This was likely a turpentine commissary or general store, based on the floor plan.
Category Archives: –ATKINSON COUNTY GA–
This house likely has connections to the turpentine industry.
This tenant farmhouse features an added room. Though these additions are sometimes called “preacher’s rooms”, they were often simply made to accommodate growing families.
This Willacoochee landmark is a familiar sight to anyone who has traveled through the town on US Highway 82. It was built by Coffee County pioneer Elijah “Lige” Paulk (1867-1896) for his bride, Laura Corbitt, in 1895. [Willacoochee was still in Coffee County at the time]. Sadly, Mr. Paulk died the next year. The 31 January 1896 edition of the Douglas Breeze notes in his obituary: Mr. Paulk was about twenty eight years old, and had been married only about three months to Miss Laura Corbett of this county. Although he was young in years he, by correct business methods and close application, had accumulated a nice property, and his home in Willacoochee was one of the best in the county…
Veryl & Lucille Boatright bought the house in 1948 and it remains in their family.
Thanks to Kim Jones for sharing this with Loretta Goff McCranie and Betty Boatwright who filled in the blanks on the history. Some of the information is included in a publication by the Southeast Georgia Area Planning and Development Commission entitled An Inventory of Historical Sites in the Southeast Georgia Area. Its authors note that the house originally had a double veranda, and it retained its wainscoted ceilings and walls, a stained glass transom over the front door, and that that pressed tin roof was original.
I’ve always admired this unusually large wooden structure and until recently knew nothing of its history. It has been in an advanced state of decline for many years.
Harvey Williams notes that it was the elementary school (segregated) and later a coat factory, owned by Sheila Gaskins. It’s a very large school for such a small town, and may have served more grades when it was first built.
Near the forgotten community of Bannockburn, the Alapaha River marks the boundary between Berrien and Atkinson counties. The Georgia Highway 135 bridge that crosses here normally spans a smallish stream, but if you wonder why it’s so big, check out a Google Earth view of the river at high water. It fills up quickly. [Note the pilings of an old bridge or trestle in the sandbar]. At present (early autumn 2019) the river is low enough to ford and not even get your knees wet. The Alapaha is special to me because Lucy Lake (an Alapaha oxbow in northern Berrien County) was the first place my father took my brother and me river fishing. It had been a popular spot with locals for many years and he had fished there with his father and uncles many times as a young man himself. The river seemed so much bigger to me then.
The Alapaha is one of Georgia’s most beautiful black water rivers. Little known to people not near its banks, it rises in southern Dooly County and meanders southeastward toward its confluence with the Suwannee River near Jasper, Florida. During this course it collects the Wilacoochee, Alapahoochee, and Little Alapaha rivers. An intermittent river, it goes underground through parts of its course, especially in Hamilton County, Florida. A famous locale there, near Jennings, is the Dead River Sink.
The earliest known reference to the Alapaha was made by Hernando de Soto’s expedition. It noted a village near the Suwannee known as Yupaha, in the 16th century.