Tag Archives: Lost Structures of South Georgia

Ruins of Aldine Hotel, Fitzgerald

Irwin County entrepreneur Wright Tomberlin Paulk (1873-1922) built the Aldine Hotel [pronounced al-dean] circa 1904, to capitalize on the rapid growth of the recently settled”Old Soldier’s Colony” at Fitzgerald. He named it for his daughter, who died at the age of eighteen months in 1898. In its early days it was one of the leading hotels of the city and was later modified for use as a retail space for various businesses. I recall a Fred’s Store being located here when I was a child in the late 1970s and early 1980s. As the above photograph shows, the front of the structure was sided with inappropriate concrete veneer at some point.

The original hotel was three stories; I believe this rear section was a later addition.

The structure had been abandoned and neglected for many years and in the past year or so bricks began to collapse into the adjacent alley, creating a serious liability and hazard. Sadly, this is the fate of far too many commercial structures in small towns all over Georgia.

As of October 2020, the property has been cleared.

Fitzgerald Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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

Ludowici Club House, Circa 1904

The Ludowici Roof Tile Company opened a factory in Johnston Station, Georgia in 1904. This large structure was its de facto community center and also provided lodging for traveling executives, salesmen and contractors.

The tiny settlement of Johnston Station was renamed in honor of William Ludowici, who donated most of the money required to build a schoolhouse in the overnight boomtown . The economic impact of the factory was massive and during its ten years in operation, it provided over 2 million square feet of roofing materials for government buildings in the Panama Canal Zone. After Ludowici Roof Tile left town in 1914, the Club House was generally used as residential housing.

John A. Brown, who made this photograph circa 1965 and graciously shared it with me, recalls that his Brown grandparents lived here during World War I, when it was owned by a Lang (Laing?) family. He also remembers a spring-fed pool on the property. His grandfather and a partner were in a cross-tie business known as Kendricks & Brown who had a government contract during World War I. I believe it was used as a boarding house but it may have also been rented to single families. I’m not sure when it was torn down, either, but it was likely not too long after this photograph was made.

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Filed under --LONG COUNTY GA--, Ludowici GA

Tenant Farmhouse, Bleckley County

It has been a pleasure sharing these images from Anne Chamlee. They truly illustrate how important it is to document the built environment that we generally take for granted. This old tenant house was photographed in 1991 and is one of many places Anne felt were important reminders of our past, not just in architectural terms, but culturally, as well.

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Filed under --BLECKLEY COUNTY GA--

Lizzie Chapel, Peach County

Ann Chamlee made this photograph in 1989. A newer structure stands on this site, near the Powersville community, and this historic African-American church is presumed to be long gone. Like Jordan Chapel A. M. E. in Haddock, Lizzie Chapel was likely used by the community for various purposes.

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Filed under --PEACH COUNTY GA--, Powersville GA

Corn Crib, Washington County

Anne Chamlee made this photograph just south of Oconee in March 1991. She shares my fascination with old log structures.

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Filed under --WASHINGTON COUNTY GA--, Oconee GA

Abandoned Queen Anne House, Washington County

Anne Chamlee photographed this house in March 1991. She believes it was in Washington County but if anyone knows otherwise, please contact me.

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General Store, Washington County

Anne Chamlee photographed this old store on Union Church Road near Warthen in January 1989.

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Filed under --WASHINGTON COUNTY GA--

Abandoned Queen Anne House, Washington County

Anne Chamlee photographed this abandoned Queen Anne house, just south of Tennille, in March 1991. I have also photographed a good bit in the area and haven’t encountered it; I’m presuming it is no longer standing. I’d love to get an identification if anyone remembers it. [Anne was unable to get a photograph of the front of the house, but these images give a good idea as to its size and layout.]

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Filed under --WASHINGTON COUNTY GA--, Tennille GA

Oliver School, Screven County

Photo Courtesy John Aubrey Brown

I’m so excited to be able to share this photograph, which was shared by John Brown. He made the shot circa 1995. It’s the old Oliver School and was lost to fire a few years after the photograph was made.

Oliver was one of about 40 white schools in Screven County surveyed by M. L. Duggan for the Georgia Department of Education in 1916. The steeple or bell tower was a design element present only in the larger schools of the county, including Capitola, Douglas Branch, Gilgal, Harmony, Rocky Ford, and Sylvania. At the time of the survey, W. S. Brown was teacher and principal, and Miss Fannie Ryon was his assistant. There were 10 grades and 62 students, with a 32-week school year. The school was valued at $3000 and was noted to be in very good condition.

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Filed under --SCREVEN COUNTY GA--, Oliver GA

Williamson House, Ben Hill County

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.

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Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--