This was photographed in 2001 and razed by 2010.
This film photograph, from 2002, is an earlier view of the barn near Spring Hill Primitive Baptist Church, seen here. It was the first tobacco barn I was able to document over a long period of time. Nancy Harper Redman writes: Hoke Deberry owned this property, which includes the spring from which the church gets its name…My Dad (the late Marcus F. Roberts of Berrien County) was related to some of the Deberrys. He played in that spring and woods when he was a small boy.
This simple gable front farmhouse has been a landmark in my travels between Fitzgerald and Irwinville all my life. Angie Sheffield Winn writes: The house originally belonged to Marshall Brown. He deeded it, along with five acres, to Jack and Gussie Leaphart to build a tractor repair shop on, in order to keep a tractor mechanic in the neighborhood. This is an edit of a film photograph made in 2001.
There’s just something unsettling about this picture of the Irwinville Hotel. Many people have contacted me with complaints about the destruction of this mid-1880s landmark. The most common comments (and they’ve been numerous) have been: “Just what the world needs, another Dollar General” and “Dollar General is a plague on the landscape“. I tend to agree. While I agree that anyone has the right to sell their land to anyone whom they wish to, I’m amazed that the community couldn’t come together for a better solution. In the past few years, Irwinville lost their post office, can barely keep the capture site of Jefferson Davis open, and now, is losing this. All this while a local state representative and state senator made no overtures to do anything about it. I don’t believe it’s the government’s responsibility to “save” these places, but a little input would have been nice.
While I’ve seen interior shots of the hotel posted on other sites, I was unable to get such images. At any rate, the property has long been used as a residential rental and retained very little of its historic interior appearance.
Progress is never a bad thing, as I’ve said numerous times over the past ten years. But the loss of landmarks in our smallest towns shouldn’t be a part of that progress.