Category Archives: –WEBSTER COUNTY GA–

Preston United Methodist Church, 1895, Webster County

The first church in this area, known as Lannahassee, was established before 1840 and met in a wood frame building with dirt floors. It was served by a circuit rider and met monthly. Around 1840, a wave of settlers came from South Carolina and the church became interdenominational. Theological disagreement soon arose and the Methodists began meeting in the courthouse until they moved into another frame structure, where they met until the present church was constructed in 1895.

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New Webster County Jail, 1910, Preston

Built to replace the old jail, which was located next door (below), this structure was used at least into the 1990s to temporarily house prisoners and as the sheriff’s’ office.

National Register of Historic Places

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Old Webster County Jail, Circa 1856, Preston

This wooden jail was built soon after Kinchafoonee County became Webster County and served that purpose until 1910. It’s among the only antebellum jails still standing in Georgia. Dr. Fay Stapleton Burnett writes: This is the jail in which Susan Eberhart and Enoch Spann were housed from 1872-1873, when they both were hanged for murdering Spann’s invalid wife. This is a tragic tale of justice, mercy, ignorance, poverty and mental illness. 

It was unheard of for a white woman to be executed in 19th-century Georgia, and many, though aware of Eberhart’s guilt, were opposed to it. The case was a media sensation, prompting former Confederate vice-president Alexander Stephens to opine in his newspaper, the Atlanta Daily Sun: “the most interesting case of crime that ever occurred in Georgia, and which is certainly one of the strangest in history of crimes.”

Dr. Burnett has just published a book about this case and you can contact her here for information on ordering.

National Register of Historic Places

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Hour of Prayer Church, Webster County

Hour of Prayer Randolph County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

I photographed this church in 2009. I think it had already been abandoned at that time.  The faux “stained glass” windows were what immediately drew me to the place. I’ve heard that it’s been torn down in the past year or so.

Hour of Prayer Randolph County GA Faux Stained Painted Glass Window Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

I don’t know what congregation it originally housed, nor if it began as a white or black church, but it made a lasting impression on me.

Hour of Prayer African American Church Randolph County GA Hand Stenciled Sign Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

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Mom’s Kitchen, Preston

moms kitchen last supper mural preston ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

In 2015, a friend and I were driving from Columbus back to the coast after a full morning of rafting on the Chattahoochee River. We pulled into Preston about 2:45 and since I’d always wanted to eat here anyway, decided to give it a try. I’ll never hesitate to stop here again. It was some of the best “restaurant” food I’ve ever eaten, and tasted much more like home cooking than almost anywhere else that claims they have home cooking.

moms kitchen preston ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

I had fried chicken (perfection), lima beans (best ever) and sweet potato pie (HEAVENLY) with fried corn bread on the side. Besides the fact they’re open all day, the staff is genuinely hospitable and treat you like family from the moment you walk in the door. It’s no wonder this place is so popular! Do yourself a favor and go a little out of the way when you’re in Southwest Georgia and stop by Mom’s Kitchen.

moms kitchen preston ga soul food excellence photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

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Olympic Torch Relay Marker, Preston

preston ga olympic torch relay marker photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

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Webster County Courthouse, 1915, Preston

webster county courhtouse richland ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

Created in 1853 as Georgia’s 104th county, Webster County was originally known as Kinchafoonee County, but the name was changed just three years later over concerns that the name would be a source of ridicule. I personally like the name and the beautiful creek from which it was derived.

National Register of Historic Places

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