The Gum Branch (sometimes written as one word, Gumbranch) community dates to at least 1833, when records show that members of Beard’s Creek Primitive Baptist Church organized Gum Branch Primitive Baptist Church in western Liberty County.
Built in the late 1880s, this house was the home of the Mills family for most of the 20th century. (This photo was made in February 2010). According to Virginia Fraser Evans’ Liberty County: A Pictorial History, George M. and Flora Fraser Mills moved here with their son Wallace Fraser Mills in 1903. It was recently sold by its present owners and moved to another location. It really is a shame, as Hinesville has very few historic structures, even though it is located in one of the most historic counties in the state. Perhaps the most beautiful grove of oaks in Hinesville was located here, as well, and they were recently removed for the construction of a government building. Thanks to Della Martin for the identification.
Darrell Sheppard writes: The old building in Allenhurst was Sheppard’s Grocery. It was built by Troy Allen Sheppard, Sr., after leaving Willie, Georgia, in the 1940s. It had the living quarters in the rear. After his death in 1967 Troy Sheppard, Jr., opened an auto electric repair and operated it until his death in 1991. It now belongs to Darrell Sheppard.
This was used as the jail until 1969. When groundbreaking for the new jail was done in 1970, Governor Lester Maddox condemned this structure as “a rotten, filthy rathole”. Harsh words, but they came at a time when jails of this era were being demolished and replaced all over Georgia. It also contained the residence of the jailer, who was often the county sheriff. The architect is unknown, but the builder was a Mr. Parkhill. Today, the jail is a free museum owned by the City of Hinesville. It’s open from 10-12 on Tuesdays and Fridays.
National Register of Historic Places