Named for postmaster J. W. Allen, Allentown is known for being located in four counties. The majority of the community, though, is located in Wilkinson County.
Category Archives: –WILKINSON COUNTY GA–
In his book, Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area, John Linley wrote: “(Allentown’s) outstanding building is the Allentown Methodist Church. Though built in 1956, it is Colonial in style, but was designed with a degree of skill and sensitivity that is rare in any period.” W. Elliot Dunwoody, Jr., was the architect.
Erected on 12 October 1934 by the Georgia Society and John Ball Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, this marker is located on the lawn of the beautiful Allentown Methodist Church. This monument glorifies early white settlers who helped run Native Americans off land that was rightfully theirs, so I’m glad that such a commemoration would likely not be considered today. It reads:
Intersection of Carolina, West Florida, and Savannah Lower Creek Trails. Traditional Indian Village Site and Burial Grounds. Early White Settlement and Haven for Refugee Famillies in 1812 Indian Alarms.
Though I can’t find a reference to the “Indian Alarms” in a quick scan of the literature, I’m sure the term “haven for refugee families” suggests that Allentown was an early outpost in the westward expansion of Georgia.
Located in the Buckeye community of Johnson County is one of the oldest houses in South Georgia. John B. Wright was a wealthy landowner, who had the fifth largest number of slaves in the state, and also a legislator. He’s best remembered as the namesake of Wrightsville, as he gave $1000 toward the founding of a new town which would become the seat of Johnson County, established in 1866. The house is vernacular in style, and the somewhat unusual second floor with its shuttered windows was used for storage. The house has apparently never been painted, either. In his seminal Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area, John Linley noted in 1972: “Evidently, Mr. Wright never forsook his modest way of living: the house is still simple and sturdy, and far from pretentious.” Linley also noted that slave cabins were still scattered on the property in 1972, but as I do not have access to the property, I’m unsure if any of these remain. Overall, the structure is still somewhat sound, but a preservation effort should be led by Johnson County, as well as the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, to ensure the survival of one of this region’s most important remaining antebellum structures.
Wright is also known (or should be) for introducing legislation which allowed women the right to inherit land as individuals as opposed to relinquishing their land to husbands, as was the practice of the day. This was due to the fact that Mr. Wright had three daughters and no sons and wanted his vast landholdings to remain within his family.
The John D. Phillips family occupied the house from 1912 onward. Though no longer occupied, I believe their descendants still maintain it.
Thanks to Jack Paulk for bringing this house to my attention.
Kaolin Truck at Toomsboro © Brian Brown 2012
Toomsboro was settled around 1851 (the year it first had a post office, known then as Toomsborough). It was named for Robert Toombs, a prominent politician of the antebellum and war eras, but I have no idea why Toombs is misspelled in the town name. A mile away was Emmitt, which had a post office from 1842 – 1857, but lost most of its rail business to Toomsboro. While the history may be a bit unclear, one thing for certain is that Toomsboro today is a beautiful village, a step back in time. Nestled among gently rolling hills carved by the nearby Oconee River, the town is as well-preserved of any of its era in Georgia. Kaolin is king in this area, so if you’re photographing in Toomsboro, watch out for the trucks, which come through quite regularly.
For a nice background and some wonderful black-and-white shots of the town:
For information on another Georgia town for sale: