Shearwood Railroad Depot, Circa 1915, & Commercial Ruins, Nevils

nevils ga shearwood railroad depot photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2014

Though I pass through Nevils from time to time, I hadn’t photographed there since 2009. Having heard that the store on the right had collapsed, I had to investigate.

nevils ga historic marker photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2014

The Jack N. & Addie D. Averitt Foundation, a real credit to Bulloch County and the pursuit of history in general, recently placed this historic marker, entitled Nevils Station & Shearwood Railroad. It reads: This is the site of the Nevils railroad station. The paved road from Denmark to Nevils is the original bed of the Shearwood Railroad that existed from 1912 to 1937. John N. Shearhouse of Brooklet and George Brinson of Stillmore owned Shearwood Lumber Company in Brooklet. The began by opening the line from Clyo to Claxton. Farmers in the Nevils area promised to pay a large sum of money to run the line through the Sinkhole District. The railroad acquired right-of-way from Jake Nevils, the first merchant in the area.Farmers depended on the Nevils Station for shipping carloads of watermelons and receiving tons of fertilizer. Here many residents began excursions to Savannah and Tybee, after buying picnic supplies at Mr. Nevils’ nearby store. The SR established a morning passenger-freight train leaving Egypt and serving Leefield, Brooklet, Denmark, Nevils, Claxton, and Hagan. Mr. Shearhouse was killed and his son seriously injured in a railroad accident in 1926. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the railroad declined and dissolved.  The tracks and equipment were removed and sold for scrap. Although the depot served as a country store after 1945, it was eventually deserted.

nevils ga shearwood railroad depot ruins photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2014

I don’t know of any other surviving architecture of the Shearwood Railroad, but would love to know if any exists. I believe this building deserves depiction from many angles.

nevils ga commercial ruins photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2014

The yellow brick building with the Coca-Cola ghost mural below was a grocery/general merchandise store, but I don’t have any further background yet.

nevils ga general store ruins photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2014

nevils ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2014

The town isn’t completely gone, though. There are a couple of stores and churches, as well as some nice old houses.

15 Comments

Filed under --BULLOCH COUNTY GA--, Nevils GA

15 responses to “Shearwood Railroad Depot, Circa 1915, & Commercial Ruins, Nevils

  1. James lanier

    I have a building on my farm that was a warehouse for one of the railroads that came through Brooklet, not sure which one. It was situated behind the western side of the storefronts on Parker Ave. it later served as storage for Minick Hardware on Lee Strret inBrooklet across from the main store buildingofDenmark Furniture. When the Denmark family boughtMinick Hardware they sold the old warehouses building to Cooter Miller. I bought it from him and he moved it to my place. Unfortunately the roof structure had to be removed for transport. I replaced it with trusses because the rafters twisted once removed and could not be reused .

  2. Question if anyone has info on the Commissary tokens regarding this article. (FRONT)”AT COMMISSARY OF GERORGE W. BRINSON; STILLMORE,GA. ;NOT TRANSFERABLE(BACK)”GOOD FOR 10 IN MERCHANDISE” Any information will be helpful. My email is aubreemommydaddy@gmail.com I live in the surrounding area near Swainsboro. Thanks in Advance

  3. James Nevils

    This is very interesting to know, hummmm .

  4. Justin Creasy

    I grew up 22 years going to school at the OLD Nevils elementary my granddaddy actually came back into town from WW II on a train at that very station and it has always hurt me greatly that there is no one who will do anything to preserve that bulding.

  5. Donna Kay Edmonds

    I can’t believe this came up on my face book page, my 10 year old granddaughter was asking about this same railroad depot just a couple of weeks ago. I will be sure to send these pictures to her via face book.

  6. WAYNE SHEAROUSE

    What a coincidence! I was looking for some information on the locomotives used on the Shearwood Railroad and ran across your website.

    I didn’t know this building or historic marker existed. Can you tell me what
    street they are on? My great grandfather was John N. Shearouse, president of the railroad.

    Thanks,

    Wayne Shearouse

    Hi, Lu.

    • Christy

      Nevils-Groveland Rd, Nevils, Ga

    • rishteach

      Hi Wayne!
      Please look at the comment below from Jim Stanoff. He is hoping to find some items from Shearwood Railroad to include in a museum. Maybe we can spread the word to see if some in our family have items to loan or donate?
      I hope we can do this so this part of our family history can be preserved and remembered!
      Thanks, Wayne!!
      Lu

      • Wayne

        Lu,
        This is a great idea, I’ll see if I can find some Shearwood things. I see now that I made a mistake in my original comment. JNS was my grandfather not g-grandfather. Maybe nobody will notice!

  7. rishteach

    Do you know if there’s a way to get some of the bricks or other artifacts from the depot site? Thank you.

  8. Jesse Bookhardt

    Brian,
    Looking through the information you included with these pictures, I noticed that the Jack Nelson Averitt Foundation was responsible for the Nevils Station historical marker. Dr. Averitt was one of my most respected college professors at Georgia Southern College back in the mid 1960’s. He was chairman of the History and Social Science Department, and was a class act that inspired many with his knowledge, culture, and dedication to his department. He was a major promoter of Georgia Southern College and Statesboro. His rather British mannerism and fondness for their culture, impressed many of his students. I never knew whether he had a recent British heritage or if he just came across to us that way.
    It is fitting and proper that his legacy still lives through the good works of his foundation. In the dorm and on campus, many of us affectionately called him “Daddy Jack.” Those of us who studied in his department, were proud to be a part of it. Back then it was obvious to us that he cared about his community and history.
    Brian keep up the good job that you do. You are creating a legacy by service to your South Georgia community.

  9. rishteach

    Hi! I subscribe to your emails and have been hoping to come across something of interest to our family… This is it!! My great-grandfather was John Nathaniel Shearouse, and the son injured in the accident was my great-uncle, Fred Shearouse (no second “h” in the spelling of the surname). My maternal grandmother was Fred’s sister, Lula Shearouse Parrish. (There were 10 children.) My great-grandfather and g-grandmother owned a lovely Victorian home on the main street in Brooklet that was, unfortunately, torn down many years ago. A medical office is now on the site of their home.

    I would love to acquire copies of these photographs and any accompanying literature you might have acquired regarding the history of the Shearwood Railroad and my great-grandfather.

    My father now lives on our family farm near Portal that was originally owned by my maternal grandfather and at least one generation prior. (My mother is now deceased.) My grandfather was John E. Parrish, Sr. (also known as ‘Buck’ Parrish), former mayor of Portal, former proprietor of Parrish store (where the IGA is now). He also had a cotton gin and turpentine still (?) in Portal. He dabbled in quite a few ventures. 🙂

    Anyway, please let me know how I might acquire some of these pieces of our family history.

    Thank you so much. Lu Howard

    • Thanks for sharing this history, Lu! I will correct the spelling…it’s interesting how names get written incorrectly, even these days. If there’s a particular image you would like to order, you can email me at wbrianbrownATgmailDOTcom. Thanks again!

      • Jim Stanoff

        Hi, My name is Jim Stanoff, a member of the Brooklet City Council. We are currently gathering items for a museum – both on loan and donated. Anything to do with the Shearwood Railroad would be fantastic, and it would be protected and cared for..
        912-531-1142

      • rishteach

        Hi,

        John Nathaniel Shearouse, the founder of Shearwood Railroad, was my great-grandfather. His daughter, Lula Shearouse Parrish, was my mother’s mother. I have a photograph that may be of interest to you. It is a framed enlargement that quite a few family members have, as well. If you will send me an email address, I will send you a picture of it. The photo is of my great-grandfather, one of his sons, Fred Shearouse, and some of his employees sitting/standing alongside the steam engine for Shearwood Railroad.
        There may be items other family members have that may be of interest to you so I will contact some of them to spread the word in the event they have things you can use.
        Thank you for pursuing this bit of our family heritage. I’m excited to know that Shearwood Railroad will be included in the museum.

        Most sincerely,
        Lu Howard
        Maryville TN
        lhs1117@aol.com

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