Yearly Archives: 2009
Mary King Givens writes: This house was built in 1898 by John McPhaul* for T.J. Pinson. It remained in the Pinson family until 1939 when it was purchased by the D.L. Gammage family and continues to be owned by my family. At the same time John McPhaul built a home for T.J. Pinson’s brother, Jesse W. using the same house plan. This house is located in the same block on Isabella Street as our home.
*- John McPhaul, a native of North Carolina, was the founder in 1877 of the nearby town of Poulan.
The white building on the left has always been Poulan’s grocery store. Hugh Harris West writes: Mr. Harvey Carter and wife Ella Ruth, ran this store. Russell and Gertie Houston ran the store and market during the 60’s. Mr. Leon Gray and wife Gladys came next I believe. Mr. Alton Gray (Leon’s brother) had already closed his store by this time.
The early 20th century was a time of vast civic improvements in the United States, and small towns were as involved in these efforts as were larger cities. The Poulan Library and its initial collection of books was a gift from philanthropist and Michigan governor (1911-13) Chase Osborne, who often stayed at his nearby plantation, Possum Poke. Significantly, the Poulan Library was the only public library in Worth County until the Worth County Public Library opened in 1931. The library was also the meeting place of the Poulan Women’s Club from its founding in 1916 until the 1930s. Still open today, it’s said to be the smallest public library in Georgia.
National Register of Historic Places
The Presbyterian Church in Albany was organized on 25 February 25 1849. The original sanctuary was built in 1852. The bell used to commemorate that first service is still in use today. The present church was begun in 1917 and the first service was held here on 10 November 1918. Visit the website of Albany First Presbyterian for a much more detailed history.
Albany’s favorite son, Ray Charles (Robinson) was born here in 1930 and went on to become one of the most famous musicians of all time. Though he had numerous hits and a storied career, his rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s Georgia on My Mind remains, arguably, the most recognized and beloved of all state songs, and the only one to top the Billboard charts. The focal point is the sculpture created by the late Andy Davis. Set in a fountain surrounded by piano key benches, it’s located on the banks of the beautiful Flint River in the heart of downtown Albany. Admission is free so drop by the next time you’re in the area and listen to the river and Ray’s music playing gently in the background. It’s a must see in Southwest Georgia.