Montgomery Lake & The World Record Largemouth Bass, Telfair County

Montgomery Lake Telfair County GA George Perry Worlds Largest Largemouth Bass Ocmulgee River Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Montgomery Lake is an oxbow of the Ocmulgee River. A mile or so before you reach the Ocmulgee Water Trail sign for Montgomery Lake & Stave’s Landing, driving north on Georgia Highway 117 from Jacksonville to Lumber City,  there’s a Georgia Historic Marker which gives this beautiful but nondescript place mythical status among sportsmen.

world-record-largemouth-bass-fishing-angling-telfair-county-ga-horse-creek-picture-photo-image-cc-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2009

Approximately two miles from this spot, on June 2, 1932, George W. Perry, a 19-year old farm boy, caught was to become America`s most famous fish. The twenty-two pound four ounce Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoldes) exceeded the existing record by more than two pounds has has retained the world record for more than fifty years. Perry and his friend, J.E. Page, were fishing in Montgomery Lake, a slough off the Ocmulgee River, not for trophies but to bring food to the table during those days of the great depression. The fish was caught on a Creek Chub Perch Scale Wigglefish, Perry`s only lure, and was 32 1/2 inches in length and 28 1/2 inches in girth. The weight and measurements were taken, recorded and notarized in Helena, Georgia and Perry`s only reward was seventy-five dollars in merchandise as first prize in Field and Stream Magazine`s fishing contest. The longstanding record is one of the reasons that the largemouth bass was made Georgia`s Official State Fish. Montgomery Lake is today part of the Department of natural Resources` Horse Creek Wildlife Management Area.

A largemouth weighing in at one more ounce (22.5 lbs.) was caught by Manabu Kurita in Japan in 2009, but since it doesn’t weigh at least two more ounces than the existing world record, it’s considered a tie. Perry’s record is in no danger of being forgotten.

Montgomery Lake Telfair County GA Ocmulgee River Worlds Largest Largemouth Bass Montgomery Lake Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Today was the first time I’d ever laid eyes upon this place and in appearance it was scarcely different from numerous similar places I’ve photographed all over South Georgia in the past seven years. But the history of George Perry and the world record Largemouth Bass gave me pause. It made this place a tangible landmark.

Montgomery Lake Telfair County GA In Ocmulgee RIver WInter High Water World Record Bass Official George Perry Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

For a third consecutive winter there’s high water on the Ocmulgee. The fishing must be good. Stave’s Landing is publicly accessible at the end of a dirt road about three miles in length. The road is generally safe for travel, though a four-wheel drive is the best way to go.

Staves Landing Montgomery Lake Ocmulgee River Official World Record Largemouth Bass Telfair County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

I look forward to returning in the spring.

Montgomery Lake Telfair County GA Dirt Road Ocmulgee River Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 20154

There are many references to George Perry online, but this is one of the best I’ve found:

http://www.mrlurebox.com/GeorgePerryBass.htm

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Tobacco Barn, Bulloch County

Tobacco Barn Hagan Mill Pond Road Bulloch County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

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Tenant Farmhouse, Bulloch County

Bulloch County GA Adabelle Area Vernacular Farmhouse Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

This simple farmhouse is located near Adabelle, just south of Statesboro. I’m not sure if it was associated with the Croatan Indian community that once thrived in the area.

Bulloch County GA Adabelle Area Croatan Indian Community Vernacular Farmhouse Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

A nearby historic marker tells the store of the Croatan community:

In 1870 a group of Croatan Indians migrated from their homes in Robeson County North Carolina, following the turpentine industry to southeast Georgia. Eventually many of the Croatans became tenant farmers for the Adabelle Trading Company, growing cotton and tobacco. The Croatan community established the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Adabelle, as well as a school and a nearby cemetery. After the collapse of the Adabelle Trading Company, the Croatans faced both economic hardship and social injustice. As a result, most members of the community returned to North Carolina by 1920. The tribe to which these families belonged became known as the Lumbee in the early 1950s.

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New Hope Methodist Church, Bulloch County

Historic New Hope Methodist Church Bulloch County GA Photogaph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

The congregation of New Hope Methodist was organized in 1804. It’s one of the most beautiful churches in Bulloch County. A historical marker placed by the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1998 reads:

Organized from Union by Rev. Lewis Mayers, New Hope was Bulloch’s second Methodist Church. 1804 trustees were David Kennedy, Josiah Everette, Jarvis Jackson, Burrell Whittington and William M. Kennedy: other leaders were Joseph Hodges, Eli Kennedy and Lydia Anciaux. Burke and Ohoopee Circuit records, oldest in South Georgia, were kept by these leaders. In 1806 William McGee Kennedy entered the itineracy; later William McCall Kennedy, F.M. Kennedy and H.A. Hodges. Leadership at home and in the connectional church distinguishes New Hope, preparing for her third century.

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Ruins of Perkins Grocery, Leefield

Leefield GA Bulloch County Ruins of Perkins Grocery Store Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

All that remains of this old grocery store is the external shell and a small section of a sign on which the words “Perkins Gro” are barely readable. The orientation of the side walls is very angular, as opposed to the normal straight-sided template.

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Vernacular House, Leefield

Leefield GA Bulloch County Pyramidal Hip Roof Vernacular House Blue Clapboard Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Though this house of the hip-roof vernacular style once common throughout South Georgia, the front is a bit more formal, with hints of Neoclassical symmetry. The fading blue paint is a wonderful feature.

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Vernacular Farmhouse, Denmark

Denmark GA Bulloch County Vernacular Farmhouse Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

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Filed under --BULLOCH COUNTY GA--, Denmark GA