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