Salem Church, 1889, Atkinson County

Atkinson County GA Historic Salem Church Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

This church was built by Martin S. Corbitt, who was born nearby on 12 May 1840. He donated two acres of land for this purpose. The church is located on the historic Kinnaird Trail, a Native American trading route.  He married Leonora Wealtha Pafford (born 26 August 1847) on 26 November 1867. Two of their sons, William Manning Corbitt and Martin Rayburn Corbitt, built the pews and benches still intact today. Upon its completion, the structure also served as a school with the older Corbitt children serving as teachers. Martin Corbitt lived at Salem all but the last 11 years of his life; he moved into the first house in Pearson and became its first mayor.

Atkinson County GA Historic Salem Church Interior Handhewn Pews Tongue and Groove Walls Unadorned Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Martin S. & Leonora Wealtha Corbitt had 11 children: Catherine Imogene, Mary Ann Miranda, Newton Rowan, William Manning, Henry Madison, Martin Rayburn, Frances Lenora, Martha Ann Elizabeth, Wealtha Alvina, Rebecca Virginia, and Levia Jane.

Leonora died on 5 May 1896 and was the first person buried in the cemetery. On 1 May 1899 Martin married Minnie Frazier Faircloth (9 May 1865-September 1955) and they had three children: Duvon Clough, Frazier Solon, and and William J.

Martin S. Corbitt died on 1 July 1913 and was buried beside his first wife.

The descendants “come back home” the last Sunday in September each year to celebrate their ancestors.

4 Comments

Filed under --ATKINSON COUNTY GA--

4 responses to “Salem Church, 1889, Atkinson County

  1. Donnetta Wilkinson

    Paul is correct, Springhead was built by Martin S. Corbitt’s father-n-law, Rowan Pafford and is about 10 miles west of Salem, Springhead has been upgraded through the years and has up to date furnishings inside-air conditioning, electricity, water. Salem has remained untouched since it was built in 1889 except to get spiderwebs brushed down and seats wiped off where lizards tend to hang out. Martin S.Corbitt is my husband’s grandfather and the information on the historical marker is correct (the information below the picture came from the marker). The Kinniard trail was an Indian path that lead from Chehaw in Albany, Ga. to Trader’s Hill in Folkston, Ga, the path goes between Salem Church and the cemetary. Martin S. Corbitt’s home was located beside the cemetary and was a stage coach stop station where the horses were exchanged and the riders could get food. Martin’s sons built those beautiful benches and pews when they were teenaged boys. We all return to enjoy the serene spirit of our ancestors the last Sunday in September every year, bring a basket lunch and you’re invited to come enjoy it with us.

  2. Paul Corbitt & Jack Bailey

    this isn’t Spring head my great grandfather William Manning Corbitt, later Dodo Corbitt father hand cut those planks to build those pews when he was barely seventteen he and two male relatives this is Salem Church between Pearson and Lakeland

  3. Wendell Theus

    Hi Brian, WOW — I love this church especially the interior & simple but elegant furnishings. Humbling just to walk thru the door!!! Great work!!!

  4. Glenn Hodges

    Check out how wide the pine boards are used to make the pews in this church. We call this church Springhead Church around here. It is located near Willacoochee, GA…………glenn

    On 10/22/2014 6:56 AM, Vanishing South Georgia Photographs by Brian Brown wrote: > WordPress.com > Brian Brown posted: ” This church was built by Martin S. Corbitt, who > was born nearby on 12 May 1840, on two acres of land he donated for > this purpose. He married Leonora Wealtha Pafford (born 26 August 1847) > on 26 November 1867. Two of their sons, William Manning Corbitt an” >

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