Tag Archives: Georgia Vernacular Architecture

Joy Temple, 1910, Fitzgerald

I believe this was one of Fitzgerald’s earliest African-American churches, but I haven’t been able to locate the name of the original congregation. The structure has been altered since I made this photograph in 2010, but it remains one of the city’s most architecturally significant vernacular churches. The steeple is unusual.


Walter F. George Law Office, 1890s, Vienna

Originally located on West Cotton Street, this structure dates to the late 19th century. It was first used as a laundry, then from 1906-1922, it was Walter F. George‘s law office. From 1922-1976, it was home to several different businesses.

It has been moved a couple of times but retains its defining characteristics.

Vienna Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

New South Cottage, Hawkinsville

This transitional house type was popular between circa 1890-1920. This example likely dates to circa 1910.

Unidentified Store, Bryan County

Here’s one more item from my archives, circa 2016. Obviously, this place is going back to the elements. My guess is that it was a store of some sort, perhaps a beer joint, barber shop, or even an office. If memory serves me correctly, it was just a couple of miles west of Pembroke on US 280.

Vernacular Craftsman Cottage, Allenhurst

This house is a shotgun form with added Craftsman details.

Hip-Roof Cottage, Walthourville

The Neoclassical details on the porch and transom and sidelights add architectural interest to this otherwise simple house. It’s located near the historic Johnson Lodge.

Single-Pen Cottage, Freedmen’s Grove

This utilitarian cottage is a landmark of the Freedmen’s Grove community. The original form appears to have been single-pen, or perhaps chattel-style, with later expansions.

Winged-Gable Cottage, Liberty County

I made this photo in 2011 and the house has been a landmark in my travels in Liberty County for years. I’m not sure it’s still standing.

Seabrook Village, Liberty County

Old Seabrook School, Circa 1905

Seabrook Village is a restored African-American community, depicting life among freedmen and their descendants from 1865-1930, and is one of the most unique living history museums in Georgia. [Unfortunately, hours are inconsistent and it’s not always accessible]. The pending loss of the little one-room schoolhouse pictured above is what drove the community to come together to preserve their historic resources. While it may seem abandoned and in a state of disrepair, it’s actually an authentic look into the challenges most Black Georgians faced on a daily basis from Reconstruction to the Jim Crow Era. The Seabrook community was established through land grants dictated in General William T. Sherman‘s Field Order No. 15 in 1865. This was the policy which became known as “Forty Acres and a Mule” and it afforded many former slaves the opportunity to settle land they had once worked as laborers.

The offices of the Seabrook Village Foundation are located at the adjacent Eddie Bowens Farm house.

Delegal-Williams House, Circa 1880

Meredith Belford writes of this house: [it] was moved from Trade Hill Road and fully restored at Seabrook Village in 1994. It was the home of Georgia Ann Delegal who was the child of freed slaves. Despite having limited education, her parents became very successful after their emancipation and amassed several hundred acres of land in the Seabrook and Trade Hill communities. They donated land for the original site of the Seabrook School and the present site of the Sunbury Missionary Baptist Church when it was moved from Sunbury to Seabrook in 1917. The house reflects their elevated status within the community.

Gibbons-Woodard House, Circa 1891

This house was built by Pompey and Josephine Gould and was originally located near Dorchester Station. It was donated by Lula Gibbons and moved and restored in 1994.


This is a typical “one-seater”, built with scrap materials that were on hand.

Sam Ripley’s Corn Crib, Circa 1930s

According to the Seabrook Village Foundation, this corn crib was restored using original methods and tools. It was originally located at the Sam Ripley Farm.

Bethel Methodist Church, 1872, Charlton County

This little gem was originally known as Alligator Creek Church but the name was changed to Bethel at some point in its history. The old Alligator Creek Church was built of logs and was replaced with this structure in 1872. Due to the presence of an African-American cemetery adjoining the white cemetery, it’s possible that Alligator Creek was a large congregation where enslaved people were members. It’s also known that the church served the community as a schoolhouse in earlier days.