General Store Ruins, Shell Bluff

A hunting camp is about the only sign of life one encounters in the Shell Bluff community today, but this appears to have been a country/general store at one time. Dale Reddick notes:  Shell Bluff is well southeast and downstream along the Savannah River from the Fall Line. And then, there’s that community of Shell Bluff at the intersection of GA 23 with GA 80. It’s separated by several miles from the actual Shell Bluff & Shell Bluff Landing on the Savannah River. That duality causes problems when discussing “Shell Bluff,” as in which one you mean.

Shell Bluff, in general, derives its name from the fossils of giant oysters that have been found near here, in an area that was once the shallow part of an ancient sea.

7 Comments

Filed under --BURKE COUNTY GA--, Shell Bluff GA

7 responses to “General Store Ruins, Shell Bluff

  1. Pamela Poole-Lively Machino

    I grew up in Shell Bluff; visiting my Grandmother, Julia Verlinda Smith Lively once a month and every Holiday. Now as a Senior Citizen, I live here at this little piece of Georgia, we call ” Shell Bluff”. The Shell Bluff Community is actually larger than most people realize. It is bordered by Hwy 80, Hwy 23, 7 Oaks Rd, River Rd, Botsford Baptist Church Road and Hancock Landing which included Claxton-Lively Rd and Ben Hatcher Rd. If you are heading to Waynesboro from Augusta down Mike Padgent Rd, if you turned on Hwy 23 or River Rd you would be entering the SHELL BLUFF COMMUNITY. If you continued to Waynesboro down Hwy 56 , that area is called Green’s Cut. But anyone living down Hwy 23 South from Hwy 56 to The A & A Gas Station would tell you “they live in Shell Bluff”, in a skinny minute. This Little Community’s Heart Beat is Botsford Baptist Church, founded in 1773 by Rev Edmond Botsford of England. Botsford is the second oldest Southern Baptist church South Of the Mason Dixon Line. The church is growing and has a large gymnasium and offers fun activities for children, teens and adults. They are active in crafts for adults, Bible studies, outings for senior citizens, mission groups , popular country gospel singing groups, Harvest Carnivals (no evil focus). And surprising this COUNTRY CHURCH has the largest number of children in their VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL for it size anywhere in the United States. There are quite a few fun things hidden in the area to do, from hunting to target practice, fishing to bird watching and then there is always Augusta , only 20 minutes away.

    The majority of the community and church consists of two large Southern Families, The Lively’s and The DeLaigles. Through the years other families have come and chosen to put down roots in Shell Bluff also.

    The DeLaigles, having a French background, have gained notable success from all the trailor parks they own in the area; boarding the many thousand of Plant Vogtle employees. This includes every kind of company needed to set up and stake roots in this small area we also call “GOD’s Country”. (Electrical, AC & Heating, Plumbing, Wells, Hauling, Selling and Moving trailors; not to mention owning the A&A convenient gas station, with daily hot food.

    The Lively’s out number the DeLaigles in Bodies, Preachers, Artists, Teachers, Writers and Creative Arts. The Lively’s, who were Scotish Highlanders, moved to this area around 1740 after their recruitment by Orglethorpe, to successfully rid Georgia of The invasion of Spain and the Uchee Indians in the CSRA Savannah River area that kept King George of England from successfully developing this land. So we received Kings land grants when we helped this goal.

    My grandmother, Julia Verlinda Smith Lively and her husband James Thaxter Lively were both raised in Shell Bluff and came from large families. Together they had 13 children. Today I have 47 first cousins; with all but a handful, living outside of Burke County. We normally have over 300 at our local Lively Reunion each 4th of July. Even this year with Covid 2020 we had 200. All 47 of my cousins have land here and all of our land connects but 2. So it’s not unusual to see family member scooting around from land to land, on a horse, in a golf cart, jeep, walking the paths, an old truck or one of the kids of this younger generation riding in some new vehicle, you have never seen before.

    The way this area got its name is, that King George had heard that the Indians in the area were walking around with oyster shells like shoes because they were so big. So King George sent the famous Botanist Bartram to research this sighting. And he did find giant salt water oyster shells on the bank of the Savannah River only about 2 miles direct east from the center of Shell Bluff. There are also many Georgia Clay dusty back roads in Burke County, Shell Bluff where you can find evidence of Uchee Indian trading and working posts where multicolored Indian “cert” is discarded lying freely on the sides of the road. There are even still a few areas where broken oyster shells can be found. The area also is rich in natural resources of streams, branches and natural streams. The streams are loaded in Indian Pottery clay that you can make little trinkets And this is a wonderful area for finding herbs, fruit trees, mushrooms, nut trees and other natural medicinal sources. There used to be caves and water fountains in the area but are now on restricted government land. Many of the locals have stories waiting to tell.

    I could NOT say that there is nothing to do in Shell Bluff, Georgia anymore. Hey, we have a Dollar General now across from A&A! We are coming up in this world. And in the last few years 4 new local country back road restaurants have popped up in the Shell Bluff vicinity, hidden so the city folks can’t find them. lol. And a new swimming pool or 2 have popped up. Shell Bluff is rich in cemeteries and in genealogy information in the area and is supported by the Waynesboro Archives, for help and information.

    One of the newest developments is that some adults that grew up in the Shell Bluff area that are now successful business men in big cities have been meeting every month and brain storming ways to give back to their beloved Shell Bluff.
    ! I Hope this has gotten you excited about the interesting things in the Shell Bluff Community. Come on out and check us out. And if it’s a full moon and you hear some strange noise. Don’t worry …that’s just one of my cousins have fun and howling at the moon!’ Or it could be The DeLaigles & The Lively’s having a howling contest! If you see us in the day time, just wave and we will be sure to wave back!

  2. Dale E. Reddick

    Hey Brian – The oyster shells are found northeast (not south) of the community of Shell Bluff. From that community’s location at the intersection of GA 23 & GA 80, that latter state road heads northeast towards the Savannah River. The final mile or so of the road is simply Shell Bluff Landing Road, rather than the state route. Shell Bluff is immediately upstream from where the road used to end at the old landing on the river.

    • Scott Higdon

      My Grandfather’s brother had a country store at Shell Bluff in the 50’s and early 60’s. His name was Clarence Scott. We use to swim in the river when we were kids.

      • Pamela Poole-Lively Machino

        As a child born in the early 50’s, it was a highlight of my visits to Shell Bluff, to go to Scott’s Store with a half a dozen or so of my Lively Cousins. We would all have a few nickels or dimes and have the most delightful time picking out our favorite “penny candy” from Scott’s Store. I can still remember the loud slam of the old warped wooden screen door, as we entered our secret fairy tale location. We always had the routine of first heading to the drink freezer, to choose Nehi Grape, Nehi Orange or another random choice. Then to get a small bag of salted peanuts to pour in our soda drinks. leaving our pennys for last. Aunt. Annie lived next door.

      • Pamela Poole-Lively Machino

        Hi Scott! What a wonderful heritage name you carry! Wear it with pride!

  3. Dale E. Reddick

    Brian – Shell Bluff is well southeast and downstream along the Savannah River from the Fall Line. And then, there’s that community of Shell Bluff at the intersection of GA 23 with GA 80. It’s separated by several miles from the actual Shell Bluff & Shell Bluff Landing on the Savannah River. That duality causes problems when discussing “Shell Bluff,” as in which one you mean.

    • Thanks, Dale. I’ll add that to the description. The phone was tagging EVERYTHING in the general area as Shell Bluff, Georgia; I wondered why. Your explanation is quite helpful!

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