Most of the older homes in Lumber City are in good shape, and outwardly, at least, this one looks like it could be saved. It has great lines.
Tag Archives: Lumber City GA
This building once housed the local ice plant. For those of you too young to understand, that’s the place that produced ice in communities in the days before electric refrigerators. Quincy Webb writes: “…as a boy growing up in Telfair I would drive a 1934 model Chevrolet to Lumber City every day during summer to pick up ice, [the Meat Co. was an ice plant back then] I was barely old enough to drive…”
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.
Different sources list the date of construction for this landmark as 1916 or 1930; the architecture of the pylon leads me to prefer the earlier date, as does the fact that it’s a rotating bridge, and most steamboat traffic was long finished by 1930, but I’m unsure. The style is known as “through-truss” and this is one of just a handful of surviving rotating bridges in Georgia.