1B Grade-Cordele Public School, Unknown Photographer, Circa 1911
These real photo postcards, made by an itinerant traveling photographer, provide a nice portrait of South Georgia schoolchildren in the early 20th century. They were acquired through the estate of a cousin, whose husband is identified in a couple of the cards. These are important social documents as they bear witness to the early days of the concept of government-funded public schools. They were still a relatively new concept in America, especially in the rural South at this time.
2B Grade-Cordele Public School, Unknown Photographer, Circa 1912
I’m not sure why there are two different views of the second grade class; perhaps they were made in different seasons. Somewhat odd to me is that the teacher is only pictured in one of the images (below).2B Grade-Cordele Public School, Unknown Photographer, Circa 1912
Love Avenue and Methodist Church, Circa 1907
I’ve been collecting antique postcards of South Georgia towns since I was in college, beginning in 1988. I recently inherited a large collection and like to share them from time to time. Most of these were not used, but they date from 1905-1915.
Class of Stump Pullers, Second Congressional District Agricultural School (Known as ABAC today)
Hotel Myon, Circa 1912
Through the Pines, Near Tifton
E. L. Vickers Residence
As it looks today.
This rare postcard from my collection is postmarked 1955 from Lyons. I don’t know that the photograph was local to that area; it may have been a stock image sold in different parts of the South, but it’s one of my favorites.
The structures seen above are still standing and largely unchanged in appearance, but it’s been many years since they served the purpose indicated here. The sign on the Cafe reads: Specializing in KC Steaks, Chops, Seafood, Frog Legs & Channel Catfish Dinners, while the back of the card notes the presence of a swimming pool, bowling, fishing, a mineral well 673 feet in depth and a Camellia & Azalea nursery.
Today, they’re used as a school for a nearby Christian community.
This postcard from my collection dates to around 1960. I regret I never photographed this place, which was demolished some time before 2006.
Douglas Municipal Airport, 1943
I recently inherited a large group of historic photographs, from which this treasure from World War II came to me. I do not know any personal information about the pilot seen here, Airman 1st Class John S. Hancock, except that he was a cousin of one of my cousins [Frances Trammell McCormick] and was trained by Bill Dillard.
From the World War II Flight Training Museum brochure: Originally a part of South Georgia College’s pilot training program, the 63rd Army Air Forces Contract Pilot Training School (Primary) was established in response to the urgent demand for pilots during World War II (1941-1945). The school was run during the war by the Raymond-Richardson Aviation Company, which was under the supervision of the U. S. Army Air Forces. Over 5,000 aviation cadets learned to fly their first plane here. The Stearman PT-17 biplane was the training plane used. Many cadets “washed out”, as it was tough training.
Today, many of the structures associated with the Pilot School remain at the Douglas Municipal Airport and the World War II Flight Training Museum is located in the old instructors’ barracks and open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays. Of about 55 such flight training schools open during World War II, this location is the most intact. Great job, Douglas 63rd Preservation Society and Coffee County, for recognizing its importance.
Running back Lauren Hargrove (1930-2009), whose nickname was the Phantom, became a local celebrity in Fitzgerald for his role in the 1948 State Football championship, in which the Purple Hurricane beat Decatur. In these rare photographs, he’s being presented a new automobile by Pontiac dealer Albert McCormick. In today’s world, such a gift wouldn’t be possible, but it’s amazing what hometown pride meant in those days.
Lauren was running back for the Hurricane from 1945 until graduating in 1948. In that time he was All-State, All-Southern, and Prep All-American. He also had a distinguished career for the Georgia Bulldogs from 1950-52, and was a letterman in all three seasons.
It’s amazing to think of how many car dealerships there were in Fitzgerald, or any small town, back then.
There’s even a book about the 1948 season, called Purple and Gold Boys, by C. R. Adams.