Category Archives: Tifton GA

Watermelon Man, Tifton

tifton ga watermelon seller 2006  photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

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.

tifton ga watermelon man 2006 photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

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Tift County Courthouse, 1913, Tifton

tift county courthouse tifton ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

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.

tift county courthouse lion medallion photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

National Register of Historic Places

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Danny Ross Motor Court, Tifton

tifton ga highway 41 danny ross motor court sign photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

This sign was located on US 41 near ABAC. I’m not sure if it’s still standing, but it was erected in the late 1940s or early 1950s for the Danny Ross Motor Court.

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Early Postcard Views of Tifton

Tifton GA Antique Postcard Love Avenue Methodist Church Dirt Streets Collection of Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

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.

Tifton GA Antique Postcard Class of Stump Pullers ABAC 2nd District Ag School Collection of Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Class of Stump Pullers, Second Congressional District Agricultural School (Known as ABAC today)

Tifton GA Antique Postcard Myon Hotel Collection of Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Hotel Myon, Circa 1912

Tifton GA Early View of Downtown Business Section Antique Postcard Collection of Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Business Section

Tifton GA Antique Postcard Early Automobile Dirt Road Pine Trees Collection of Brian Brown Vanishing SOuth Georgia USA 2014

Through the Pines, Near Tifton

TIfton GA Antique Postcard E L Vickers House Collection of Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

E. L. Vickers Residence

As it looks today.

tifton-ga-e-l-vickers-carson-house-high-victorian-landmark-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2009

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Lewis Hine Exhibit at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture

cotton-mill-girls-tifton-ga-1909-lewis-wickes-hine-reprint-courtesy-library-of-congress-child-labor-sewing-factories-labor-conditions-bad-hours-exploitation-rural-south-georgia1“Two of the helpers in the Tifton Cotton Mill, Tifton, Ga. They work regularly.” January 1909, Lewis Hine. Library of Congress.

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.

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Branch’s Market, 1948, Tifton

Branch's Market Mid Century Modern Architecture Ice Company Tifton GA Yellow Brick Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

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.

Branch's Market Tifton GA Mid Century Modern Landmark First Supermarket Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

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.

Branch's Market Mid Century Modern Architecture Ice Company Tifton GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

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.

Branch's Market Mid Century Modern Architecture Ice Company Tifton GA Soon to Be Torn Down Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

The last two shots are detail studies of the iconic curved corner with the glass bricks and lamp post.

Branch's Market Mid Century Modern Architecture Corner Entrance Yellow Tile Lamp Post Sign Tifton GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

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.

Branch's Market Mid Century Modern Architecture Ice Company Tifton GA Soon to Be Torn Down Original Sign Lamp Column Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Update: Branch’s Market was razed in 2014.

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South Georgia Ice Company, Tifton

south-georgia-ice-company-tifton-ga-landmark-soon-to-be-razed-branchs-market-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2013

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.”

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