Carter Farms Structures, Portal


The International truck in front of the Lummus Cotton Gin pictured above belongs to E. C. Carter Farms. The Carter’s operations were central to life in Portal for many years, ranging from turpentine to general agriculture.


There are three gins at Portal, all involved in the Carter operations. Two are Lummus gins and one is a Centennial.

portal ga carter farms lummus gin photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

This is one of the largest intact commercial farms I’ve found in my travels.

portal ga e c carter gin photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

The Lummus system originated in New York during the Civil War, but relocated to Juniper, then Columbus, Georgia, during Reconstruction.


This structure, branded F. N. Carter & Son, is smaller than the two Lummus gins contained in the same complex. It was built by Centennial Cotton Gin Company of Columbus, Georgia. A local name for the street, Mullet Roe, can be seen on the sign above. Mullet Roe, of course, is really a form of Southern caviar but I like the tongue-in-cheek usage on the sign. The actual name for this once-busy thoroughfare is Railroad Street.


One of several antique work trucks is parked under the shed beside the gin.


Several barns remain on the property, as well.

portal ga carter farm barns photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

I can’t over-emphasize how important it is to see all these structures intact. They symbolize a time when agriculture was dominant in rural Georgia, and which was often its only industry.

portal ga carter farm barn photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010


1 Comment

Filed under --BULLOCH COUNTY GA--, Portal GA

One response to “Carter Farms Structures, Portal

  1. I am an active member of The Portal Heritage Society. We hold an annual Turpentine Festival every fall durning the first weekend of October every year. During the festival we actually make a batch of turpentine and also have some for sale. We are the only still that operates in the original spot!

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