Category Archives: –IRWIN COUNTY GA–

Demolition of the Irwinville Hotel

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Giddens Farmhouse, Irwin County

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Tenant Farmhouse, Irwin County

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McMillan’s Jewelers, Ocilla

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Mr. Emory McMillan (along with Mrs. Eula) and his jewelry store were synonymous with style and good taste in Ocilla for much of the later half of the 20th century. He was a no-nonsense gentleman who, like the best of small-town merchants, knew his community and his customers well. Since his passing in 2012, the storefront has been repainted and another business located here. To many, it will always be remembered as McMillan’s Jewelers.

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Abandoned Farmhouse, Irwinville

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Tenant Farmhouse, Irwin County

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Lichens & Mosses, Irwin County

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The sandy ridges of the Alapaha River bottomlands are abundant with these lichens and mosses. On Crystal Lake Road, near the river, they blanket the right of way for nearly a mile.

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I don’t know enough about these species to say much about their biology, but they’re a beautiful sight and seem almost otherworldly. The dominant blueish-green variety in most of these photos is known as Dixie Reindeer Lichen, or reindeer moss locally, (Cladonia subtenius). It’s widespread in protected areas throughout South Georgia.

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The species seen below is known as British Soldiers (Cladonia cristatella), for the bright red “blooms”.

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