Henry Land’s Grocery, Lands Crossing

Lands Crossing GA Irwin County Crossroads Henry Lands Grocery November 2008 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015November 2008

The photograph above has come to be my favorite of the many I’ve made of Henry Land’s Grocery over the years. My earliest photographs of the store were made when the Coca-Cola sign was still hanging on the front door and not long after the Colonial Bread (or Sunbeam) screen doors had been removed.The community around the store, known as Lands Crossing (incorrectly identified on most maps as Lands Crossroads), has always been focused on farming and the country life and Henry Land was its beloved ambassador, a local figure who kept his community alive by keeping this store open as long as he was physically able to do so. It’s been closed for a generation now, but remains a local landmark and the anchor of many good memories. One of the nicest recollections of this community came in a message from Michael Yarbrough: My father and his brothers were raised here, about a mile north of the store on a farmplace owned by Mr. Raleigh Player.  Mr. Henry Land was a fine man and I knew him well myself….I’ve been in the store when it was open, but by the time I came along, someone else was running it.  My dad ( Julian Yarbrough) told me that primarily this is where all the store bought goods they used came from.  They also told me that every once in a while, a traveling bunch came through with an old portable screen and they showed movies there around the store.  My dad said they would sit around on buckets or crates  with a Coke and watch the movies.  I have also been told that way back, some members in the community may have occasionally had a church service under the old oak tree behind the store. (This was located beside the old precinct house until it was recently moved down the road). William Bishop told my dad and me that it at one time way back it was used a  court house once in a case of where a fellow had stolen some corn from another. William said that Tommy Land told him that his daddy (Henry Land) was a jury member. It breaks my heart to think of all of those folks whom I knew from my dad’s raising, them being passed away now, gosh it leaves a hole in my heart.  Wish we again had folks with the values and strengths of those.   I am thankful to have come from a good bunch of folks and community.  

Lands Crossing GA Irwin County Henry Lands Grocery Summer 2005 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015Summer 2005

A note from Gary McDaniel (son of Joy McDaniel, author of the wonderful book Irwinville Farms Project: The Making of a Community) in November 2008 sums up the place and the man: …in the 60’s, I would visit my grandparents nearby and my cousins and I would walk to Land’s Crossing and get an orange Nehi and a pack of peanuts from the grocery store. Henry Land was a gentle and nice man.

Lands Crossing GA Irwin County Henry Lands Store March 2010 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015March 2010

In April 2010, J. W. Howell wrote: – Back in the 60’s I used to live about 3 miles from Land’s Crossing. Mr. Land who owned the grocery store was a fine man. I stopped in many a time for a Coke. There was another store across the intersection from his store, owned by Mr. George Clements. This was a great community where everybody knew everybody and everyone was a friend. I miss those days when life was so simple.

Henry Lands Grocery Lands Crossing GA March 2010 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015March 2010

The photograph above shows the Lands Crossing Precinct House to the left of the store, which was saved by Rex Johnson and removed to his property. You’ll notice its absence in the final two images. In October 2010, Donya Land wrote this note, which gives a good idea of when the store was given its new look: Henry Land was my great grandpa. I drive by the store every time I go to visit my family, and if I’m not mistaken the store is getting a couple coats of paint as of a few days ago! This was around the time the old name plates from the Coca-Cola sign were removed and replaced with these stenciled versions, painted on wood.

Lands Crossing GA Irwin County Henry Lands Grocery June 2011 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015June 2011

Lands Crosing GA Irwin County Henry Lands Store December 2013 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015December 2013

It may look a bit different, but it’s still the heart of a community.

 

 

 

 

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13 Comments

Filed under --IRWIN COUNTY GA--, Lands Crossing GA

13 responses to “Henry Land’s Grocery, Lands Crossing

  1. Elaine

    James, you are correct!!! It was also called the Cross Roads….and 2 stores were located there…Land’s Crossing Store (Ms. Crick/Thelma and Mr. Henry) and Clement’s Store (Ms. Jack/Mary and Mr. George). The Clement’s Store isn’t there now…..but lots of good memories!! Mr. George drove the school bus!! He would ride me on his Harley when I was little!! I LOVED the ride!!! It was FUN!!! I can remember my Daddy playing checkers!!!!!

  2. Donya Land

    Now they have cut down the big tree that was behind the store! nothing left but a stump! 😦

  3. Shane Lanf

    I miss being inside that store. I still remember going there every day as a kid. Aunt Thelma and Uncle Henry spoiled me inside that store with so much stuff. Miss the old days and the family no longer with us.

  4. Donya Land

    Henry Land was my great uncle, his daddy Henry Land Sr, was my great grandpa, Johnny Land was my grandpa! The store is still there, and I believe the signs are still around kept safe in storage!

  5. Geoff Jacobs

    Could probably get a replacement Coca-Cola sign to affix to the front of the store, one that is not collectible or stealable, but looks like the original!
    I understand that you can still find Colonial Bread screen doors in a lot of antique shops, it might be worth it if you could keep them locked behind that gate.
    You can’t have anything nowadays, even if it IS nailed down. People steal stuff left and right. I guess we all are tempted from time to time, but the mark of a true Christian is the resistance.
    This must have been one, HAPPY place in the old days, especially at Christmas!!

    • Elaine

      Elaine White McCraney……I loved/love Land’s Crossing store…””PRECIOUS MEMORIES” …t was our stomping grounds when I was a child!! I miss those times with my Family and with our adopted family…the Land Family!!! I miss all of them that have gone to Heaven!! I carried my own children in that same store and they have good memories!! Those were the “GOOD OLD DAYS” for sure!! Love what you said….I guess we all are tempted from time to time, but the mark of a true Christian is the resistance. I give that an AMEN!!! I love Coca Cola signs….but wouldn’t take one!!!!!!

  6. James Tomberlin

    My Uncle George ran the store across the street from this store (we always referred to it as “the crossroads”). It was a thrill when the crop dusters would land and take off from there. As a kid, it would be like watching a space shuttle launch today. When I first took my wife there (to my uncle’s store) for the first time, she saw the men drive up on tractors and then saw them around the pot bellied stove playing checkers using bottle caps. She said it was like a Norman Rockwell painting. We really didn’t know what a treasure we had.

    • Elaine

      I remember Mr.George and Ms. Jack as if it was yesterday!! Mr. George would ride me on his Harley!! It was so much FUN!!!!

  7. SUE BRYANT

    I was the only suiver of a bad wreck there at this store, 5 people were killed I was I my 20s Am now 72

  8. Wendell Theus

    HI BRIAN, WHAT A NOSTALGIC BUILDING AND PLACE. GREAT PHOTOS AND EVEN GREATER NARRATIVE. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK !!!

  9. Allen Henderson

    My grandmother Ethlene (Jubie) Henderson helped manage this store in the late 1930s and early 1940s when their family lived and farmed nearby. In all the years of my childhood Land’s was the landmark that reminded us kids that we were almost at our grandparents houses in Fitzgerald (they moved to town around 1943) after long trips from Indiana and Tennessee to visit.

  10. Patricia Waters

    Love the pictures and information!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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