Alapaha River, Berrien-Atkinson County Line

Near the forgotten community of Bannockburn, the Alapaha River marks the boundary between Berrien and Atkinson counties. The Georgia Highway 135 bridge that crosses here normally spans a smallish stream, but if you wonder why it’s so big, check out a Google Earth view of the river at high water. It fills up quickly. [Note the pilings of an old bridge or trestle in the sandbar]. At present (early autumn 2019) the river is low enough to ford and not even get your knees wet. The Alapaha is special to me because Lucy Lake (an Alapaha oxbow in northern Berrien County) was the first place my father took my brother and me river fishing. It had been a popular spot with locals for many years and he had fished there with his father and uncles many times as a young man himself. The river seemed so much bigger to me then.

The Alapaha is one of Georgia’s most beautiful black water rivers. Little known to people not near its banks, it rises in southern Dooly County and meanders southeastward toward its confluence with the Suwannee River near Jasper, Florida. During this course it collects the Wilacoochee, Alapahoochee, and Little Alapaha rivers. An intermittent river, it goes underground through parts of its course, especially in Hamilton County, Florida. A famous locale there, near Jennings, is the Dead River Sink.

The earliest known reference to the Alapaha was made by Hernando de Soto’s expedition. It noted a village near the Suwannee known as Yupaha, in the 16th century.



Sweetwater United Methodist Church, Circa 1888, Atkinson County


Sweetwater is located adjacent to Refuge Primitive Baptist Church. The South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church notes: Less than a mile from the present site, this church was organized in 1888, in a log church with 10-12 members.  It takes its name from the nearby Sweet Water Creek which runs just north of the church.  This is the original church, brick-veneered with new windows and air conditioning added in 1979-80.  The original hard carved altar rail and pulpit are still used.  It had door on each end and both sides with Rev. H. T. Ethridge as the first pastor.

Leave a comment

Filed under --ATKINSON COUNTY GA--

Refuge Primitive Baptist Church, Atkinson County


This congregation was established on 7 July 1917.



Filed under --ATKINSON COUNTY GA--

Barn & School Bus, Atkinson County

Atkinson County GA School Bus and Barn Near Coochee Creek Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Sometimes, an old barn and an old school bus are all  you need for a good photograph. This was taken near Coochee Creek Road and the license plate on the bus was dated 1983.

Leave a comment

Filed under --ATKINSON COUNTY GA--

Salem Church, 1889, Atkinson County

Atkinson County GA Historic Salem Church Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

This church was built by Martin S. Corbitt, who was born nearby on 12 May 1840. He donated two acres of land for this purpose. The church is located on the historic Kinnaird Trail, a Native American trading route.  He married Leonora Wealtha Pafford (born 26 August 1847) on 26 November 1867. Two of their sons, William Manning Corbitt and Martin Rayburn Corbitt, built the pews and benches still intact today. Upon its completion, the structure also served as a school with the older Corbitt children serving as teachers. Martin Corbitt lived at Salem all but the last 11 years of his life; he moved into the first house in Pearson and became its first mayor.

Atkinson County GA Historic Salem Church Interior Handhewn Pews Tongue and Groove Walls Unadorned Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Martin S. & Leonora Wealtha Corbitt had 11 children: Catherine Imogene, Mary Ann Miranda, Newton Rowan, William Manning, Henry Madison, Martin Rayburn, Frances Lenora, Martha Ann Elizabeth, Wealtha Alvina, Rebecca Virginia, and Levia Jane.

Leonora died on 5 May 1896 and was the first person buried in the cemetery. On 1 May 1899 Martin married Minnie Frazier Faircloth (9 May 1865-September 1955) and they had three children: Duvon Clough, Frazier Solon, and and William J.

Martin S. Corbitt died on 1 July 1913 and was buried beside his first wife.

The descendants “come back home” the last Sunday in September each year to celebrate their ancestors.


Filed under --ATKINSON COUNTY GA--

Old Kirkland Post Office, Atkinson County

Kirkland GA Atkinson County Old Store American Flag Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

This appears to have been a general store at one time, judging by the architecture, but it is remembered as the Kirkland Post Office. Shea Browning writes: According to Mr. Clark Tanner, a lifelong resident of Atkinson County who grew up near this building’s location, this was the old Kirkland post office. Online historical postal records indicate there was a post office at this approximate location between 1875 and 1954. According to Mr. Tanner, “Mr. Silas White, Betsy’s husband, was the rural mail carrier and owned the building. After the post office closed, the White’s rented the house.” Others have mentioned Mrs. White renting out the home for 40+ years to various tenants.

Kirkland GA Atkinson County Old Store Building Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014


Filed under --ATKINSON COUNTY GA--, Kirkland GA

Kirkland United Methodist Church, 1890, Atkinson County

Kirkland United Methodist Church Atkinson County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

This congregation dates to around 1888 and originally held services in a one-room log schoolhouse. This structure, built in 1890, remains in use today.

Leave a comment

Filed under --ATKINSON COUNTY GA--, Kirkland GA