Category Archives: Cooperville GA

Relocation of the Paradise Restaurant Sign, Cooperville

Paradise Restaurant Sign US 301 Cooperville GA Removal Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Like many other photographers and travelers on US 301, I’ve shot the iconic Paradise Restaurant sign numerous times over the years. It’s a landmark that most who have ever driven past remember. By researching postcards of the restaurant I’ve discovered that a smaller sign preceded this one and was still in use until at least the early 1960s. I’m not sure when this sign was placed, but my guess would be sometime in the 1960s. A comment from Jerry Levy on a previous post about the sign indicates that the restaurant was open as late as 1982.

Paradise Restaurant Sign US 301 Cooperville GA Removal to New Location Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

I recently got a message from Melissa Birmingham stating that the sign would be removed and relocated to the business that she and her husband Greg operate across the highway, the Cooperville Caboose restaurant. I was sad to hear that it would be removed but less so after talking to Melissa. She invited me to come up and document the removal of the sign.

Paradise Restaurant Sign Removal Cooperville GA Photgraph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Dollar General bought the property on the corner that includes the historic sign and their plans were to scrap it. Melissa and Greg knew that the loss of the sign would be a blow to the community and saving it isn’t a publicity stunt. It’s where preservation and community involvement come together for good results.  The Sylvania Telephone (newspaper) and Screven County Chamber of Commerce were present to witness the event.

Paradise Restaurant Sign Cooperville GA Across the Highway Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Greg made getting the sign across US 301 look easy.

Paradise Restaurant Sign Relocation Cooperville GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

It made its way through the trees behind the post office.

Greg Melissa Birmingham Saving the Cooperville GA Paradise Restaurant Sign Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Melissa & Greg took a break and posed for a photo.

Bringing the Paradise Restaurant Sign Through Fuel America Parking Lot Cooperville GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

One of my favorite shots was seeing it pass through the parking lot of Fuel America.

Paradise Restaurant Sign at New Location Cooperville Caboose Restaurant Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

This is where it will rest until it’s refurbished and raised at the Birmingham’s business, Cooperville Caboose.

Securing the Paradise Restaurant Sign at Cooperville Caboose Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

The sign is hollow and rusty so lowering it was a bit tricky.

Lowering the Paradise Restaurant Sign Cooperville GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

With help from volunteers and well-wishers, the move was successful.

Inspecting the Spinning Top of the Paradise Restaurant Sign Cooperville GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

The spinning star that tops the sign actually turns.

Paradise Restaurant Sign Moving Volunteers Cooperville GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

It looks like the volunteers enjoyed the day, as did I. Melissa sent me packing with great barbecue and slaw. Please stop by and say hello the next time you’re passing through. Check out their Facebook page for hours, menus, and progress on the sign’s restoration.  https://www.facebook.com/Cooperville-Caboose-871869876254111/?fref=ts

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Paradise Restaurant & Sign, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paradise Restaurant, Cooperville

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The old Paradise Restaurant and Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge were among numerous businesses that took advantage of the busy automobile traffic on U. S. Highway 301, a primary route for tourists along the Atlantic seaboard in the days before interstates. The present sign was erected in 1956 but the restaurant and adjacent hotel were built a bit earlier.

This sign was among the most-photographed landmarks on US 301 in Georgia; in 2016 the property was razed but the signed saved for use at a restaurant across the highway.

Though the post office across busy U. S. Highway 301 is designated as Dover, this is actually Cooperville. Cooperville was a center of religious, educational and social activity in the antebellum era. It was established by William Cooper about 1790 when he acquired the 1100 acres originally granted to Noble Jones. His home, later added to by his brother, George Cooper, stood about 1/2 mile west of this marker. The village was the home of Wilson C. Cooper, the educator who established nearby Cooper College; George Cooper II, inventor of the “Cooper plow” also lived in the area…

http://www.gpb.org/news/2010/08/20/lazy-little-us301-towns-boomed-before-i-95

paradise-restaurant-us-301-cooperville-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012

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Abandoned Service Station, Cooperville

cooperville-ga-abandoned-service-station-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012

This was demolished in 2016.

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Cooperville School,1910, Screven County

cooperville-school-screven-county-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012

This now serves as the local community house.

cooperville-ga-school-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012

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Filed under --SCREVEN COUNTY GA--, Cooperville GA