Tag Archives: Collection of Brian Brown

The House by the Road, 1915, Ashburn

Various postcards over the years advertised this charming Craftsman bungalow as “The House by the Road”, dubbing it a “Modern Tourist Home” and a “Beautiful Private Estate Open to Guests”. Other enticements included locked garages, porter service, steam heat with automatic stoker control, electric fans, hot water, shower baths, and Beautyrest box springs. Known as a boarding house, it was also the home of Mrs. Robert R. Shingler, who took great pride in maintaining a hospitable stop for travelers along US 41, a primary north-south route in the days before interstate highways. It is now a private residence.

In renovation, it has been slightly altered, though retains its overall original appearance.

Shingler Heights Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


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

Crystal Lake, July 1940, Irwin County

These snapshots were made by Frances Trammell McCormick in July 1940. This early pavilion (above) was quite different from the two that followed. It was an open-air shelter and likely held a concession stand. [I have a download of another snapshot from the same era of a much more elaborate structure which was identified as being at Crystal Lake but I’m having trouble confirming it; it seems unlikely that there would have been two large pavilions at the site around the same time].

The edge of the pavilion is visible at the extreme left of this photograph, made from the lake. A small wooden structure, likely a diving platform, is also visible. I believe there are cars parked near the shoreline.

Shoreline from the lake

Boaters passing a wooden slide

Water skier

A couple walking on the beach, with the slide visible to the left



Filed under --IRWIN COUNTY GA--, Crystal Lake GA

Riley Spear Fender & Body Works, Columbus

This photograph of Riley Spear’s garage was made circa 1939. Cathy Fussell notes this was a well-known business in Columbus for many years.


Filed under --MUSCOGEE COUNTY GA--, Columbus GA

Effie Sharp Bush, Widow of Georgia’s Last Confederate Soldier, Fitzgerald, Circa 1977

The lady in this photograph was Mrs. Effie Tinnell Sharp Bush [1887-1980], widow of Georgia’s last surviving Confederate soldier, William Joshua Bush [1845-1952]. ‘Uncle Josh’ as family and close friends knew him, was afforded the honorific ‘General’ Bush in recognition of his connection to the Civil War. I haven’t been able to confirm it, but it’s likely that Mrs. Bush was also the last surviving Confederate widow in Georgia. This snapshot was made in the late 1970s during a town festival by a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who graciously gave me the photograph.

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Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--, Fitzgerald GA

Millworker’s Houses, Fitzgerald

These are among the last of the millworker’s houses in the Fitzgerald Cotton Mills that haven’t been covered with vinyl siding.

The utilitarian structures were provided to employees of the mill and many families remained in them after the mill closed.

This was the last in original condition; I photographed it in 2009 and it was razed by 2010.

The Fitzgerald Cotton Mills, seen on a vintage postcard, circa 1912.


Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--, Fitzgerald GA

Camellia Courts, 1940s, Jesup

This is one of a few survivors of numerous motels located in and near Jesup on US 301, mostly from the 1940s-1960s. I believe it was last used as apartments. The two story building was a lounge and coffee shop (the upstairs was an office and/or residence). Carol C. Harper writes: In its heyday, when 301 was a main thoroughfare, this was “Camellia Courts”, a popular motel owned and operated by Curtis and Mabel Harper of Jesup. The Harpers were my husband’s uncle and aunt. The motel offered a restaurant, swimming pool, and beautiful camellias cultivated by Mabel and shared with guests.

A 1949 postcard from my collection also lists R. L. Harper as an owner of the property at the time. It was later known as the Mary Ann Motel.



Filed under --WAYNE COUNTY GA--, Jesup GA

Picnic on the St. Marys River, St. George, 1909

Georgia’s southernmost town, St. George, is located within the “Georgia Bend” of the St. Marys River. This historic postcard, mailed from St. George, illustrates a picnic held along the river in February 1909. I have no idea what occasion warranted such a photograph. It must have been a really mild winter, though, as a few of the boys are standing in the river.


Filed under --CHARLTON COUNTY GA--, St. George GA

Toby’s Motel & Grill, Alapaha

Alapaha GA Tobys Motel Grill Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Built to lure travelers off busy US Highway 82 (likely in the 1940s), Toby Powell’s Motel & Grill is still relatively intact. The eclectic architecture of the office/restaurant at first appears to be a crumbling facade, but it was built that way! For a time after its original use was supplanted, it served as a grocery store and Virginia’s Beauty Lounge.

Alapaha GA Tobys Motel Grill Abandoned Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Below is a contemporary postcard view.

Tobys Motel Grill Alapaha GA Postcard 1950s Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

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Filed under --BERRIEN COUNTY GA--, Alapaha GA

Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton’s “Columbus Stockade Blues”

Columbus Stockade Blues Tom Darby Jimmie Tarlton Early Georgia Roots Musicians Real Photo Postcard Collection of Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014Tom Darby (l) & Jimmie Tarlton. Real Photo Promotional Postcard, 1927. Collection of Brian Brown.

This postcard came into my possession through the estate of a cousin, who was a great niece of Tom Darby. Largely forgotten today, Thomas P. (Tom) Darby [1892-1971] and James J. (Jimmie) Tarlton [1892-1979] were considered not only legendary bluesmen but pioneers of country music as well. They’ve been called the first country musicians to employ the steel guitar. Their most famous work, “Columbus Stockade Blues”, has been covered by artists ranging from Doc Watson and Willie Nelson to Bill Monroe, Jimmie Davis, and Bob Dylan. When they made the recording for Columbia in Atlanta in November 1927 Tom Darby pressed for a flat payment of $150 but Jimmie Tarlton wanted royalties. The song took off and sold over 200,000 copies in a short time and though the duo recorded 63 more songs dating to 1933, hostilities over lost royalties finally drove them apart. They reunited in 1965 for a symphony appearance in Columbus but no further collaborative recordings were made. Tarlton, always considered the standout of the duo, did make solo recordings in the 1960s. Search Amazon for compilations, which are available and provide valuable insight into the birth of American popular music.

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Filed under --MUSCOGEE COUNTY GA--, Columbus GA

Remembering My Great-Grandfather, Veteran of World War I

Burt Herman Browning Fitzgerald GA World War I Veteran NC Infantry Photograph Collection of Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014Burt Herman Browning, Veteran of World War I (1892-1951), Photographed in Fitzgerald, Georgia, 1939

In honor of all those serving today and in memory of those who have gone before us, I’m sharing a photograph of my great-grandfather, Burt Herman Browning, who as a veteran of the French theater in World War I represents the sacrifice of service.  He was gassed with mustard gas and suffered shell shock in the trenches of Alsace and though he survived the war, he suffered the effects for the remainder of his life.  A native of Scotland, Georgia, he mustered into the North Carolina infantry because he was working there at the outbreak of the Great War. Upon his return he married my great-grandmother (Sadie Harrell Browning) in Eastman, and after traveling around from one South Georgia town to another they finally settled in Fitzgerald in 1929. The damage of war made it difficult for him to farm or do manual labor and he was a grocer and small store owner as long as he was able to work. Much of his life in between working was spent shuffling back and forth between Fitzgerald and the Veterans Hospital in Gulfport, Mississippi. It made my great-grandmother’s life difficult, but since the government wouldn’t do its part for veterans, then as now, she worked in various textile mills around Fitzgerald and helped provide. That’s just what people did.

I don’t have a photograph of my great-grandfather in his uniform. I’m not sure if there ever was one or if his flashbacks motivated my great-grandmother to do away with them. But I’m lucky to have his dog tags.



Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--, Fitzgerald GA