Georgia’s southernmost town, St. George, is located within the “Georgia Bend” of the St. Marys River. This historic postcard, mailed from St. George, illustrates a picnic held along the river in February 1909. I have no idea what occasion warranted such a photograph. It must have been a really mild winter, though, as a few of the boys are standing in the river.
These photographs are from a postcard dating to the late 1980s and show Crystal Lake at the height of its popularity.
Cutoff denim shorts were a common sight on the beach at the time.
The lake was always popular, but when features like the Slippery Dip waterslide (below) were added, the park took on a new dimension of popularity.
This postcard came into my possession through the estate of a cousin, who was a great niece of Tom Darby. Largely forgotten today, Thomas P. (Tom) Darby [1892-1971] and James J. (Jimmie) Tarlton [1892-1979] were considered not only legendary bluesmen but pioneers of country music as well. They’ve been called the first country musicians to employ the steel guitar. Their most famous work, “Columbus Stockade Blues”, has been covered by artists ranging from Doc Watson and Willie Nelson to Bill Monroe, Jimmie Davis, and Bob Dylan. When they made the recording for Columbia in Atlanta in November 1927 Tom Darby pressed for a flat payment of $150 but Jimmie Tarlton wanted royalties. The song took off and sold over 200,000 copies in a short time and though the duo recorded 63 more songs dating to 1933, hostilities over lost royalties finally drove them apart. They reunited in 1965 for a symphony appearance in Columbus but no further collaborative recordings were made. Tarlton, always considered the standout of the duo, did make solo recordings in the 1960s. Search Amazon for compilations, which are available and provide valuable insight into the birth of American popular music.
These real photo postcards, made by an itinerant traveling photographer, provide a nice portrait of South Georgia schoolchildren in the early 20th century. They were acquired through the estate of a cousin, whose husband is identified in a couple of the cards. These are important social documents as they bear witness to the early days of the concept of government-funded public schools. They were still a relatively new concept in America, especially in the rural South at this time.
I’m not sure why there are two different views of the second grade class; perhaps they were made in different seasons. Somewhat odd to me is that the teacher is only pictured in one of the images (below).2B Grade-Cordele Public School, Unknown Photographer, Circa 1912
Love Avenue and Methodist Church, Circa 1907
I’ve been collecting antique postcards of South Georgia towns since I was in college, beginning in 1988. I recently inherited a large collection and like to share them from time to time. Most of these were not used, but they date from 1905-1915.
Class of Stump Pullers, Second Congressional District Agricultural School (Known as ABAC today)
Hotel Myon, Circa 1912
Through the Pines, Near Tifton
E. L. Vickers Residence
As it looks today.
This rare postcard from my collection is postmarked 1955 from Lyons. I don’t know that the photograph was local to that area; it may have been a stock image sold in different parts of the South, but it’s one of my favorites.
I love what our friend Jesse Bookhardt wrote: Thanks for posting this postcard of tobacco culture. I have a card in my small collection of South Georgia farmers planting tobacco by hand in 1948 at Santa Claus, Georgia. I remember the planting events well. The whole family participated and it usually lasted all day depending upon the amount of acreage to be planted. Prior to planting in April, farmers grew their own plants in long rectangular beds that they sewed in late February or March. A hand planter that could also plant peppers or tomatoes was used. Its operation required a planter, a plant dropper, and someone to keep water available when needed. That way of life has long passed but not the memories of this old South Georgia boy.
The structures seen above are still standing and largely unchanged in appearance, but it’s been many years since they served the purpose indicated here. The sign on the Cafe reads: Specializing in KC Steaks, Chops, Seafood, Frog Legs & Channel Catfish Dinners, while the back of the card notes the presence of a swimming pool, bowling, fishing, a mineral well 673 feet in depth and a Camellia & Azalea nursery.
Today, they’re used as a school for a nearby Christian community.