This Queen Anne farmhouse was built by Middleton Jones and was later the home of his son Archie Jones. After many years of decline, it was recently restored by Sabrina Sellers. The property, which features an open-air chapel among other amenities, is now an event venue known as Doe Lee. It’s a beautiful place, located “out in the country” near Lumber City.
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70,000 gallons of water issue from the underground caves at Radium Springs every minute, making it the largest springs in the state. It’s considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia and is located just outside Albany. Over a quarter mile of the underground caves encompassing the springs were mapped by Deloach, Young, and Exley, for the National Speleological Society. Features of the caves have names like Fat Man’s Misery, Mermaid’s Tunnel, Hall of Giants, and Neptune’s Trident. Only the most experienced divers have ever seen these wonders and though rare, permits are occasionally still issued to experts wishing to explore the area. Guy Bryant has shared some nice footage on YouTube.
It was a revered ceremonial site first known as Skywater to Native Americans. After encroachment in the 1830s it came to be known as Blue Springs and was a popular swimming hole with pioneer settlers of Albany and surrounding areas. Standing near the cave entrance/springhead today, one is likely to see numerous fish schooling, including Gulf striped bass which wouldn’t be here without the cool temperature of the springs.
By the early 20th century, its prominence as a commercial recreational site was ensured and developers constructed a restaurant and guest cottages to meet the needs of day trippers who enjoyed bathing in its waters, which were a constant 68 degrees. Traces of radium were found in the water in the 1920s and the name was changed to Radium Springs to reflect this discovery. Mineral springs were all the rage in the era as they were thought to have healing powers and this only added to the popularity of the site.
The Radium Springs Casino was completed in 1927. It rose above terraced stone walls and featured a cavernous dance hall and elegant dining room.
A fire in 1982 and devastating floods in 1994 and 1998 damaged the casino beyond repair. The remaining structure was removed in 2003.
A courtyard stands today on the site of the casino and features interpretive signs detailing the history of Radium Springs.
The stonework surrounding the springs and pool is one of the most significant remaining architectural features of the site.
These features are generally not accessible today, though, as they are beginning to crumble and in serious need of restoration.
This is one of two gazebos that were located along the beach.
The spring run which empties into the Flint River is known as Skywater Creek.
The ruins of the main gazebo are being restored.
They’re located just inside the historic gate. Both structures date to the 1920s, when the casino was constructed. At the peak of the site’s popularity, a nearby golf course was equally popular as the springs and attracted notables, including the great golfer Bobby Jones.
The entrance gate is a monumental Colonial Revival landmark.
It features two ticket booths.
Known today as Radium Springs Gardens, it’s operated by the City of Albany and admission is free. It’s a wonderful green space that everyone should see at least once. Though swimming or fishing is no longer allowed, it’s a wonderful place to unwind.
Georgia is lucky to have three landmark minor league parks dating to the 1920s [Golden Park in Columbus (1926); Grayson Stadium in Savannah(1926); and Luther Williams Field in Macon (1929)], but none is as old as Sylvester’s historic Pope Park. It’s been in continuous use as a baseball venue since 1910.
Named for Colonel John D. Pope, it has hosted amateur, semi-pro, American Legion and county league teams throughout its history. It’s presently home to the Worth County Rams high school team. The wooden grandstand is a rare sight in the modern era of baseball and is the centerpiece of Pope Park. The property is maintained jointly by the City of Sylvester and Worth County High School.
This was one of numerous motor courts along busy U.S. Highway 82 built between the 1930s and early 1960s. This was likely built around the end of World War II. The wrought iron posts are obviously later additions, as they aren’t visible in the vintage postcard, below.
Linen postcard, circa 1945. Courtesy The Tichnor Brothers Collection, Boston Public Library.