Tag Archives: Georgia People

Bulloch House, 1893, Warm Springs

Benjamin Bulloch House. The photos shared here were made in March 2010.

The first Bullochs came to the area of present-day Greenville, Georgia, from Edgecombe County, North Carolina, in the early 1800s and Cyprian Bulloch remained in the area and was a successful businessman . [This branch of Bullochs were not related to Archibald Bulloch, the first governor of Georgia].

The town of Bullochville was established by Cyprian’s sons, Cyprian Jr. and Benjamin Franklin. It was incorporated on December 20, 1893. Benjamin built this home on a prominent hill overlooking the town. He and Cyprian were large landowners and their other interests included a mill, gin, bank, and coffin factory. It is often stated that the town was renamed Warm Springs by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1920s, but my friend Joe Kitchens notes: My distant cousin Dr. Nepali Kitchens left a lucrative practice in Columbus and retired to Bullochville where he was elected mayor. His training was in hydrotherapy and he claimed to have been the influence behind changing the name of the village, which preceded FDR’s first visit.

Fast forward to 1990: Judy Foster and Charles & Sylvia Garrett purchased and renovated the Bulloch House and converted into a popular restaurant serving Southern favorites, done right.

As someone who never likes fried green tomatoes, I can attest that I actually loved theirs! And of course, they excelled in fried chicken.

Peter and Sandy Lampert purchased the business in 2011.

Sadly, the Bulloch House was struck by lightning and completely lost to an ensuing fire on 10 June 2015. Luckily, for fans of the restaurant, the Lamperts relocated to an historic commercial space in downtown Warm Springs and were up and running by December 2015.

The history shared here comes from their website. If you plan on visiting Warm Springs, you just have to try it. I think you’ll like it.

Watching the Stories at Maebob’s, Irwinton

When I stopped at Maebob’s Diner in 2017 [the date of this photograph], it was the first time I’d eaten there since my college days, and the food was just as good as it was in the early 1990s. I’m not sure how long the place has been open, but I’m saying it’s at least 30 years. There is nothing pretentious about the place and nothing fancy, but the homestyle Southern food does all the talking. It’s really the only gathering place in tiny Irwinton and much of Wilkinson County passes through here at one time or another. The day I was there, a soap opera was playing on the television, and one of the servers and a couple of the customers were paying attention when they could. It made me think of my grandmothers referring to soap operas as “the stories”. They watched them religiously and you knew not to call them while they were on, which, depending on the shows they watched, was anytime between 12:30 and 4PM.

Hunting on St. Simons, 1925

In the early 20th century, St. Simons Island was a popular destination for hunters from all over the country. Much like Sapelo Island today, it was scarcely developed and was home to numerous Geechee-Gullah people. The island was still a wild place in the winter of 1925 when this series of real photo postcards documenting a hunting trip were made. The first image shows a local African-American guide navigating a skiff through one of the numerous tidal creeks that characterize the island landscape. I don’t recognize the location, but the boat docked at the far right of the image may have the name “Frederica”.

I’m surprised that hunters were interested in raccoons, but the sender of these cards, Mr. Walter Friedlander of Roselle, New Jersey, made special mention of their abundance when writing home to his wife.

This is one of the thousands of Raccoons on this island. May be millions…”

I was unable to reproduce the other cards in this series, but a buck and several hogs were among the other game taken on the trip.

Baiting a Crab Trap, St. Simons Island

This gentleman [known on the island as The Original Crabman] was getting his crab trap ready when I was walking out to the end of the pier to photograph the progress on the Golden Ray cleanup effort. As is typical, he was using a chicken neck and fish head as bait. After dropping his trap in the water off the pier for just a few minutes, he brought it back up with several crabs.

Merchants & Farmers Bank, 1905, Sparks

Jim Cottingham shared this historic photograph of three gentlemen outside the Merchants & Farmers Bank circa 1905. His grandfather, W. T. Cottingham, is pictured at left.

Champion for Christ, Charlton County

In 2013, when I was documenting all the Crawfordite churches in Southeast Georgia, I happened upon a little church and cemetery on my way to Sardis. The church I stopped at, Bethel Methodist, was historic in its own right. It’s a white congregation, but there is a small African-American cemetery adjacent to it. It was there that I met this gentleman, who drove up in a new Cadillac. He was an old-timer, he said, and if I recall was about 80. He shared a bit of the history of why the African-American cemetery was located beside the white church, but unfortunately, I lost that information. He didn’t mind his photograph being made and when asked his name, for documentary purposes, he said to just call him ‘Champion for Christ’, no names otherwise.

Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters at Fort Frederica

I recently had the pleasure of revisiting and photographing the wonderful Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters at the 2020 African-American Festival at Fort Frederica National Monument. Visit this link to learn more about the history of the ring shout and the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters. As I’ve told nearly everyone who will listen, the Shouters are a real treasure and I encourage all to attend one of their performances if they have the opportunity. I’m presenting these photographs as a gallery, without captions, as I think the photographs speak for themselves.

Artist Annie Greene Visits Darien

At 88 years young Annie Lucille Greene doesn’t seem to be caught up in the past, yet her work draws heavily from memory. Mrs. Greene, who grew up in Hinesville in the 1940s, tells her life story through yarn art, a process which first involves drawing images on a surface, then gluing different pieces of colored yarn to create a seamless mosaic. There’s a strong similarity to the Impressionist style known as Pointillism. Mrs. Greene actually refers to it as yarn “painting” and upon seeing the work in person, one completely understands. Presently, she is exhibiting What Color is Water: Tales and Art About a Segregated South as the featured event of the Black History Art and Humanities Program at the McIntosh Art Association in Darien. I’m honored to have met and photographed this amazing lady.

Detail of Babysitting, a recollection of Annie’s first job, in Hinesville © Annie Lucille Greene

Annie’s parents, Henry William and Ella Mae Tarver, were both pioneering black educators. They encouraged her doodling and drawing from an early age and they supported her creative efforts by buying art supplies. When Annie was 12, the family moved to Hogansville to work in the black school there.

Detail of 93 Boyd Road, the Tarver’s home in Hogansville. © Annie Lucille Greene

Summers were spent visiting her maternal grandparents on their farm near Adel. Mrs. Greene told me she didn’t like the farm work, but she loved the food. “The food was really good,” she recalled.

Detail of Granddaddy and Grandmama’s Farm, near Adel © Annie Lucille Greene
Detail of Once Upon a Time Women Washed Clothes in Tin Tubs…© Annie Lucille Greene

Annie spent her first year in college at Spelman but wasn’t happy there. She transferred to Albany State and loved it, Upon graduating in 1954 she was offered a job teaching in LaGrange. It was there that she married Oliver Nathaniel Greene, a Social Studies teacher. They had two children, and while Nathaniel was in New York, completing his Masters in Education at Columbia University, Annie stayed home and took a break from teaching. Dean Robert Simmons encouraged her to go to New York University and she graduated from there in 1956. She received her Masters Degree in Art Education in 1961 and went on to have a long and successful career in the Troup County school system.

Detail of Civil Rights Marches © Annie Lucille Greene
Detail of Civil Rights Marches © Annie Lucille Greene

Her third and latest book, which is available at the McIntosh Art Association, presents a blend of her work, from early memories to the Civil Rights activism of the 1960s. The images are much better seen in person and I encourage anyone in the Darien area to visit the exhibit. Details can be found here.

The opening reception at the McIntosh Art Association was very well attended and I think everyone enjoyed meeting Mrs. Greene and her husband.

She has exhibited and toured her fine work all over the Southeast but doesn’t keep as busy a schedule as she once did. As a result, you might want to visit this one as soon as you can.

Annie Lucille Greene

Nathan Bridges in His Store, Alapaha, 1930s

Photograph Courtesy of Mark Dixon

Nathan Bridges was born into slavery in 1857 and even recalled working inside the home of his owner as a small boy. Also against convention, he learned to read and write. He settled in Alapaha around 1880. He was a subcontractor who hauled sawdust from the area mills. He bought town lots during this time and eventually had significant real estate holdings for an African-American of his time. Around 1900 he opened an ice house near the Ocilla Southern depot in Alapaha. He first made deliveries with a wheelbarrow and eventually a mule and wagon. He expanded to groceries as his business grew. A niece recalled that they always went to Nathan’s store because the candy was cheaper than anywhere else in town. Bridges was a respected citizen of Alapaha and served on the Board of Trustees that created the Alapaha Colored School, along with his step-grandson, Brute Shipman. Nathan Bridges died in 1940 and his business was continued by Brute Shipman.

Thanks to Mark Dixon for sharing the photograph and the history. He notes: In the 1980’s, I would visit an older black man named Neil Shipman. Neil’s grandfather was Neil Graham Shipman, who came to Alapaha in 1884 from North Carolina to work in the gum production industry. He married the stepdaughter of Nathan Bridges. Most of my info on this family came from Neil. He died around 1989.

Dedication of Morris Abram Mural, Fitzgerald

I was honored to be at the ceremony dedicating a mural to one of Fitzgerald’s most accomplished native sons, Morris Berthold Abram (19 June 1918-16 March 2000). Mr. Abram was an attorney and tireless civil rights advocate who notably argued the case before the Supreme Court that ended the county unit system in Georgia that gave rural votes equal value with urban votes. The system was a juggernaut which allowed discrimination at the voting booth and gave undue power to local political bosses. The decision essentially ended voter segregation by upholding the principle of “one man, one vote”. I remember very well that many people in my hometown didn’t have a great opinion of Abram for his “meddling” in local affairs, but as a teenager I read his autobiography, The Day is Short, and developed a great respect for the man. Among Abram’s numerous accomplishments: He was appointed first general counsel to the Peace Corps by President Kennedy and served on various commissions under four more presidents; president of the American Jewish Committee; president of Brandeis University; chairman of the United Negro College Fund. My friend Richard Owens fondly recalled: Morris was George H. W. Bush’s ambassador in Geneva when I started my UN job there in 1991. It was phenomenal to have a Ben Hill-Irwin connection to a man of such stature and courage. His dinner table was famous for encouraging often-spirited debates among people from very different backgrounds and perspectives.

Penson Kaminsky, a lifelong friend of my family and scion of  one of Fitzgerald’s oldest Jewish family’s, gave the invocation.

The dedication was done in conjunction with Georgia Cities Week and I must say that I was very proud of my hometown for the great job they did honoring Mr. Abram.

Fitzgerald mayor Jim Puckett presented a proclamation to Ruth Abram, daughter of Morris Abram, who was in Fitzgerald with her son, Noah Abram Teitelbaum. Ruth has been an advocate for numerous good causes and is quite accomplished in her own right. She conceived and directed the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, one of New York City’s most visited museums, and has been a tireless advocate for women’s history and scholarship. She’s also the author of Send Us a Lady Physician: Women Doctors in America 1835-1920. She recalled  her father’s time in Fitzgerald, and the challenges of a poor immigrant Jewish family in early-20th-century South Georgia. It was quite moving, with Noah giving voice to his grandfather’s words.

Noah Abram Teitelbaum and Ruth Abram unveiling the plaque detailing Morris Abram’s work and accomplishments.

I had a great time talking to mural artist Dylan Ross, whose work you may already know. Dylan has quickly become one of Georgia’s most sought after muralists.

Clark Stancil, of the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, designed the mural using archival images.