I’ve been scanning a few of my older prints from film cameras recently and came across these photos, made in the parking lot of the Tifton Mall in 2006. Men who sell watermelons from their trucks are fixtures in every small town and crossroads, even today, but this gentleman had a pile of them.
Category Archives: Tifton GA
W. A. Edwards designed Tift County’s courthouse in the Beaux Arts style quite popular at the time. On first glance it may appear a bit mundane, but walk around the square and you’ll likely by inspired by its architectural influences. My favorite features are the lion medallions at the top of the front facade.
National Register of Historic Places
Love Avenue and Methodist Church, Circa 1907
I’ve been collecting antique postcards of South Georgia towns since I was in college, beginning in 1988. I recently inherited a large collection and like to share them from time to time. Most of these were not used, but they date from 1905-1915.
Class of Stump Pullers, Second Congressional District Agricultural School (Known as ABAC today)
Hotel Myon, Circa 1912
Through the Pines, Near Tifton
E. L. Vickers Residence
As it looks today.
Lewis Hine was a pioneering documentary photographer, whose influence could be seen in the later work of Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and countless others. He’s best known for exposing the plight of child labor and his images made in America’s cotton mills and sweat shops helped put an end to the practice. An exhibit of his work will open at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture in Tifton this Saturday (15 March), highlighted by a reunion of the descendants of the girl pictured at right in the above photograph, Eddie Lou Young. Joe Manning, whose blog, Mornings on Maple Street, has traced many of the subjects of Hines’ photographs, is the organizer of the project.
Here’s yet another South Georgia landmark about to be lost to “progress”. Streamline Moderne architecture, characterized by curving forms and long horizontal lines, is akin somewhat to Art Deco and has been disappearing nearly as fast as our tobacco barns and country stores. (Thanks to Lew Oliver for correctly identifying this form for me). Since it doesn’t have the same aesthetic, it’s harder to drum up widespread preservation support, or even interest for that matter. But it’s a highly endangered form in our area. A preservationist friend recently made me aware that the razing of this structure was imminent; even though it was a hard fought battle, the local preservation group relented and has allowed the tear-down to move forward.
Buddy Bryan, who first identified this for me in 2010, wrote: “This old market on the corner of Central Avenue and Second Street was originally owned by Buster Branch during the late ’40s and 50′s and known as Branch’s Market.” It wasn’t the first supermarket in Tifton, though, as I had originally thought. Matt Brown writes: The first super market in Tifton was the A & P Super Market… The A & P was located on 3rd Street across from Lang Printing. The building was completed and the A & P opened in the summer on 1947. Branch’s Market opened in 1948. I know these facts because my father, uncle and grandfather were the contractor’s that built the A & P food store…W P Brown & Sons. The building is still in use today and through the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s was home to the Goodyear Tire & Service Center.
This view, and the one below, show the Second Street side of the building, as well as the old South Georgia Ice Company. I think the ice company took over the market building at one point, as well.
The last two shots are detail studies of the iconic curved corner with the glass bricks and lamp post.
Though the forthcoming tenant, Colony Bank, has submitted plans “incorporating” these historic details, it will be a far cry from the original, and in my opinion, an insult to the original architecture.
Update: Branch’s Market was razed in 2014.
Though it was attached to the old Branch’s Market building and most Tiftonites called this whole corner “the ice plant”, the two were actually separate businesses at one time. The historic Ice Company building was razed along with Branch’s Market. Christian Rogers noted in a comment in 2010, “It was used as an ice plant for years. (As late as mid-90s.) You could drive up and put a dollar in the machine and it would deliver a block of ice on a conveyor belt.”