Category Archives: *ABOUT THIS SITE*

Vanishing North Georgia

Crawfordville GA Taliafero County Liberty Cafe Coca Cola Sign Americana Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014Liberty Cafe, Crawfordville, Georgia © Brian Brown, 2014

It’s been a long time in the works but Vanishing North Georgia is finally a reality. I hope it grows into something as helpful and entertaining as Vanishing South Georgia and look forward to exploring more of Georgia with all of you.

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Five Years & Counting!

Mystic GA Irwin County Ghost Town Abandoned Car Ashley Parrish Store Dirt Stree Film Photograph Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia 2008

Mystic, Georgia © Brian Brown, 2005.

Today marks the five-year anniversary of Vanishing South Georgia!

What began as a personal project has grown into something much greater than I would have ever imagined. In traveling thousands of miles through 82 counties and hundreds of towns of varying sizes, I believe I have been privileged to see a Georgia that few people get to experience in such depth. As I branched out from Ben Hill & Irwin Counties, I did search after search for little places with interesting names I’d found on the map. I knew most would be hard to track down, but one after another seemed lost and forgotten. Part of my mission, and one that remains central to this work, was to create a permanent record  of these places for researchers and people nostalgic for a glimpse of their roots. As a historian, I was very aware of the need to document them, but what made my work take wings, so to speak, was the early support and feedback from the people I began connecting with as a result of my photographs.

Mrs. Gay's Farmhouse on Waterloo Rebecca Road Irwin County GA Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2008

Mrs. Gay’s Place on the Waterloo-Rebecca Road, © Brian Brown, 2007

And I’m not the only one out here, doing work like this. When I began posting my images to the internet I found a small but determined community of people doing the same thing as me, albeit it on a different scale and usually with far more credentials as artists. Too countless to name are all the other Georgians, whether serious or just taking snapshots for the benefit of their own memories, who record history with their cameras. As Mark McDonald of the Georgia Trust for Historic recently said in an interview with GPB regarding the scope of the work, “…in historic preservation, if you can’t save a historic building, the last step is to document it.”  Tobacco barns, country stores, and farmhouses truly are vanishing every day and with them the way of life they represented and the stories of the lives built around them. Just this week I’ve heard from several subscribers of the demolition of places I’ve photographed. And I know these are important because people are always so sad to report this kind of news. I’m glad they do, though. As long as the need exists and I’m able, I’ll be out in the country with my camera.

Revival for Body and Soul Folk Art Church Sign Westwood GA Ben Hill County Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia 2008Revival for Body And Soul, Westwood, © Brian Brown, 2008

My work on Vanishing South Georgia saved me, in a way. It came at a time when my own life was in flux and when I seemed to be looking for something as yet unknown. It’s renewed my love for place and for the people whose lives define all the places I visit and photograph. I hope that it brings a little happiness to everyone who sees it. That, as much as the documentary aspect, is worth it.

Dirt Road Ben Hill County GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia 2010

Seminole Road, Ben Hill County © Brian Brown, 2010

In the meantime, look for me on a road like this…

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VSG Featured on Georgia Public Radio

youngs_chapel_methodist_church_ben_hill_county_foggy_morning_georgia_public_radio_feature_gpb_picture_image_photograph_©_brian_brown_vanishing_south_georgia_usa_2013

You can hear Jeanne Bonner’s interview with me about Vanishing South Georgia at the link below, or catch it on the radio this afternoon around 5:45. Either way, I was very honored to be featured.

From the GPB website (visit their site for the whole story):

“I use my camera as a preservation tool,” [Brown] said, holding his camera.

And that’s an invaluable service, says Mark McDonald of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, a nonprofit that saves old buildings. Some historic structures, he says, will simply be lost.

“He’s documenting buildings that literally may not be here next week,” he said in an interview at his office in Atlanta. “So in historic preservation, if you can’t save a historic building, the last step is to document it.”

http://www.gpb.org/news/2013/05/23/south-georgias-personal-photographer

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VSG Feature on Garden & Gun

Vanishing South Georgia got some wonderful attention today on the blog of Garden & Gun, the leading magazine about the South. Chantel O’Neal did a nice write-up, which is re-posted below. I was very honored by this feature!

Focusing on the Forgotten by Chantel O'Neal Garden & Gun Magazine Photo Collection © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Focusing on the Forgotten

by Chantel O’Neal

Brian Brown gets lost a lot—on purpose. The self-taught photographer behind the Vanishing South Georgia and Vanishing Coastal Georgia projects has been archiving the state’s past since 2005. That was the year he moved back to his hometown of Fitzgerald and noticed all of the places that had disappeared, including the tobacco barn on his family’s farm…

To read the rest of Chantel’s post, visit:

http://gardenandgun.com/blog/focusing-forgotten

Please visit Garden & Gun if you haven’t lately. It’s a wonderful publication.

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3,000 Subscribers!

Four Donkeys Longears Ben Hill County GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2008

YOU’VE GOTTEN OUR ATTENTION!

Thanks to lots of new followers on our Facebook page and longtime fans here on the website, we’ve now reached a new milestone of over 3, 000 subscribers. This would not be possible without you and the great feedback and comments you provide. The image above was one of my first when I began the project nearly five years ago.

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A Note About Subscriptions

I’m so glad that so many people have chosen to subscribe to Vanishing South Georgia but several of you have dropped subscriptions or complained that you don’t like receiving so many posts at one time. I agree, it’s a bit too much when I post 30-40 images at a time. Nita Parry, a regular subscriber, asked me today if there was a way to manage or receive fewer emails. Here is how you do it (granted, WordPress should make it easier, but for now this is the way they do business): When you subscribe, the confirmation email you receive will have a message at the bottom that reads: Want less email? Modify your Subscription Options. Click on Subscription Options. And follow the directions from there. An easier way to do it is to simply scroll down the page after you’ve confirmed your subscription, click on the Delivery Frequency tab in the dropdown menu beside the blog name and you can check Immediately or Weekly. By checking weekly you’ll only get ONE email per week. I know this seems complicated, and WordPress really needs to improve it, but until then, this is the way to do it. If you encounter any problems during this process, contact me and I’ll try to help you through it.

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Improvements to Vanishing South Georgia

You’ve probably noticed that the website looks a bit different as of this afternoon. Please be patient as I work on improvements to Vanishing South Georgia. Most of the site will remain the same, i.e. the city and county lists on the sidebar, but I’m hoping the larger font will be much more readable. I’ll also be able to include more links to relevant websites. I’ll be tweaking these changes over the next several days, but there should be no problems in accessibility. Thanks as always for your interest and support!

 

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