Category Archives: Lumber City GA

Italianate Triplets, Lumber City

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I call these three townhouses “triplets” because they’re all essentially of the same design, certainly the work of the same builder. They’re located on Church Street, across from the Lumber City Methodist Church. Italianate is not a common style in this part of Georgia and to find three in a row is a treat indeed. For many years these were thought to have been built by legendary steamboat Captain John L. Day for his three daughters, but research has proven that Captain Day only had one daughter. That story likely originated due to the fact that these houses are located behind Captain Day’s residence and that he owned them as rental properties at the time of his death in 1906. It’s now though that Matt Cook was the builder.

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This one retains its original appearance, except for the door, which is a replacement. And I believe all three originally had a tin roof.

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This is the most modified of the three, with vinyl siding and the screened-in porch. Still, it was tastefully remodeled.

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This is the most unmodified of the three, as evidenced in these views.

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Though I’ve seen these houses many times, I was made more aware of their significance by Terry Kearns, who photographed them and posted an entry about them on his delightful blog, Architecture Tourist.

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The Last Raft Monument,1982, Lumber City

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In 1982, Dr. Delma Presley, a professor at Georgia Southern organized Project R.A.F.T. as a way to honor the memories of the men who floated timber down the Ocmulgee and Altamaha Rivers in the early part of the 20th century. R.A.F.T. was an acronym for Restore Altamaha Folklife Traditions. The project, which was centered here at McRae’s Landing, was a huge success and was coordinated with folklife festivals along the river. Author Brainard Cheney, a native of Fitzgerald who had written several popular novels about life on the river was also active in the project and spoke at numerous locations along the route. I wrote to Dr. Presley about his book Okefinokee Album (still in print!)and his work with Project R.A.F.T. when I was still in high school and he sent me a video tape and souvenir program of the project, which was my first exposure to local documentary work. I finally got to meet Dr. Presley in 2011 at a presentation to the Long County Chamber of Commerce and  he still has fond memories of this project, especially of the last raft pilot, the late Bill Deen. Dr. Presley himself is quite an accomplished scholar and was one of Georgia Southern’s most popular professors, combining his passion for literature with a passion to preserve and document the rapidly vanishing folk culture of Southeast Georgia. In fact, he’s been compiling research on the human history of the Altamaha River for over thirty years. He was also instrumental in establishing the Georgia Southern University Museum.

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Text on Monument: On April 3, 1982, Piloted by Captain Bill Deen, Age 90, the Last Raft of Georgia Pine Timber Began a Journey of 140 Miles Down the Ocmulgee and Altamaha Rivers to the Coastal City of Darien, Georgia. Smaller than the Great Rafts of the 1880s, the Raft of 1982 was 85 by 30 Feet and Weighed Almost 50 Tons. Oar Sweeps of 35 Feet Were at Each End. After Stopping for Folk Festivals Near Baxley and Jesup, the Raft and a Crew of 8 Arrived in Darien on April 20. The Rafthands of 1982 and Today Honor All Who Know and Love Our Rivers, Land, and People.

mcraes-landing-ocmulgee-river-lumber-city-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012McRae’s Landing, Ocmulgee River © Brian Brown 2012.

delma-presley-cecil-nobles-brian-brown-ludowici-ga-photograph-copyright-mike-mccall-for-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012Delma Presely, Cecil Nobles & Brian Brown © Mike McCall, 2011.

I’m pictured here with Dr. Del Presley (Front) and the late Long County Sheriff Cecil Nobles (Rear) at a 2011 Long County Chamber of Commerce event. Sheriff Nobles was very supportive of Dr. Presley’s research on the river.

 

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Pedestrian, Lumber City

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Southern Railway Swing Bridge, 1928, Lumber City

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Some sources have listed the date of construction for this landmark as 1916; 1928 is the accepted year per the construction records of the Virginia Bridge & Iron Company. The style is known as “through-truss”  and this is one of just a handful of surviving rotating bridges in Georgia.

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Tina Clay recalls: My grandparents lived on the Jeff Davis side of that river until the road was widened in the 80’s. They owned the land up to the river. My grandmother actually watched that bridge being built. It was prior to the bridge for auto travel when there was still a ferry in operation. I also lived there until I was 8 (when the road was widened). The train trestle was actually made to turn and rotate to allow larger ships passage down the river. That was one of the main reason to have someone on lookout. They also kept carrier pigeons up there and used them to communicate up and down the river.

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Main Street, Lumber City

historic lumber city ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

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Lumber City United Methodist Church, 1914

historic lumber city methodist church telfair county ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

From the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church:  The date for the beginning of this church is unknown, but it is at present in its fourth building. The first building was on the Boyd Plantation, the second, a church building of sawed lumber, and the third, built in 1868, was a white painted one. Fire destroyed one of the buildings, but the pulpit furniture was saved and is at use in the present building which was completed in 1913-1914. It has 20 stained glass windows…

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Brewer’s Barber Shop, Lumber City

lumber city ga brewers barber shop photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

James Nester writes: Some folks in Lumber City might refer to this building as “The Barber Shop”. Warren Brewer ran a barber shop here for many years. I think the smiley face was added after the barber shop closed.

lumber city ga smiley face vent photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georga usa 2009

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