Category Archives: –TELFAIR COUNTY GA–
Tree of Life Symbol on Pinkie Fuller’s Headstone, Willcox Cemetery
The Willcox (also spelled Wilcox) family of Telfair County can trace their history as far back as the 18th century, with Major General Mark Lea Willcox (1799 – 1852) being perhaps the best known. Major General Willcox was heavily involved in local politics and was famed for his bravery in the Indian Wars, especially the Battle of Breakfast Branch (9 March 1818) in present-day Wilcox County (named for the Major General). I’ve always heard of this cemetery, and passed it many times traveling between Jacksonville and Lumber City, but I was surprised to find nary a Willcox or Wilcox in the entire place. Still, there were many early South Georgia pioneers buried here, so I thought I’d share.
Pinkie Fuller, Wife of William Fuller (1883? – 31 January 1944)
Located a few miles east of Jacksonville, the cemetery contains many names common in this region of South Georgia. Fullers, Mobleys are especially prolific even today.
Tommie Studstill (22 June 1881 – 18 April 1954)
I always enjoy finding occupational headstones, and had never seen one for a bus driver before.
Easter Mobley (21 July 1843 – 16 September 1923)
Named for Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge, I’ve not been able to locate an exact opening date, but I know it was operating as early as 1951. In an earlier post, Janice Green Scruggs recalled: “The Gene Theatre was “the” place for everything going on in McRae back in the late ’50 and early ’60′s. All the kids/teenagers had to make their weekend showing there no matter what was showing. You didn’t go for the movie, you went to be seen and socialize, to meet boys/girls and have something to do on Saturday…it was great times, wonderful memories.”
Jack Dominey noted that “The Gene was a segregated theater by custom if not formal enforcement all the way up until the late 1970s.” I was a only slightly surprised by this, but it’s an interesting historical note.
For a great vintage image:
I call these three houses triplets because they’re all essentially of the same design, certainly the work of the same builder. They’re located on Church Street, across from the Lumber City Methodist Church. Italianate is not a common style in this part of Georgia and to find three in a row is a treat indeed. They exhibit some elements of Greek Revival, and hence could also be referred to as Greek Revival Italianate. Quincy Webb notes that they were built by well-known steamboat captain John Day for his three daughters. He lived in a house by the railroad tracks, a block or so away from these.
This one retains its original appearance, except for the door, which is likely a replacement. And I believe all three originally had a tin roof.
This is the most modified of the three, with vinyl siding and the screened-in porch. Still, it was tastefully remodeled.
This is the most unmodified of the three, as evidenced in these views.
Though I’ve seen these houses many times, I was made more aware of their significance by my friend Terry Kearns, who photographed them and posted this entry on his wonderful blog, Architecture Tourist:
If you enjoy architecture as much as I do, find his blog on Facebook.
In 1982, Dr. Delma Presley, a professor at Georgia Southern organized Project R.A.F.T. as a way to honor the memories of the men who floated timber down the Ocmulgee and Altamaha Rivers in the early part of the 20th century. R.A.F.T. was an acronym for Restore Altamaha Folklife Traditions. The project was a huge success and was coordinated with folklife festivals along the river. Author Brainard Cheney, a native of Fitzgerald who had written several popular novels about life on the river was also active in the project and spoke at numerous locations along the route. I wrote to Dr. Presley about his book Okefinokee Album (still in print!)and his work with Project R.A.F.T. when I was still in high school and he sent me a video tape and souvenir program of the project, which was my first exposure to local documentary work. I finally got to meet Dr. Presley in 2011 at a presentation to the Long County Chamber of Commerce and he still has fond memories of this project, especially of the last raft pilot, the late Bill Deen. Dr. Presley himself is quite an accomplished scholar and was one of Georgia Southern’s most popular professors, combining his passion for literature with a passion to preserve and document the rapidly vanishing folk culture of Southeast Georgia. In fact, he’s been compiling research on the human history of the Altamaha River for over thirty years. He was also instrumental in establishing the Georgia Southern University Museum.
Text on Monument:
On April 3, 1982, Piloted by Captain Bill Deen, Age 90, the Last Raft of Georgia Pine Timber Began a Journey of 140 Miles Down the Ocmulgee and Altamaha Rivers to the Coastal City of Darien, Georgia. Smaller than the Great Rafts of the 1880s, the Raft of 1982 was 85 by 30 Feet and Weighed Almost 50 Tons. Oar Sweeps of 35 Feet Were at Each End. After Stopping for Folk Festivals Near Baxley and Jesup, the Raft and a Crew of 8 Arrived in Darien on April 20. The Rafthands of 1982 and Today Honor All Who Know and Love Our Rivers, Land, and People.
McRae’s Landing, Ocmulgee River © Brian Brown 2012.
Delma Presely, Brian Brown & Cecil Nobles © Mike McCall, 2011.
I’m pictured here with Dr. Del Presley (Front) and the late Long County Sheriff Cecil Nobles (Rear) at a 2011 Long County Chamber of Commerce event. Sheriff Nobles was very supportive of Dr. Presley’s research on the river.