Tag Archives: Lost Structures of South Georgia

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--

Louisville’s Little House Lost to Fire

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.


Filed under --JEFFERSON COUNTY GA--, Louisville GA

Crystal Lake, July 1940, Irwin 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.

Shoreline from the lake

Boaters passing a wooden slide

Water skier

A couple walking on the beach, with the slide visible to the left



Filed under --IRWIN COUNTY GA--, Crystal Lake GA

William Hardeman Paulk House, Irwin County

This huge Folk Victorian was located at the corner of Orchid and Violet Roads, off the Lax Highway. The photograph dates to 2001 and the house was gone before 2008, I believe. Thanks to Debbie Paulk Mixon, granddaughter of W. H. Paulk, for the identification.

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Filed under --IRWIN COUNTY GA--

Single-Pen Farmhouse, Ben Hill County

This simple vernacular farmhouse was located on Morning Glory Road. The photograph dates to 2002 and the house was razed not long after.

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Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--

Hall and Parlor Farmhouse, Ben Hill County

I made this photo of a 19th century farmhouse in 2001. It was located in western Ben Hill County off Lower Rebecca Road and was likely among the oldest domestic structures in the county. It has been gone for many years.

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Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--

New Valley Grove Baptist Church, Irwin County

This photograph dates to 2000. The church, located off Five Bridge Road, was razed by 2007. There is still a cemetery at the site.

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Filed under --IRWIN COUNTY GA--

Vernacular Farmhouse, Irwin County

This was located on Snapdragon Road.. The photograph dates to 2001.

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Filed under --IRWIN COUNTY GA--

Griffin Farmhouse, Irwin County

This farmhouse was a landmark on Old Valley Grove Church Road. The photograph dates to 1996 and the house was razed by 2007. Owned by Otto Griner, it was home for many years to the Roberts and Griffin families.

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Filed under --IRWIN COUNTY GA--

Fitzgerald’s Historic Lynwood School Being Demolished

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.


Side hallway (this was the way to the concession stand).



Auditorium seats


Auditorium (looking toward lobby)

Auditorium (looking toward stage)



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