This historic home (seen here in 2014), was owned by the late George Horton Williamson (1928-2019). It was recently torn down. According to his granddaughter, Wendy Young, Mr. Williamson was born and raised in the house. I believe it was among the oldest houses remaining in Ben Hill County, possibly built in the 1870s by Mr. Williamson’s grandfather, Charles M. Williamson (1845-1920). This section of the county has long been known as Williamson’s Mill, for the family who operated a shingle mill in the area and founded Salem Baptist Church. The house was certainly an important link to the early history of this community.
Tag Archives: Lost Structures of South Georgia
The news came yesterday that lightning had claimed the iconic Little House. The preservation community is devastated, with emotions ranging from sadness to disbelief. Cate Short summed it up: I still can’t believe that lightning missed her for 170 years and then struck her when she was finally being given the love she needed.
The J. C. Little House was perhaps the most famous in Louisville, and stood empty and neglected for many years. Known affectionately to some as “Louise”, it had recently become a symbol of perserverance in the preservation community.When it seemed all hope for its future was lost, Kevin and Laine Berry came to its rescue, determined to return it to its former glory. They regularly shared the progress on the Gothic Revival landmark on their various social media accounts. My heart goes out to them, and to all who have embraced this admirable project.
I drove up to Louisville today to see the ruins of the house myself. One of the second floor dormers was still visible.
That any of the house remains is a testament to the hard work done by the Louisville Fire Department and firefighters from all over Jefferson 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.
Boaters passing a wooden slide
When word came recently that my old elementary school was being demolished, I was already expecting it but it still brought a rush of emotions. This is where I spent most of my life from the 1st through 7th grades.
I made this photograph of the school in 2010.For more photographs and a bit of history, visit the original post.
Ben Hill, like many Georgia counties, had a city and county school system well into the late 20th century. Lynwood was the county school. During my lifetime, it was officially known as Ben Hill County Elementary School.
The structure has been vacant for quite a few years and has been deteriorating.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of old schoolhouses like this wasting away all over Georgia.
A few counties have successfully put theirs to use, but that’s the exception, not the rule.
People always ask why a place like this is torn down and not put to good use.
The answer is never simple, and can be attributed to numerous factors, including political calculations, lack of funding, and the absence of a community effort.
In the case of Lynwood, a recent explanation arose of the need for a traffic roundabout on the adjacent state highway.
I hope the roundabout makes the area safer, but I know I’ll miss my old school on the hill.
Following are interior shots made just before the deconstruction was complete.