colonial Revival version is one of the nicest. Like many Primitive Baptist churches, the architecture is asymmetrical.

Jan Winter writes: From the history brochure I have, it states that Enon Primitive Baptist Church was constituted June 19, 1830 with the original name being Bethlehem. The name was changed to Enon in July 1831. The original Meeting House was at Jones Mill. On November 22, 1834 the church appointed a building committee to build a new meeting house there. My Great Grandfather, Baker Mann, was on the building committee. After over fifty years at Jones Mill, in 1882 the building was sold, property purchased in Gay, and a new meeting house was built on the present site. My Great Great Grandfather, Maltire Thrash was on this building committee. No photos exist; however it was described as a barnlike structure with only wooden shutters to keep out rain and wind. The congregation sat on long wooden benches which had only one rail for a back rest. This building underwent very little change until it was replaced in 1951 by the new meeting house in the photograph above. From everything I’ve read in the brochure, it appears to me that Enon was an Old Line Primitive Baptist Church. There is much more in the brochure, but I will end here. One footnote – Elder Samuel H. Whatley, mentioned in another post by Matt Bell, was pastor at Enon from 1919 – 1923.

Square Silos, Pike County

Square silos are fairly uncommon nationwide but especially in the Deep South. They’re usually associated with the Upper Great Plains and Canadian Prairie Provinces; they’re often called grain elevators when built in this fashion. These photographs were made in 2016, so I hope these are still standing. If so, they’re rare resources and I’m glad to share them.

Lifsey Springs, Georgia

This general store was once a busy place, when the pool at Lifsey Spring, located across the highway, was a popular site. Like other warm mineral springs in Georgia, it is purported to have healing qualities for a host of maladies. And it just might. I’m not judging. Rev. R. W. Rogers noted in his 1922 History of Pike County: …There is quite a little village at Lifsey. Mr. W. E. Storey runs a mercantile and family grocery business. There are a number of cottages occupied during the hot months and the swimming pools are crowded with bathers. The old swimming pool survives, and the last I heard, was being rehabilitated itself.

This store is obviously of 20th century construction, but a post office named “Lifsey’s Store” operated in the area from 1878-1891. The name was simplified to “Lifsey” in 1891, and that post office was in operation from 1891-1907. It is technically still known as Lifsey today. The road through here is now known as Lifsey Springs Road, because Georgia seems to have a desire to make place names plural, for some reason.

Union School, Pike County

This one-room schoolhouse is located adjacent to Jones Grocery, between Lifsey Springs and Molena. It appears to date to the late-19th/early-20th century and had seven grades. Professor William Henry Reeves and Bessie Carter were the teachers for the 1922-1923 school year. It has been well-maintained and is a great example of a rural schoolhouse.

Jack Pilkenton Turkey Farm, Molena

When I think of poultry, I usually think of Northeast Georgia, but this building near the historic West Georgia town of Molena, branded “Jack Pilkenton Turkey Farm”, sent me down a research rabbit hole. I didn’t find any rabbits but instead found millions of turkeys! Mr. Pilkenton raised turkeys on this land, adjacent to the Whiskey Bonding Barn, which he bought and incorporated into the operation in 1951.

Though the town’s website doesn’t mention it today, Molena for a time considered itself the “Turkey Capital of Georgia”. There was even a turkey queen to help promote this fact. It may not have been officially designated by the powers that be, but it was source of local pride and it employed a lot of people.

Louis Lester McCrary, Sr., who began raising the birds on a small scale in 1932, was one of the first to see their business potential, and his family was one of the last to be involved in the business, which was gone from Molena by the 1980s. An article in the 23 July 1970 edition of the Atlanta Constitution noted that the McCrarys were raising as many as half a million birds per year. At least eight families were involved in the industry at some time or another between the 1930s and the 1980s.

Saddlebag Tenant Farmhouse, Washington County

This is a nice example of the saddlebag form, with a slightly taller chimney than most I’ve documented. It also features board-and-batten siding, another common feature of many utilitarian dwellings.

Single-Pen Tenant Farmhouse, Washington County

This tenant house was probably one of several on what was once a larger farm, later converted to a pine plantation. The photo dates to 2011 but the house was still standing about a year ago. Housing like this was very common in rural counties, well into the 20th century.

Bennie Horton’s Barber Shop, Tennille

As I continue to edit many of my older posts on Vanishing Georgia, I keep finding surprises in my archive. This was a window shot of a barber shop in Tennille, one of my favorite towns to photograph once I learned I didn’t have to wait for the train all day. This was made in 2010 so I’m not sure the barber shop is still there but I’m sure it’s a well-remembered local landmark.

Sue Burnham writes: Mr Bennie cut my boy’s hair for years. He was even known to walk up the block to our house to get them. He would say he knew those boys needed a haircut. You sure can’t find them like that nowadays. L. Vick remembers: Mr. Bennie Horton cut my hair in that shop for years. It was a one-of-a-kind place that I never left without a smile on my face.