Sweetwater is located adjacent to Refuge Primitive Baptist Church. The South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church notes: Less than a mile from the present site, this church was organized in 1888, in a log church with 10-12 members. It takes its name from the nearby Sweet Water Creek which runs just north of the church. This is the original church, brick-veneered with new windows and air conditioning added in 1979-80. The original hard carved altar rail and pulpit are still used. It had door on each end and both sides with Rev. H. T. Ethridge as the first pastor.
Category Archives: –ATKINSON COUNTY GA–
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.
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.
This appears to have been a general store at one time, judging by the architecture, but it is remembered as the Kirkland Post Office. Shea Browning writes: According to Mr. Clark Tanner, a lifelong resident of Atkinson County who grew up near this building’s location, this was the old Kirkland post office. Online historical postal records indicate there was a post office at this approximate location between 1875 and 1954. According to Mr. Tanner, “Mr. Silas White, Betsy’s husband, was the rural mail carrier and owned the building. After the post office closed, the White’s rented the house.” Others have mentioned Mrs. White renting out the home for 40+ years to various tenants.
Built in the Spanish Mission Revival architecture popular with school houses of the 1910s and 1920s, this structure consolidated several smaller area schools. Thanks to Shea Browning for the history.
Cecil Maine writes: I attended Kirkland School in 1940 and 1941. (I transferred from the Harmony Grove school upon their consolidation with the larger schools in the county, and completed sixth and seventh grades there before going on to Pearson for high school, 8th thru 11th grades). At that time there were only 11 grades to complete high school. So I graduated from Pearson High School in 1946.
Bill Musgrove recalled his mother attending here, and Sharon Darley remembers: I attended 2nd through 5th grade then the school shut down. It became a chicken house for years. It had a huge auditorium that held many community events, keeping our community united like a family. Great teachers worked there….they kept us in line.
I’m guessing this structure was either a lunchroom or shop building, probably added not long before the school closed.
Here’s a photo of the 7th grade class at Kirkland School, 1947-48 term. Courtesy of the Days Gone By: Atkinson County Facebook page.