Tag Archives: Georgia Murals

Conner’s Food Store & Hardware, Pineview

 

Farmers Supply Company & Akin Lodge No. 537, 1910, Taylorsville

Typical of many commercial blocks built in late-19th- and early-20th-century Georgia, this structure served a dual purpose as a general store and Masonic lodge.

World’s First Coca-Cola Mural , 1894, Cartersville

In the early 20th century, Coca-Cola wall paintings, or murals, were ubiquitous in small towns all over America. But through research and authentication by the Coca-Cola Company, it has been determined that the very first such advertisement was created here in Cartersville, on the side of Young Brothers Pharmacy, in 1894. It was painted by syrup salesman James Couden.The Coca-Cola Company regularly refreshed the sign with new paint until the late 1970s, and in the 1980s, Dean Cox, who had purchased the pharmacy from one of the Young brothers’ daughters in 1970, became curious about the historical sign. In 1989, he hired Alison Free and Aggie Ferguson to restore it to its original condition. 25 layers of paint were removed to reveal the mural visible today. Coca-Cola fans and collectors from all over the world have been making pilgrimages to Cartersville to see it ever since.

Cartersville Downtown Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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.

Jackson General Store, Lowell

L. H. Jackson General Merchandise was likely the main store in the crossroads community of Lowell, which had a post office from 1878-1903. It is very typical of late-19th and early-20th-century stores in Georgia. The Coca-Cola mural, though faded significantly, is an amazing survivor.

Commercial Block, Hoboken

This is the only significant historic commercial structure still standing in Hoboken. The excellent Coca-Cola mural, added in recent years, notes that Georgia’s favorite soft drink has been “refreshing Hoboken since 1905”.

Lee Drug & Supply Company, Plainfield

During the heyday of Plainfield, the community was large enough to support a pharmacy and other businesses. The old Coca-Cola mural identifies this typical business block as home to the Lee Drug Company and the Lee Supply Company.

The supply company was located in the rear of the building and was in operation long after the pharmacy.

The commercial properties in town are now owned by Mr. H. Kingsley, a self-made entrepreneur who came to the U.S. from Sierra Leone 36 years ago. He hopes to be able to save the structures. I had a nice conversation with him while I was photographing the community.

 

Benson’s Bread Mural, Circa 1920, Winder

Demolition of several storefronts on Broad Street uncovered this historic mural around 2018. A ghost sign for Tanner Hardware is located above the mural, which reads: Benson’s Bread Is Good Bread. Benson’s Bakery was founded in nearby Athens in 1918 by Howard Benson, who quickly gained a reputation for excellent products and became the leading commercial baker in the area. He delivered to Winder and other communities outside Athens and his business grew rapidly. Restoration of the mural is a current project of the Barrow Preservation Society.

Broad Street Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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.

Washington Wholesale Grocer, 1905

Though it may have been associated with other businesses over the years, I’m guessing this is best remembered by the company whose name is on this ghost mural, Washington Wholesale Grocer.

Washington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places