Category Archives: –TURNER COUNTY GA–

Camp Mt. Bethel, 1940s, Turner County

This was once the site of Camp Mt. Bethel, a campground of the Georgia State Association of Free Will Baptists. The property is located on an unusual natural landmark, distinguished by Ashburn Formation sandstone outcrops, that was a favorite recreation spot for early settlers of the area near the West Fork of Deep Creek.

I understand that the campground operated from circa 1948 until at least the late 1980s and holds many good memories for those who spent time here.

 

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Sparrow’s Nest, Ashburn

sparrows-nest-ashburn-ga-shingler-house-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2011

This is a long overdue correction which replaces a post from 2011. Becky Shingler Anderson clarified some confusion I had about this house when I first photographed it. She wrote: This was the home of my great-grandfather, James Simon Shingler. It is not the childhood home of Betty Shingler Talmadge. Her childhood home is across the street. Sarah M. Cook added: This is the Sparrow’s Nest. It was the Shingler’s home. They owned Shingler Heights, five blocks of residential buildings and one institutional building in Ashburn, which was constructed from 1895 to 1937…Its most elaborate structure is “Sparrow’s Nest,” built by local turpentine and agriculture entrepreneur, J.S. Shingler. Many of the homes in the historic district were built by Shingler’s relatives.

Shingler Heights Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Central Hallway Farmhouse, Turner County

turner-county-ga-double-pen-farmhouse-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2016

This relatively intact country house still includes its original kitchen, which was attached to the house at some point in its history.

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Wynn Peanut & Shelling, Sycamore

Wynn Peanut Sycamore GA Turner County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

This nice old warehouse and the garage seen in the next post were among the first places I photographed for Vanishing South Georgia six years ago. They haven’t changed much since then.

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Wynn’s Garage, Sycamore

Wynns Garage Sycamore GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Joy Jones Gregory: I remember going to Mr. Julius Wynn’s garage as a young child, with my father. The oil smell, the pot belly heater, an several men always sitting around the warmth. The one other thing I remember was the sign on the wall. It said” if you spit on the floor at home, go home and spit.”

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Inaha Baptist Church, Turner County

Inaha Baptist Church Turner County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 20143

This congregation was established in 1890. Inaha, like so many other places in Georgia, was once a busy crossroads with its own store and farmers coming in regularly to “trade” and swap tales. Today, it exists in name only, with the church being the last tangible link to its past. For a nice memory of the place, please read John Wayne McRae’s essay, linked above. He shares some great anecdotes about visits to his uncle and aunt Jim and Margaret Phelps Hale, who operated B. E. Smith’s store in Inaha. And for you non-locals, it’s pronounced eye-na-haw.

A couple of years ago, Vanessa Baker Waid wrote: The old country store that was referred to as being owned by the Hales was actually started by my great grandfather B.E. Smith. My grandfather Charles H. Smith was the last owner of the store and he passed away from cancer in 1968. The store was closed permanently in ’70 or ’71. The Hales did work there at one time (as did other folks) but never owned it.  

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Vernacular Farmhouse, Inaha

Farmhouse with Awnings Pecan Orchard Inaha GA Turner County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

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John Evans House, 1897, Ashburn (Then & Now)

Evans House Ashburn GA Photograph Courtesy Wayne Blue at Vanishing South Georgia 2014

Thanks to Wayne Blue, who obtained this photograph from a grandson of John L. Evans, we now have an idea of what this Ashburn landmark looked like in its early days. I just heard from Lynette Robison that she and her husband have purchased the house and are in the process of restoring it. I was so glad to hear this, as it’s one of the most beautiful and important houses in Turner County.

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On 30 June 2014, David Baldwin shared this fascinating history of the house: The house was built in 1897 by John West Evans according the the Ashburn Advance newspaper. Mr. Evans was associated withe the Betts Saw Mill in Dempsey, near Eastman, and he came over with the crowd in late October 1888 after the Georgia Florida and Southern railroad line connected north of Ashburn completing the line from Macon to Palatka, Florida. Mr. Betts and Mr. Evans married sisters Ella & Josephine Bohannon of Dodge County. He was originally from Hawkinsville. He attended Sparta Academy in Hancock County. His teacher was William Northen, who later became Governor of Georgia and who signed the charter establishing Ashburn as a city. Mr. Northen also served as President of the Georgia Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention and would stay in homes like this one, as he traveled the state doing his duty. Mr. Evans was the first Postmater in Ashburn. He served in the Georgia Militia during the War Between the States. He died early.

This is the only house in Ashburn that is noted for being truly haunted. In 1935, a young lady who ran the local theater was leasing the second floor and decided to have a Christmas party. They hired a young black woman (Aza Martin) to cook the chicken. Supposedly the young lady got drunk and did not have the chicken ready. A young man with a bad temper carried her to the third floor attic and beat her with a wooden chair. Sheriff Story later found the chair with blood on it. At 3 am the boys of the party brought her body down to put it in the trunk of a car. Mrs. Evans, the daughter in law of Mr. John West Evans (deceased), opened her downstairs door and saw them bringing the body down the stairs. They took the body to a negro named James Worthy, a coal suite operator. He placed the near dead girl in the loft in his house. He was arrested in the following weeks but then let go. She continued to be reported missing. Finally,in March her body was found in Little River by some black loggers. Her mother identified her by the shape of her teeth and her dress. An inquest was held by main men of the town who determined the death was by unknown origin. The young man that committed the crime was reported to have attempted suicide between December and March, but survived. He went on the live as a Christian but no doubt he had to live with this crime all his life. The boys there that night committed to forever hold a secret as to what happened and as far as this writer knows they have. The murdered lady is said to haunt the house by those that have lived there. Milton Cravey was one.

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Filed under --TURNER COUNTY GA--, Ashburn GA

Roadside Wildflowers, Turner County

Roadside Wildflowers Spring Color Verbena Turner County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

This was shot on Haw Pond Road.

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Live Oak Methodist Church, 1888, Turner County

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Abandoned Historic Southern Structure Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Over a year ago, Melvin Newton contacted me about this church. I was amazed because it’s less than fifteen minutes from my parents’ back door and no one I knew had ever even heard of the place. Melvin wrote, in part: There is an old church in Turner County known as Live Oak Methodist Church. It is idle now as there have been no services there for several years. I was born and raised in the Live Oak Community and attended this church from as long as I can remember until I went into the Air Force in 1957. This old church is very dear to me and it’s on its last legs and in dire need of repair.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Abandoned Historic Structure Endangered Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The congregation was established on 13 September 1888, and though the exterior was sided with asbestos at some point (likely the 1950s or thereabouts), the interior remains virtually original and appears to be contemporary to the date of the founding. As you can see in this view, the middle of the structure is sagging. This is so severe that the brick pillar below the third window from the left has collapsed. It means without stabilization, gravity will cause the structure to fall in on itself at some point.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Abandoned Historic Structure Rear View Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

A beautiful old oak tree is located at the rear of the building.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Pulpit Candle Stands Local Craftsmanship Carpentry Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The interior is now absent its pews. I’m hoping family members of the congregation removed them and not vandals. The most striking feature remaining is the handcrafted pulpit and altar and the old piano, which I’ll share from several perspectives here.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Pulpit Altar Piano Southern Gothic Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Pulpit Altar Piano Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Pulpit Altar Piano Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The view below show just how badly the floor is sagging.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Southern Sagging Floor Compromised Structural Integrity Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

And here’s a view from the altar to the front door:

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Southern Endangered Architecture Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

These old flowers, perhaps brought in from the cemetery, add color to the place.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Old Christmas Flowers Wreath Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Ultimately, I’m grateful to Melvin Newton for bringing this church to my attention. It’s a real treasure which I fear will soon be lost.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Abandoned Historic Structure Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

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