This is the only significant historic commercial structure still standing in Hoboken. The excellent Coca-Cola mural, added in recent years, notes that Georgia’s favorite soft drink has been “refreshing Hoboken since 1905”.
Category Archives: –BRANTLEY COUNTY GA–
When Brantley County was created in 1920, Hoboken was chosen as the seat of government. After two contested elections voters chose Nahunta to be the new county seat and it was officially recognized as such in 1923. Since this structure, designed by Waycross architect Thomas Jefferson Darling (1868-1943), wasn’t completed until 1930, I presume the courthouse in Hoboken remained in use during the interim.
National Register of Historic Places
From the congregational history: In the year 1900 a church was organized at the old Sawgrass School outside of Hortense GA. The “Sawgrass” Church was started as a response to a revival held in the area by Rev. J J Williams.
In 1904 property across the street from the school was donated to the church. The first building, and still current worship area, is pictured to the left. Although the nickname “Sawgrass” is how many still know the church, from 1904 on the official name of the church was Philadelphia Wesleyan Methodist Church.
For a period of time Philadelphia was part of a “circuit”, a group of four churches that were pastored by one person. In this case, Philadelphia was on a circuit with Browntown Wesleyan Methodist, Hortense Wesleyan Methodist, and Oak Grove Wesleyan Methodist.
In 1968 the Wesleyan Methodist and Pilgrim Holiness denominations merged. As a result, the name of the church became Philadelphia Wesleyan Church.
The following pastors have led Philadelphia Wesleyan through the years: F L Thornton, W B Lee, M M Strickland, J D Patterson, A G Cornelison, J C Clubb, W B Clubb, F H Harris, H R Gumby, W T Brinson, G H Doty, C M Payne, W L Snellgrove, E L Elford, Rev. Alexander, W G Wagnon, W V Hartley, R C Mathis, Henry Sapp, Thomas Lentz, David Horne, and Ron Stayman. In 2016 the Lord brought our current Pastor, Tim and Karen Johnson, to Philadelphia.
In his fascinating thesis, The “Gold Standard” of the Wiregrass Primitive Baptists of Georgia: A History of the Crawford Faction of the Alabaha River Primitive Baptist Association, 1842-2007, (Valdosta State University, 2009), Michael Holt makes special note of the architectural distinctions of the Crawfordites: “[An] aspect of the Crawfordite tradition that remains today is the construction style of the meeting houses. While other Primitive Baptist Churches, including those in the Bennettite faction of the Alabaha Association, have begun to use brick, mortar, carpet, and other modern construction techniques, Crawfordite churches remain exactly as they would have appeared over a century ago. They are still fashioned from unfinished pine, with no electricity, carpet, or running water…this austere architecture helps keep the connection with the past strong. It should be noted that in recent years, 0ne part of the church grounds has adopted more modern conveniences. The outhouses that adorned the grounds of all the churches in the association have now been replaced with outdoor restroom facilities with running water, though this change was made primarily to bring the restroom facilities in line with public health regulations. However, this addition has not encroached on the overall intended affect of the architecture…“
The Crawfordites are named for Elder Reuben Crawford. Dr. John G. Crowley, the leading authority on the history of Primitive Baptists notes in his article “The Sacred Harp Controversy in the Original Alabaha Primitive Baptist Association,” Baptist Studies Bulletin July 2004 “[they] emerged as a subset of the Primitive Baptists in the 1860s and 1870s. During the Twentieth Century the “Crawfordites” became the most austere and conservative Primitive Baptists in Georgia, eschewing radio, television, neckties, painted and heated meetinghouses.” Michael Holt further notes in his thesis: “Whereas every other Primitive Baptist association has altered somewhat from the original tenets of the denomination, the Crawford Faction of the Alabaha has remained unchanged since the time of its founding in 1842…“
Dr. Crowley’s article can be accessed here. Just scroll down to Primitive Baptists.
PHOTOGRAPHER’S NOTE: This is not a complete photographic record, as there are more Crawfordite churches in the area I’ve not yet visited. They will be added as they are documented.