Category Archives: Cordele GA

Georgian Motor Court, 1940s, Cordele

georgian motor court cordele ga art deco neon sign photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Jason Salter shared this history on 15 June 2010: This was built and owned by the Shearers. It was built in 1940. The owners lived in it for a time. The motel was opened in 1942. In the 50′s an office was built off to the side where it currently sits now. Another building was added too make larger rooms in 1950. In 1954 a house was built and the family moved into the house from the motel. In 1970 the land was sold to William and Inez Johnson. They operated the motel until 1982 and then it closed. Interstate 75 came through and businesses lost out to traffic there.

Ritch McCutchen writes, via Facebook: I bought the farm from the estate of Palmer Greene who had a lengthy career as a politician. He was the tax collector here for many years followed by service as a state representative then as a state senator. He sold the motel site to Mr. Shearer. Mr Shearer’s estate sold it to William Johnson a retired rural postman.

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Southern Motel, Cordele

southern motel sign us 41 cordele ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2008

I first photographed this sign in 2008 and though I pass through the area a few times a year, I can’t recall if the sign is still standing. The Southern Motel was owned and managed by Mr. & Mrs. Jack Kirk. It was a modern brick motel which, judging from a 1961 postcard, was likely built in the mid to late 1950s, It’s hard to imagine that highways like U. S. 41 were the interstates before we had interstates. I’m aware that many people consider these sorts of properties and old signage nothing more than eyesores. There are others who absolutely love them. I don’t think many of them will be saved, but they’re a nice reminder of the world before interstates.

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Cordele Public School Photos, Circa 1911-1912

Cordele Public School GA Circa 1912 2nd Grade Itinerant Photographer Real Photo Postcard Circa 1911 Collection of Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 20141B Grade-Cordele Public School, Unknown Photographer, Circa 1911

These real photo postcards, made by an itinerant traveling photographer, provide a nice portrait of South Georgia schoolchildren in the early 20th century. They were acquired through the estate of a cousin, whose husband is identified in a couple of the cards. These are important social documents as they bear witness to the early days of the concept of government-funded public schools. They were still a relatively new concept in America, especially in the rural South at this time.

Cordele Public School GA Circa 1912 2nd Grade Itinerant Photographer Real Photo Postcard Collection of Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 20142B Grade-Cordele Public School, Unknown Photographer, Circa 1912

I’m not sure why there are two different views of the second grade class; perhaps they were made in different seasons. Somewhat odd to me is that the teacher is only pictured in one of the images (below).Cordele Public School GA Circa 1912 2nd Grade Itinerant Photographer Real Photo Postcard Circa 1912 Teacher Collection of Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 20142B Grade-Cordele Public School, Unknown Photographer, Circa 1912

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Heard Grocery Company Coca-Cola Mural, Cordele

Coca-Cola Mural Heard Grocery Company Downtown Cordele Commercial Architecture Ruins Endangered Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

This was one of the highlights of an otherwise dreary section of downtown. It was demolished on 1 June 2016. Its gigantic Coca-Cola mural is one of the largest I’ve seen in South Georgia. The front of the structure is visible at right in the photo below.

cordele ga heard grocery company building photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Heard Grocery, along with others which have been dubbed commercial blight have been removed to make way for a new satellite campus for Darton College. People often want to blame communities for the loss of such places, but it’s a systemic problem. Mel Wright notes: It’s sad, but I grew up around Cordele and was born in 1959 and I don’t think that building has been used for any purpose for about 4 decades… I see it all over the state. The challenges are real. I will opine, however, that it’s sad that neighborhoods are ever allowed to fall into this condition in the first place. Not only is the mural now gone, but those marvelous fanlights are, as well.

Cordele Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Commercial Ruins, Cordele

Downtown Cordele GA Commercial Ruins Endangered Historic Architecture Fanlights Wall Street Granitoid Arched Windows Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

It’s a real shame that these structures are in such terrible condition. A section of the street is fenced off, giving one the impression of being in the inner city of a much larger place. The fanlights on the buildings at right in the lower image are an important architectural feature, increasingly rare today.

Downtown Cordele GA Commercial Ruins Endangered Historic Architecture Coca Cola Mural Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Cordele Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Cordele Recreation Parlor, 1939

Cordele Recreation Parlor Billiards Neon Sign Game Room Americana Landmark GA Crisp County Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

See more comments and a night view, here.

Cordele Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Historic Storefronts, Cordele

Cordele GA Crisp County Downtown Historic District Commercial Storefronts 7th Stree Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Cordele Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Cordele GA Downtown Historic Commercial District Corner Block Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

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