Tag Archives: South Georgia Rivers Creeks & Lakes

Rocky Ford Landing & The Foy Railroad, Ogeechee River

Rocky Ford Landing Ogeechee River Abandoned Railroad Trestle Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

One of the first things you’ll likely notice at Rocky Ford Landing is this abandoned railroad trestle. Damaged by an Ogeechee flood in 1902, it represents a tangible link to an era of South Georgia lumber barons who would do anything to distribute their product, even if it meant building their own railroads. A 10-mile “shortline”, it was constructed in the early 1890s by the E. E. Foy Lumber Company to connect his naval stores operations in Portal to the Central of Georgia line at Rocky Ford and was abandoned by 1905. The business was highly profitable but ultimately unsustainable. After extracting turpentine from the rich forests of the region, Foy cut the timber and sold off the property, but not before making a boomtown of Portal, still known today as the Turpentine City. A 1903 Statesboro News article noted “A quarter of a century ago, Bulloch was a great pine forest and majestic pines covered every hill and dale from the Ogeechee to the Canoochee. Enough pine timber was in the county to have built a modern New York…The turpentine men came first and the big and little trees were all boxed until today only a few tracks of virgin timber are standing and it looks like an oasis in a great desert. After the turpentine operations came the sawmill men and the standing timber was slain at an alarming rate, until now timber is a scarce article. The naval stores men are moving away to Alabama and Mississippi and the saw mills will soon have to follow them, yet it had its benefits in the way of opening hundreds of new farms and a great influx of population so that where the stately pines used to grow and sing their weird songs, cotton and corn now grow in wealth in their place.”

Rocky Ford Landing Ogeechee River Screven County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

It’s interesting to make a link to the history of the place while enjoying its natural charms. It’s a great spot to take a swim when the water is low enough and also a good put-in for a leisurely day of canoeing or kayaking.

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Filed under --SCREVEN COUNTY GA--, Rocky Ford GA

Site of Davis Mill, Worth County

Davis Mill Foundation Jones Creek Worth County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Davis Mill was built on Jones Creek in northern Worth County in 1879. The foundation of the gristmill remains today, as does the millpond (now known as Jordan Company Lake). The mill itself is extant, as well. It was relocated to the Georgia Museum of Agriculture in Tifton.

Jones Creek at Davis Mill Worth County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

I came here with Hoyt Dorminey, who shared memories of visiting his uncle and aunt, J. W. & Mattie Lindsey, in the 1950s. They operated the mill, which was then owned by S. O. Spooner. It stopped producing about 1963.

Davis Mill Pond Worth County GA Jordan Company Lake Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

http://www.abac.edu/museum/attractions/gristmill

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Filed under --WORTH COUNTY GA--

Suwannee River at Fargo

Suwannee River near its Source Fargo GA Clinch County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

The Suwannee River is one of America’s best-known waterways, thanks to Stephen Foster’s immortal song.

Suwannee River Landing at Fargo GA Truck in High Water Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Heavy rains this winter have forced the river over its banks.

Suwannee River Visitors Center Fargo GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

The high waters are evident at the Suwannee River Visitors Center, a state-run facility that’s presently closed.

Suwannee River High Water at Visitors Center Fargo GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

The river’s source is the nearby Okefenokee Swamp.

Suwannee River at Fargo GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Fargo GA Clinch County Suwannee River near Headwaters Okefenokee Swamp High Water Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

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Filed under --CLINCH COUNTY GA--, Fargo GA

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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Filed under --TELFAIR COUNTY GA--

Durden’s Mill Pond

Durdenville GA Durdens Mill Pond Emanuel County Coca Cola Sign Millstone Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

This sign beckoned me to turn in, but besides turning around and snapping a few shots, I was unable to explore this local landmark as it’s private property.

Durdenville GA Durdens Mill Pond Emanuel County Landmark Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The structure pictured above and the cabin below are all I saw, but there appear to be others on the surrounding property.

Durdenville GA Durdens Mill Pond Emanuel County Cabin Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The mill pond is a tranquil landscape and a longtime favorite of fishermen.

Durdens Mil Pond Durdenville GA Emanuel County Landmark Cypress Trees Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Scarlet Wild Basil (Clinopodium coccineum) , a species widespread in the nearby Ohoopee Dunes, is present here, as well. I’ve seen more of these interesting native plants in Emanuel County than anywhere else in Georgia.

Durdenville GA Durdens Mill Pond Emanuel County GA Scarlet Wild Basil Ohoopee Dunes Landscape Wildflower Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

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Filed under --EMANUEL COUNTY GA--, Durdenville GA

Parrish Mill, 1880

George L Smith State Park Old Parrish Mill Covered Bridge Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Now the centerpiece of George L. Smith State Park, the renovated structure seen here was built by James M. Parrish, who along with Alexander Hendricks purchased the surrounding 200 acres from J. J. Moring in 1880 and set about building a dam and grist mill on Fifteen Mile Creek. The structure also served as a covered bridge.

George L Smith State Park Parrish Millpond Dam Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgai USA 2014

The pond, filled with cypress trees, is one of the most picturesque places in this section of Georgia and attracts fishermen, kayakers and nature lovers from all over. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but well worth a visit.

George L Smith State Park Emanuel County GA Parrish Millpond Cypress Trees Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Though the lake is man-made, it’s a pristine natural area attracting lots of birds and other wildlife.

George L Smith State Park Cypress Trees Mill Pond Emanuel County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

A relatively short walking trail follows the pond and affords views like these from one of several docks and overlooks.

George L Smith State Park Dock Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

George L Smith State Park Emanuel County GA Cypress Trees Mill Pond Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

George L Smith State Park Emanuel County Mill Pond Cypress Trees Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Take advantage of a peaceful hour or two and stop by when you’re in the area.

George L Smith State Park Parrish Millpond Recreational Boating Dock Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgai USA 2014

One of the most knowledgeable guides to the park is Wesley Hendley, who loves being on the water and has a real passion for the history of the area.

http://www.millpondkayak.com/html/interesting_links.html

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Filed under --EMANUEL COUNTY GA--

Little River, Cook County

Little River Cook County GA Natural Area Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

One of two Little Rivers in Georgia (the other is a tributary of the Etowah, in North Georgia), this river isn’t widely known beyond the immediate area. It’s collectively part of the Willacoochee-Withlacoochee-Alapaha-Little watershed that drains much of Southwest Georgia. A coalition devoted to protecting these rivers has been formed, as pollution from widespread chemical farming is an immediate concern to their health.

Little RIver Cook County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

To learn more about the Little or any of the other rivers in the watershed, visit:

http://www.wwals.net/ OR https://www.facebook.com/Wwalswatershed?ref=ts

 

 

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Filed under --COOK COUNTY GA--