Like most rural Southern towns, Dudley was an agricultural center and cotton was one of the most important crops. This old gin looks to have been abandoned for some time. Note the water tower in the background, with the cardinal logo. I believe this may have been the mascot for the local school’s sports teams.
Tag Archives: Georgia Tin Buildings
The following history of Patmos is from Jessica McDaniel, who covers everything Baker County in her extensive blog, Southwest Georgia in Photographs*. She has a family connection through her great aunt, who owned Tennille Grocery, the last store in the community. If you’re interested in this part of the state, please check it out. She’s shared common landmarks, natural features, and even some special places that aren’t publicly accessible.
Patmos was first settled by John Frizzell Griffin of Dobbs County, North Carolina, who came to Georgia after buying a land lot in Baker County. He soon married Mary Elizabeth Griffin and they built their home in what is now Patmos. In 1882 a church was built to serve a handful of families who had moved to the area. They named the church ‘Patmos’ after the Isle of Patmos from the Bible; the name stuck and the town was known by that name from that day forward. The Patmos school was built in 1870, but later moved to Milford to serve that town. Two more schools were built in Patmos to serve the area, they were Midway School and Vilulah School, both schools served the whites in town. Midway and Vilulah schools were combined and a new three-room school house was built in 1922, this school was eventually demolished to make way for the brick Patmos School, which opened in 1934 and closed in 1964. West Baker School, another white school, also closed at this time. White families were quick to establish a private school in order to keep a school in Patmos and used the former West Baker school as the location. Baker Academy was only open for about three years and then closed as families moved to Southwest Georgia Academy in nearby Damascus, Early County. The Patmos Free Will Baptist Church was established on July 30, 1882 by nine Free Will Baptist faithful in the town; it still thrives today. Patmos has always been a farming town, but at one time had four mills, a grarage, and three general stores. It’s is still a tiny, but thriving community, which still supports one store.
*- I don’t think Jessica has updated the blog in a long time, but thankfully she continues to make it available for all to enjoy. It’s an important resource for an area that isn’t otherwise well-represented online.
Historic Storefront No. 1, Patmos
This is the larger of two historic general stores still standing on Georgia Highway 216 in Patmos. Like its neighbor it has a shotgun style layout, with the wings likely added as the business grew.
Historic Storefront No. 2, Patmos
This is located adjacent to the previous store, and was probably a related business.
Commissary, Baker County
I believe this was part of a large working farm [there’s an old windmill across the road] and may have served as a commissary or general store.
Seed Barn, Donalsonville
I couldn’t find a name for this business, but they obviously bought, sold, and stored farm seed, in addition to growing and processing.
I presume this was a garage or utility barn of some kind.
Turner’s Store, Four Points
This general/grocery store once also had gasoline pumps out front and would have been an essential stop for farmers and others in this section of southern Jenkins County.
Dottie Leatherwood, who has been a friend of Vanishing Georgia for a long time, writes: My grandfather, R.L. “Boss” Turner, owned that little country store from the 20s until, I think the 60s. I have his ledger books from the 20s and 30s. So interesting. I think the original building burned and they rebuilt. My grandparents lived across from the Elam Baptist church… I have so many fond memories of Four Points and wandering all over the fields and woods as a child. – Betty Bennett ran the store during the 80s-90s. I’m not sure who ran it during the 70s but it was open because I remember going there as a child.
General Store, Cary
Fickling Mill, Taylor County
I’ve not been able to locate much information about Fickling Mill, but it’s definitely one of the best-loved landmarks in the area. The tin building (pictured above) was not part of the original mill, which had its origins in the 19th century. A two-story wooden structure was originally located to the right of the spillway on Patsiliga Creek but either burned or was torn down at some point in the history of the site.
It’s my understanding that the mill was established by Major William Hampton Fickling (1834-1907), Company C 59th Regiment Georgia Volunteer Infantry. Major Fickling was a Justice of the Peace and served Taylor County in the general assembly.