Category Archives: Eastman GA

Georgian Cottage, Circa 1870s, Dodge County

This house once anchored a farm on the edge of Eastman. It’s in the Georgian Cottage style and typical of middle class farms that began to prosper in the years following the Civil War. While it has not been identified or dated as yet, its architecture indicates it was likely built in the decade following the war.

The ruins of a tobacco barn on the driveway leading to the main house, as well as a tenant houses at the end of a row of pecan trees, indicate that this was an active farm well into the 20th century. It appears to have been abandoned for many years and is located on private property. I’m lucky to have been given the opportunity to document it and am grateful to the owner for granting permission facilitated by David Bray. David was a great host in showing the property, which ultimately the owner would like to see moved and saved. Unfortunately, it may be too far gone.

The wraparound porch is thought to be a later addition.

It features hand-carved porch posts that give it a bit of a Folk Victorian appearance.

The four interior rooms have been “updated” but still retain wainscot chair rails and what are thought to be the original mantels. The mantels reflect a middle class owner, who used spindles to add ornamentation.

The rear of the house is a mirror image of the front.

I hope the house can be moved and saved, but it would need to happen soon. The owner will give it to someone who will move it; if you know someone with a serious interest, please contact me.

2 Comments

Filed under --DODGE COUNTY GA--, Eastman GA

Breitung-Peacock-Fitzgerald House, 1886, Eastman

Perhaps the finest Queen Anne house in Eastman, this beautifully restored landmark is now an event space and bed and breakfast known as Peacock Place. It has connections to Eastman’s founder, William Pitt Eastman, who sold lots from his “Eastman Home Field” property which became the most fashionable neighborhood in town in the 1880s. Eastman sold this particular lot to Edward Breitung of Negaunee, Michigan, on 3 August 1886. Breitung was a railroad millionaire who chose to build a winter retreat in Eastman after making an acquaintance with Judge James Bishop while a guest of the Millionaire’s Club on Jekyll Island. Sadly, Breitung never lived in the house, as he died the night before he had planned to move in. His widow and son returned to Michigan and never lived in the house.

The house sat empty until 1902, when it was purchased by Mrs. Estelle B. Bullock, who owned it for eight years. W. H. Coleman and Mrs. Carolyn B. Bush were short-term owners before it was purchased by the C. H. Peacock family in 1917. Julia Peacock Fitzgerald inherited the house in 1929 and owned it until her death in 1980. Her daughter, Idolene, was the next owner and it remained in the family until 1992.

6 Comments

Filed under --DODGE COUNTY GA--, Eastman GA

Wynne-Stuckey House, 1903, Eastman

Andy Hall writes: [This house] was built by Mather Wynne and his wife Nancy Almeda McRae, my 2nd great-aunt. Aunt Nannie and Uncle Mather were Telfair County natives, married in 1882. Members of the Stuckey family were later owners.

11 Comments

Filed under --DODGE COUNTY GA--, Eastman GA

Children’s Monuments, Woodlawn Cemetery, Eastman

My great-grandmother was from Eastman and while living there, she lost a baby, Mary Elizabeth Browning, in 1923. Over the years we visited Woodlawn Cemetery on numerous occasions to tend to the grave and pay respects to others. Just inside the gates of Woodlawn, two monuments marking children’s graves always caught my attention for their solemnity and the skills of their sculptors/carvers. (Above: Mathew T. Clark (1896-1901), son of Harlow & L. D. Clark)

This monument marks the final resting place of Cora Weaver (1884-19 October 1885), daughter of Mr. & Mrs. D. W. Weaver.

Children’s monuments, so common in older cemeteries, are a sad reminder of the high rates of infant mortality before the advent of modern medicine.

3 Comments

Filed under --DODGE COUNTY GA--, Eastman GA

Folk Victorian House, Eastman

Leave a comment

Filed under --DODGE COUNTY GA--, Eastman GA

Site of the Original Stuckey’s, 1937, Eastman

This structure, located on the site of Williamson S. Stuckey, Sr.’s (1909-1977) original roadside stand, has the familiar teal blue roof that was a beacon to tourists throughout America from the 1940s until the 1970s. I’m  not sure as to the date of this structure, but it’s probably from the 1940s or 1950s. The Stuckey’s Candy Factory, built in 1948, is located on the property, as well.

In 1937, Mr. Stuckey had a bumper crop of pecans and opened a roadside stand to sell them to the many tourists who passed through town on busy US 23. His wife, Ethel Mullis Stuckey (1909-1991), concocted a rolled pecan confection which quickly became Stuckey’s most iconic treat, the Pecan Log Roll (some love them, some not so much, but their impact on the business can’t be understated). While pecans and pecan-based treats were always the focus, Mr. Stuckey realized that travelers wanted more, and soon added other confections, a restaurant, souvenirs, and gasoline service.

By the late 1960s, there were over 350 Stuckey’s franchises throughout the United States, and their teal blue roofs were as iconic then as McDonald’s golden arches are today. The family sold the business to Pet Milk in 1967, but the focus became more corporate and less personal and changing travel patterns saw the rise of other roadside businesses that were quite competitive. From 1967-1977, Williamson (Billy) Stuckey, Jr., served five terms in the U. S. Congress. In 1985, determined to see his family name return to national prominence, Mr. Stuckey and a group of investors bought back the family business from Pet Milk. Though the familiar Stuckey’s locations of yesterday are no longer in operation, the brand remains strong and store-within-store locations are once again found throughout the eastern United States. In 2019, Stephanie Stuckey took over as CEO with plans of expanding even more, insuring the Stuckey’s name will be known well into the 21st century.

 

6 Comments

Filed under --DODGE COUNTY GA--, Eastman GA

Colonial Revival House, Eastman

Eastman GA Colonial Revival House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015
The loss of this house would be a real shame, but it’s not abandoned, and the owners may list it for sale in the future. It served for many years as a law office and is still in relatively good condition. At least a window has been boarded to keep out the elements and varmints of the two- and four-legged varieties. It’s design is an amalgam of several styles and since, as I often note, I’m not an architectural historian, I’m at a loss to properly classify it.

Eastman GA Dodge County Old House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

The vintage Plymouth Fury III parked beside it is a wonder in itself.

Eastman GA Old House Plymouth Fury III Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

9 Comments

Filed under --DODGE COUNTY GA--, Eastman GA

Old Dodge County Jail, 1897, Eastman

Old Dodge County Jail Eastman GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Designed by the great courthouse architect J. W. Golucke (Golucke & Stewart), Dodge County’s historic jail was built by the Pauly Jail Building Company, which is still in business today. It originally featured a three-story tower in the center, but that was removed during a roof renovation. It closed in 1973 upon the completion of a more modern facility.

Old Dodge County Jail Eastman GA Window Detail Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

The detailed metal window arch inserts are quite decorative for a jail. As evident in this photograph, serious structural damage is an immediate threat.

Old Dodge County Jail Eastman GA Golucke Stewart Pauly Jail Building Company Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

A hanging room with trap door and lever are still intact, but leaks and continued neglect will need to addressed soon to stabilize the structure. Hopefully, Dodge County will utilize the jail in the future for a cultural resource center or something of that nature. Since its inclusion on the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2010 Places in Peril listing, little, if any, restoration has been done.

National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --DODGE COUNTY GA--, Eastman GA

Dodge County Courthouse, 1908, Eastman

Historic Dodge County Courhouse Eastman GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Designed by E. C. Hosford, Dodge County’s Neoclassical courthouse is still in use. It’s the second courthouse in the history of the county; William Dodge had a two-story frame courthouse built at his expense as an appreciation for the county having been named in his honor. It was torn down in 1906 or 1907 and replaced with this structure.

Dodge County Courthouse Eastman GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --DODGE COUNTY GA--, Eastman GA

Williamson Mausoleum, 1912, Eastman

Williamson Mausoleum Marble Gazebo Orphans Cemetery Eastman GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Besides its fascinating history, Orphans Cemetery is a real gem of landscape architecture and cemetery design. It’s one of the most beautifully maintained in the state, and the rare cedars and other trees make it feel more like an arboretum than a burial ground. Interred in the mausoleum are Albert Genavie Williamson (1 August 1854-4 December 1925) and Martha “Mattie” Jane Buchan Williamson (10 April 1858-11 May 1938). Jay Gould Williamson, the nephew and adopted son of the Williamsons depicted as a young boy in the memorial, was born on 17 August 1893 and died on 23 September 1982. He spent his last 35 years on St. Simons Island and is buried at historic Christ Church Frederica.

Williamson Mausoleum Gazebo Orphans Cemetery Eastman GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

From the marker placed by the Georgia Historical Society, Orphans Cemetery Association & Dodge County Historical Society in 1999: Albert G. Williamson, a Dodge County entrepreneur, donated land for a burial place in Orphans community following the death of a neighbor´s child, George P.A. Barnes, in 1887. The community was named in honor of the six orphaned Williamson brothers who moved here in 1873-74 from North Carolina. The earliest burials were children of the Thomas, Weldy, and Lashley families. Other common names in the original acre are Hardy, Manley, Steele, Stuckey, and Williamson. The statuary above their mausoleum depicts A.G. and Martha Buchan Williamson and their nephew, Jay Gould.

Williamson Mausoleum at Orphans Cemetery Eastman GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

The mausoleum was erected by the Cordele Consolidated Marble Works on 17 August 1912. The statuary was cut from a photograph made in 1903. The details and life size depiction of the Williamsons is a stunning work of public art. Mr. Williamson’s Magnolia, as this giant tree is known, was planted in 1887. Today it provides a spot for refuge and reflection, with two swings hanging from its branches.

Orphans Cemetery Eastman GA Mr Williamsons Magnolia Swings Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Mr. Williamson’s obituary provides more background as to his life and activities in Dodge County: Hon. A. G. Williamson, for fifty years one of Dodge County’s prominent citizens, died at his home in the city Friday night about nine o’clock, following an illness of more than a year, during which time he was practically an invalid. Mr. Williamson’s body was embalmed by J. W. Peacock Co., undertakers, and according to instructions previously given by him, was deposited in a vault at Orphans Cemetery at sundown Sunday afternoon. This vault, above which rested life-size statues of Mr. Williamson, Mrs. Williamson and J. Gould Williamson, a nephew and adopted son,, was erected by Mr. Williamson about fifteen years ago, and full directions were given by him as to the disposal of his body at death. The body, lying on the left side, reposed on a cedar cot, which had also been provided by Mr. Williamson, and in this position was deposited in the vault. The funeral service, which was conducted by Rev. Frank Adams, of the Christian church, consisted only of scripture reading, prayer and two songs. The scripture was from the 14th chapter of St. John, the second to fourth verses, inclusive. The songs ” I Shall Know Him, ” and “Asleep jn Jesus, ” were rendered by a double quartet composed of O. V. Lashley, Henry Manley, Robert Bennett, Mrs. Jeter A. Harrell, S. H. Goolsby, H. E. Dickens, John Parkerson, Mrs. C. F. Coleman. The active pallbearers were the following: W. Fitzgerald, W. H. Smith, C. F. Coleman, C. H. Peacock, R.G. P. McKinnon, C. C. Burch. An honorary escort was composed of C. D. Phillips, W. J. Deffinall, C. B. Murrell, J. H. Rogers, W. W. Puett, J. C. Wall. The floral offerings were banked about the mausoleum in abundant profusion and were magnificently beautiful. A throng of about one thousand people was in attendance.
Mr. Williamson was born in Columbus County., N. C., and was 71 years old August 1st. He came to Dodge County 52 years ago and secured employment as woods-rider for Coleman & Sessoms, a naval stores firm. Soon afterwards he was married to Miss Mattie Buchan, daughter of Dr. James Buchan, by whom he is survived. Being a man of keen and accurate judgement, he early realized the value of lands in this section of Georgia, and through this judgement and his untiring energy, he acquired as the years went by, 8,000 acres of Dodge County land, also large holdings in Eastman city property and government bonds. His estate is valued at between $400,000 and a half million dollars. Several months ago he deeded a large part of this property to relatives, his wife and adopted son being the principal beneficiaries.
Mr. Williamson united with the Christian church when quite a young man, and as long as his health would permit, took a very active interest in its affairs. He built the Christian church at Orphans and was an important factor in the erection of the Christian church in Eastman. To both of these institutions he was a strong pillar and liberal contributor.
Mr. Williamson was Ordinary of Dodge County two terms, beginning about 1895. His administration of this office was marked by splendid efficiency and admirable economy, he rendered to the people the same fine business management that characterized his personal affairs.
Mr. Williamson’s life and character constitute a remarkable demonstration of what a man may accomplish through the exercise of economy, energy and industry, coupled with the practice of hat rigid honesty and justice that marked all of his transactions.

Source: Tad Evans, Dodge County Newspaper Clippings Volume IV1920-1928.

National Register of Historic Places

7 Comments

Filed under --DODGE COUNTY GA--, Eastman GA