I photographed this commissary on US 129 south of Hawkinsville in 2010. I believe it was razed a couple of years later.
Tag Archives: Historic Georgia Farms
Intact historic farms survive only through the care of generations of families; the Mitchell J. Green plantation in Evans County is an excellent example. In 1868, after service in the Confederacy, Mr. Green built a log cabin on the property and commenced farming. The thriving operation became the center of a small community known as Green and had its own post office from 1882-1904. Mr. Green served as postmaster. A Plantation Plain farmhouse with Victorian accents, built in 1878, anchors the property. Numerous dependencies remain.
Commissaries are iconic components of Georgia’s plantations and many remained in use on larger farms until World War II. The Green Commissary appears to be in excellent condition; the shed protrusion is likely a later addition.
The stock/hay barn is the largest outbuilding on the property.
National Register of Historic Places
Abraham Darlington Eason (1816-1887) was the youngest son of William Eason, who founded the first Methodist church (Mt. Carmel) in Tattnall County after migrating from Colleton County, South Carolina. Abraham married Susan Tillman (1827-1907) in 1843. The young coupled settled near the Tillman ferry operation on the Canoochee River, in what is now the community of Undine. They first built a log house. Abraham was very industrious and deeply involved in the community, serving in the state house, as justice of the Inferior Court and tax collector and receiver. In just a few years he had acquired over 5500 acres, which he doubled with the purchase of his father-in-law’s estate in 1851. (This historical background comes from the excellent work of Pharris DeLoach Johnson, Houses of Heart Pine: A Survey of the Antebellum Architecture of Evans County, Georgia).
In 1854, Eason began acquiring materials for the construction of a permanent home to replace the log cabin and in 1856 hired Amos Hearn, a local carpenter, to complete the project. As with nearly all large Southern houses of the era, slaves were likely integral to the construction process. The family still owns many of the detailed ledgers A. D. kept during construction of the house.
Meticulous attention is being afforded the restoration of the house. I spoke at great length with the present owner’s (Paul Eason) son, Joey McCullough, about the process and the family is very committed to maintaining the integrity of this important landmark.
A tobacco barn built in the 1930s remains on the property.
A log corn crib is present, as well, but the only thing holding it up are the trees that have grown up beside it.
Since 1866, five generations of the Harris family have cultivated the land they call White Oak Pastures. Today, it’s the most diversified farm in the South and the gold standard of sustainable agriculture in Georgia. Their grassfed beef and lamb and pastured poultry are sold throughout the Eastern United States. Driving around the Bluffton area, it’s obvious that White Oak Pastures is having a major economic impact on the area.
A little background from the White Oak Pastures’ website:
Will Harris is a fourth generation cattleman, who tends the same land that his great-grandfather settled in 1866. Born and raised at White Oak Pastures, Will left home to attend the University of Georgia’s School of Agriculture, where he was trained in the industrial farming methods that had taken hold after World War II. Will graduated in 1976 and returned to Bluffton where he and his father continued to raise cattle using pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics. They also fed their herd a high-carbohydrate diet of corn and soy.
These tools did a fantastic job of taking the cost out of the system, but in the mid-1990’s Will became disenchanted with the excesses of these industrialized methods. They had created a monoculture for their cattle, and, as Will says, “nature abhors a monoculture.” In 1995, Will made the audacious decision to return to the farming methods his great-grandfather had used 130 years before.
Since Will has successfully implemented these changes, he has been recognized all over the world as a leader in humane animal husbandry and environmental sustainability…His favorite place in the world to be is out in pastures, where he likes to have a big coffee at sunrise and a 750ml glass of wine at sunset.
I knew it was a good sign when I saw Purple Martins (Progne subis) scouting nesting locations at one of the “apartments” near the entrance.
The organic quesadilla I had in the restaurant was literally one of the best I’ve ever eaten. We got there a bit after the normal lunch hour, so we missed the pork chops and sweet potatoes that were on the menu for the day, but this was a great substitute.
I’m glad this is one place and way of life that is not vanishing. Drive a little out of your way and have a meal, stop by the general store in Bluffton, or, if you need to escape the daily grind, spend a night in one of their on-farm accommodations.