Category Archives: Baxley GA

Caroline Miller House, Baxley

Though largely forgotten today, Caroline Miller (1903-1992) was once a best-selling author. Her novel Lamb in His Bosom, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1933, was critically acclaimed as one of the best first works of the Southern Renaissance. Miller was also the first Georgian to be so honored.

Born in Waycross to Elias and Levy Zan Hall Pafford, Caroline married her English teacher, William D. Miller, soon after graduating from high school. They moved to Baxley soon thereafter. While raising three boys in this rental house, Miller wrote short stories in her spare time. Aiming for authentic regional dialect and material, she ventured out into the surrounding countryside and talked with many old-timers, documenting the idiomatic speech and folkways of the Wiregrass region, which she would later incorporate into Lamb in His Bosom. As it depicted poor whites who didn’t own slaves, it was a departure from the romantic South of literature. It is widely regarded as one of the best available sources for this largely overlooked culture today. Margaret Mitchell even considered it her favorite novel about the South.

The Millers divorced in 1936 and Caroline married Clyde H. Ray, Jr., in 1937. The couple moved to Waynesville, North Carolina, where Caroline gave birth to two more children. In 1944 she published her second novel, Lebanon, which didn’t receive the praise or success afforded Lamb in His Bosom. Though she would continue to write prolifically, she chose not publish later manuscripts, largely to avoid the attention and scrutiny of the critics. She died in North Carolina in 1992.

Today, the house is owned by the Friends of the Caroline Miller House.

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Craftsman Bungalow, Baxley

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Eclectic House, Baxley

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C. W. Deen House, 1897, Baxley

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This is the grandest home in Baxley, made more so by all the azaleas in bloom. If you’ve ever passed north through the town on U. S. Highway 1, you’ve undoubtedly seen it. Begun in 1894 and completed in 1897, it was built for C. W. Deen. The house was designed by Joseph J. Johnson, a prominent architect and builder responsible for a number of local landmarks, including the county courthouse, a bank, a church, and several other residences. Deen was a timber and naval stores opoerator and one of the leading businessmen and landowners in Appling County at the turn of the last century. He also operated a grist mill and store in Baxley. In 1901, he became a leader in a project hoping to bring a sugar refinery to Appling County. Despite a large investment, this project was unsuccessful. In 1906 he became involved with the development of the town of Alma. Deen moved his family to Lakeland, Florida, in 1908, but remained active in the business affairs of Baxley and Appling County. The home was purchased by W. Hughes & Carrie Rogers in 1909. Mrs. Rogers was a co-founder of the Baxley Women’s Club.

National Register of Historic Places

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Grace Lynn House, Baxley

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Lori Graham writes: This house belonged to Miss Grace Lynn, a very special woman…She was a native of Appling County and lived in Atlanta for many years before returning to Appling County in 1974. She was an interior decorator and a member of the First United Methodist Church, where she was active in the beautification of church grounds. She was in charge of beautification for the City of Baxley and Appling County for many years.

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Straton Hall, Baxley

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Shingle-Style House, Baxley

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This has been home to Mayers Florist for many years.

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