Tag Archives: Georgia Factories & Industrial Sites

Willacoochee Elementary School, 1924

I’ve always admired this unusually large wooden structure and until recently knew nothing of its history. It has been in an advanced state of decline for many years.

Harvey Williams notes that it was the elementary school (segregated) and later a coat factory, owned by Sheila Gaskins. It’s a very large school for such a small town, and may have served more grades when it was first built.


Filed under --ATKINSON COUNTY GA--, Willacoochee GA

Meat Packing House, 1917, Statesboro

Known simply as the “Packinghouse”, the Bulloch Packing Company facility that opened here in 1917 was only in business for three years before a fire took out the boiler room on an upper floor in 1920. It’s considered one of Statesboro’s most ‘haunted’ places, but  all of the lore is based on complete fiction. Brooks Simmons, who inherited the Bank of Statesboro from his father, was the president and a chief investor in the business. He lost his investment with the fire but more importantly, during the Crash of 1929, the Bank of Statesboro failed and Simmons lost what remained of his fortune. He committed suicide in 1931, and over time that somehow morphed into the legend that he killed his employees and then himself. But the stories persisted and the structure became a favorite with ghost hunters, urbexers, and squatters alike. In 2015, former Georgia Southern student Scott Taylor bought the packinghouse with the intention of rehabilitating it for use as apartments. It’s actually much more structurally sound than it appears and hopefully, it will soon have a new lease on life.


Filed under --BULLOCH COUNTY GA--, Statesboro GA

Millhaven Plantation, Screven County

Millhaven dates to 1769. It’s grown over the past two centuries into a mixed-purpose property that still includes active farming operations, timber holdings and hunting reservations.

Today, it’s owned by William S. Morris III of the Morris Communications Company, who has received awards for its conservation and management.

That’s no small accomplishment considering it’s the largest farm operating as a single unit east of the Mississippi.

These images represent employee-related structures from the early to mid-20th century.


Filed under --SCREVEN COUNTY GA--, Millhaven GA

Commercial Ruins, Stapleton

Ruins of Stapleton Denton Hardware Grocery Master Trouser Garment Factory Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Demolition of this large structure began as early as 2007. It was first home to Stapleton-Denton Hardware & Groceries, a general merchandise store. More recently it housed the Stapleton Garment Factory and its predecessor, the Master Trouser Corporation.

Ruins of Stapleton Denton Hardware Grocery Master Trouser Garment Factory Rural Diaspora Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014


Filed under --JEFFERSON COUNTY GA--, Stapleton GA

Anthoine Machine Shop Shed, Fort Valley


This outbuilding is located at the Anthoine Machine Shop along Railroad Street. Established in 1885, the Anthoine Machine Shop is the second oldest business in Peach County and is one of just a few machine shops still using line shafts in Georgia. Vanishing icons of the Industrial Revolution,  line shafts were the common mode of power transmission in machinery until the widespread availability of small motors deemed them unnecessary.

Fort Valley Downtown & Railroad Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --PEACH COUNTY GA--, Fort Valley GA

Pittman’s Machine Shop, Benevolence


Charles Robinett writes: I recall in the early and mid 1960’s going to Pittman’s Machine Shop in Benevolence with my father Dean Robinett to have machine work done for equipment used in the furniture factory in Shellman. After all these years I can see Mr. Wyatt now working a turn lathe and actually hear the voice as he and Daddy talked. What a walk down memory lane this is.


Filed under --RANDOLPH COUNTY GA--, Benevolence GA

Commercial Block, Fitzgerald


I’m unsure as to its early history, but according to Louie Harper this building was home to Cato Furniture Company in the early 1950s, and Davis Furniture Company in 1958. Since then it’s been a number of different businesses. It was likely always a factory of some sort, a remnant of an era when industries were located in towns and not in industrial parks. (The structure collapsed in 2015 and has since been removed).

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

Goldens’ Foundry & Machine Company, 1890, Columbus

goldens foundry machine company columbus ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

Five generations of the Golden family have been involved in this legendary business. Theodore Earnest “Theo” and John Poitivent “Porter” Golden founded Golden Brothers in 1882.  They were incorporated and renamed Goldens’ Foundry & Machine Company in 1889 and have been in continuous operation ever since. Through expansion and innovation, they’ll likely be around another five generations.

National Register of Historic Places


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