Bronwood, Georgia

bronwood ga lost historic storefronts photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

UPDATE ON BRONWOOD: I got a disturbing message from photographer Steve Robinson yesterday (11 April 2016). He wrote: I thought you might like an update on downtown Bronwood. It is gone!  The entire block of brick buildings that you posted on your site has been leveled.  As of yesterday, it is a pile of bricks. I turned on that street yesterday and instantly got depressed. His photo is below.

bronwood destruction by steve robinson

Bob Rainey, a Bronwood resident who bought the buildings a few years ago, told Melissa Hodges for a story on WALB-TV:  It was so unsafe, the floors were rotten, the roof was falling in, and the glass in the front was all broke and hanging. Rainey, whose family has operated a used car dealership across the street since the 1960’s, bought the block two years ago. I put two years of thought into this, it didn’t happen overnight. There were a couple buildings where the roof was already gone. I understand that there were efforts over the years to attract businesses here but they all fell through. When faced with such prospects, a property owner often has no choice. The buildings were a tax and insurance liability. Watch Melissa’s report for more background.

bronwood ga historic storefront window sign photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

Though other buildings remain, this was the commercial core of Bronwood. This is a devastating loss.

bronwood ga historic storefronts photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

Richard Stott wrote of the above building, which may have originally been a bank: When I lived there, the far end of this building was the post office, and next to it was Floyd Herrington’s barber shop.

17 Comments

Filed under --TERRELL COUNTY GA--, Bronwood GA

17 responses to “Bronwood, Georgia

  1. ellen floyd

    I attended the old, old elementary school in Bronwood, Georgia in the early 1950’s. I would like to find a picture of it.

  2. Mario Cambardella

    Gosh, I cringe at the site of this.. Really hope someone took account the architectural details. Please, if anyone is organizing volunteers to document historic/cultural landscape, architectural furnishings, and/or architectural buildings before demo’ed – I’m in!

  3. Sad for sure. The man tried to save it. However, the best thing is that he SAVED as much as he could and re-distributed things back to original owners. He saved usable building materials and GAVE them to the community where they will be used again. So unlike the Chamber of Commerce’s attitude towards the Dart house. Destroy everything fast. Give nothing back to the community that could be used in Historic Preservation projects. Give NOTHING back to the original owners. It could have been done as proven by this man.

  4. Kay

    Heart wrenching, but I know it takes a whole lot of money to refurbish after they have been let go to long. It would be nice for them to use the bricks to make sidewalks or a wall around a park or fountain. Just to keep a little of the History around.

  5. William McDonald

    There was a St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Bronwood from 1885-1941. Does anyone know if the building remains or is used by another congregation? Some Lutherans in SW Georgia came from the “Saxa-Gotha” district of South Carolina, around Newberry, in the 19th c. St. Andrew’s in Plains may be the only remaining representation of that migration.

  6. David S

    I grew up in Bronwood and know those buildings well, though this article comes as a surprise to me. Such change is necessary though. No point letting good land go to waste, which it was.

  7. I do hate to see it go. It is so sad. I grew up in the country here and attended Bronwood Elementary School thru the eighth grade. Then all small towns went to Terrell High School. We moved to downtown Bronwood in the eleventh grade. There were a few small stores that opened back then. I have a lot of memories of long ago here.

  8. Lynn

    Is something else going to be built there?

  9. Anne Bolton

    So, so sad to see this. Would someone explain why & who made decision to do this.

    • Lisa Hargrove

      Hello Anne! Just wanted to give you further explanation if you’re interested. Bob Rainey, as the owner, made the tough decision to tear down the beloved old buildings. 20 years ago, he made a strong effort to try to get businesses to come in and set up shop in the buildings. He has tried to raise money to refurbish them, but they were way beyond repair and were a real danger to the community. Since tearing them down, he saved all the windows, and valuables inside. He has distributed the old bricks back to the community to whoever wants them. In fact, a new Bronwood house is being built entire from these bricks. How cool is that? He has also located the family members of the past deceased owners and redistributed items back to them. It is sad to see them go, but understand the situation was delt with as best as he saw fit.

  10. Jennifer McLaughlin

    Ive got so so many memories here..

  11. Nell Chapman

    So sad! it would be so nice if every town would appointment someone who is knowledgeable of history that’s held within the construction of all those building and also the ‘know how’ to obtain grants to restore and maintain them. I realize demolition of old building stand in the way of progress and costly to upkeep but also know in the future years, those same building can be a great access to the life of that town. Visionary people need to be approached who can take them into the future success of that town.

    • Bubba Ivey

      I married Jana Catherine Willis at Bronwood Baptist Church in this small South GA town 25 years ago at 3:00 PM this Sept 28th. Had many great memories around this community!

      • Jimmy Poole -Americus

        ..and I remember that wedding since we were the videographer that day!
        Hate to read about the town’s buildings and I know Cathy does too.

    • Jason Way

      Grants are not easy to come by for projects like this and even so IF you found one it has to be matched. However there are grants available to help tear down blighted buildings. I’m sure it was very hard for the owner to have to do this but I understand that it was necessary.

      • I know it was hard for him to do, and you’re right about grants. They’re very difficult to obtain even with well-meaning communities and poorer counties usually can’t match them.

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