Category Archives: Irwinville GA

“The Farm Was Our Own: Memories of the Irwinville Farms Project” – A Short Film by Erin O’Quinn

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/90821868″>The Farm Was Our Own: Memories of the Irwinville Farms Project</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user26571688″>Erin O'Quinn</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

This is a wonderful tribute to the Irwinville Farms Project! Erin O’Quinn expertly blends archival photographs with the anthem of the Great Depression, Happy Days are Here Again, to set the context and has a great interview with Irwinville Farms resident Edward McIntyre. If you’re not familiar with Vanishing Media’s Irwinville Farms website, visit this link:

http://irwinvillega.wordpress.com/

or Like us on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/irwinvillefarms

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Warren Farmhouse, Jackson Road

Irwinville GA Abandoned Farmhouse Collapsed Front Porch Southern Gothic Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

To see this Irwinville Farmhouse as it looked a little over five years ago, when the porch roof was still intact:

http://vanishingsouthgeorgia.com/2008/10/20/farmhouse-jackson-road/

Irwinville GA Abandoned Farmhouse Southern Gothic Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Thanks to Kevin Warren for the identification. This was the home of Lawson & Irma Warren.

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Irwinville Farms House

Irwinville Farms House Irwinville GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Like most of the surviving Irwinville Farms houses, this one has been expanded and modified, but it’s still a great example.

http://irwinvillega.wordpress.com/

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Morehead’s Country Store, Irwinville

Irwinville GA Morehead's Country Store Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Johnny Morehead and family run a great country store and restaurant in Irwinville. Stop by for lunch if you’re ever in the area. There’s some nice Irwinville memorabilia in the store, too. Also, Johnny is one of the largest pecan brokers in the area, so if that’s something that interests you, inquire within. And tell them we sent you!

Morehead's Country Store Irwinville GA Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

You can like them on Facebook at the link below. It’s rarely updated, but has directions and contact information.

https://www.facebook.com/MoreheadsCountryStore

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Farmhouse, Irwinville

Abandoned Vernacular Farmhouse Architecture Screened In Front Porch Addition Siding Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

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Irwinville Farms Health Clinic Building, Circa 1938

Irwinville Farms GA Irwin County Health Clinic Building Now a Private Residence FSA RA Great Depression Architecture Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

The image below, made by John Vachon in 1938, shows Irwinville Farms clients at this building.

Irwinville Farms GA Great Depression Resettlement Farm Security Administration Photograph by John Vachon Courtesy Library of Congress Brian Brown Vanishing Media USA 2013

For more images like this, please visit this link:

http://irwinvillega.wordpress.com/

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Pioneer Farmhouse, Wisteria Road

Abandoned Farmhouse Collapsing Porch Irwinville GA Irwin County Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Abandoned Farmhouse Irwinville GA Irwin County Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Abandoned Farmhouse Collapsing Porch Fallen Trees Irwinville GA Irwin County Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

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Irwinville Farms: The Making of a Community by Joy Wilson McDaniel

Perhaps you follow my Irwinville Farms blog, but most likely, unless you’re from that part of South Georgia, you know very little about it. It was one of numerous resettlement communities overseen during the Great Depression by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the Resettlement Administration (RA). As today, there was much debate over the role of the government in dispensing what many considered welfare, but the FSA and RA were much more than that. They brought modern agricultural practices and equipment where there had been none, and they brought vaccines and health awareness in much the same way. In the process, they fostered a strong value system and sense of community that remains among descendants and survivors of the project.

Irwinville Farms: The Making of a Community is one of the best local histories I’ve seen in a long time, and not just because I’ve always been fascinated with the area, but because it goes beyond local folklore and hearsay to provide detailed statistics about all the farm families involved with the projects. Joy and  her son Gary McDaniel went to the Library of Congress while she was compiling the primary documentation for the book and sifted through and photographed three boxes full of original material related to Irwinville Farms.

The book also tells the story of the Jefferson Davis Historic Site, another project of the federal government during the Great Depression, and of the legendary Irwinville Farmers basketball team of the 1940s. Photos from the Library of Congress, as well as other rarely seen images, are well distributed throughout the book. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the history of Irwin County, agriculture, or the Great Depression. It is very well done and quite enjoyble.

Irwinville Farms: The Making of  a Community is currently available for $30 plus $5 for shipping. To make a purchase, contact Joy at 770-345-2562 or by e-mail at joy_mcdaniel@comcast.net.

Son of sharecropper who will be resettled on the Irwinville Farms Project, Georgia.

Photo by Arthur Rothstein, August 1935 – Courtesy Library of Congress

This is Joy Wilson McDaniel’s brother, Bill Wilson.

irwinvillega.wordpress.com

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Masonic Lodge, 1885, Irwinville

From: Willie Mae Smith, The Ocilla Star, 23 August 1973

“History tells us that the first and oldest Masonic Lodge in original Irwin County was Irwin Lodge #212, which was granted a dispensation in 1856 and later was granted a charter…this old lodge barely had time to get a good start before the South was faced with what turned out to be almost total devastation…

During and after the Civil War the nearest lodge to Irwinville was the Western Light lodge in Abbeville, which originated from the old Irwinville lodge. Sometime in the 1880s, David Hogan donated an acre of land in Irwinville for the purpose of erecting a Masonic lodge…the new lodge was constituted as Lodge #315, with these members coming from Western Light in Abbeville: Reverend O. D. Mulkey, Z. T. Player, John J. Luke and Lemuel Taylor. The lodge was constituted by John A. Tomberlin on November 28th, 1885…Charter members were: William M. Gibbs, Worshipful Master; Jonathan Smith, Senior Warden; John J. Luke, Junior Warden; John Walker, Senior Deacon; Cornelius Clements, Junior Deacon; David M. Hogan, Treasurer; R. W. Clements, Secretary; and C. A. Johnson, Tyler. Other brethren included: W. J. Clements, Lemuel Taylor, Z. T. Player, and Reverend O. D. Mulkey…

In 1885, Irwin County was not too thickly settled. Plantations were many miles apart and the members of the Masonic Lodge had to travel a good many miles on horseback or by a buggy to come to their meeting. These men were working and making a living for their families and disliked the idea of leaving them alone at night. After due consideration, they decided to hold their monthly meeting each third Saturday morning at 10 o’clock, thus making this a daylight lodge, which it remains today, the only daylight lodge left in the state of Georgia…”

Judging from meeting schedules, I don’t believe this is still a “daylight lodge”, but apparently, when Willie Mae Smith wrote this article in 1973, it was.

For another view:

http://vanishingsouthgeorgia.com/2009/10/26/masonic-lodge-irwinville/

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Irwinville Farms House, Thomas Road

For more about Irwinville Farms, visit:

http://irwinvillega.wordpress.com/

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