Tag Archives: Georgia Vernacular Architecture

Double-Pen House, Talbot County

Like all examples of utilitarian architecture, the double-pen house can be found in varying forms, but it’s essentially a two-room house separated by a central wall with a door opening between the two rooms. This example has a shed room at the rear, which is a very common expansion. The form, once somewhat common, has become quite rare today.

Moore Commissary, Circa 1906, Junction City

I believe this to be Charlie Moore’s commissary, which served employees in his milling and coffin building operations. William H. Davidson notes two stores in Junction City in his history of Talbot County.

J. Leonard Morgan’s general store wasn’t open until 1929, and this construction looks earlier than 1929 to me. I think this is what he identified as Marvin J. Hester’s general store, “located in Charlie Moore’s old commissary building“.

That would likely place this structure’s date of construction to circa 1906. It was a condition of Moore’s purchase of the Perkins properties [present day Junction City vicinity] that all structures of that enterprise be removed by 1 September 1906, so Moore likely built this commissary when he established the town.

Square Silos, Pike County

Square silos are fairly uncommon nationwide but especially in the Deep South. They’re usually associated with the Upper Great Plains and Canadian Prairie Provinces; they’re often called grain elevators when built in this fashion. These photographs were made in 2016, so I hope these are still standing. If so, they’re rare resources and I’m glad to share them.

Union School, Pike County

This one-room schoolhouse is located adjacent to Jones Grocery, between Lifsey Springs and Molena. It appears to date to the late-19th/early-20th century and had seven grades. Professor William Henry Reeves and Bessie Carter were the teachers for the 1922-1923 school year. It has been well-maintained and is a great example of a rural schoolhouse.

Jack Pilkenton Turkey Farm, Molena

When I think of poultry, I usually think of Northeast Georgia, but this building near the historic West Georgia town of Molena, branded “Jack Pilkenton Turkey Farm”, sent me down a research rabbit hole. I didn’t find any rabbits but instead found millions of turkeys! Mr. Pilkenton raised turkeys on this land, adjacent to the Whiskey Bonding Barn, which he bought and incorporated into the operation in 1951.

Though the town’s website doesn’t mention it today, Molena for a time considered itself the “Turkey Capital of Georgia”. There was even a turkey queen to help promote this fact. It may not have been officially designated by the powers that be, but it was source of local pride and it employed a lot of people.

Louis Lester McCrary, Sr., who began raising the birds on a small scale in 1932, was one of the first to see their business potential, and his family was one of the last to be involved in the business, which was gone from Molena by the 1980s. An article in the 23 July 1970 edition of the Atlanta Constitution noted that the McCrarys were raising as many as half a million birds per year. At least eight families were involved in the industry at some time or another between the 1930s and the 1980s.

Saddlebag House, Pike County

Even being strangled by Kudzu, this saddlebag is easily identified by its profile. Kudzu makes for interesting photographs in its never-ending battle with structures, but it’s a problematic invasive plant and has cost farmers and landowners millions of dollars since its introduction to the South in the late 19th century.

Saddlebag Tenant Farmhouse, Washington County

This is a nice example of the saddlebag form, with a slightly taller chimney than most I’ve documented. It also features board-and-batten siding, another common feature of many utilitarian dwellings.

Single-Pen Tenant Farmhouse, Washington County

This tenant house was probably one of several on what was once a larger farm, later converted to a pine plantation. The photo dates to 2011 but the house was still standing about a year ago. Housing like this was very common in rural counties, well into the 20th century.

General Store, Hancock County

I believe this was a neighborhood store, out in the country, and if memory serves me correctly it’s located between Devereux and Milledgeville.