The granitoid front and arched door likely date this to the first couple of decades of the 20th century.
Tag Archives: McRae GA
Ryals Drug Store is an independent pharmacy and gift shop of the kind that could once be found in every small town. It’s a real McRae landmark, and they even have their own Facebook page.
Ron Monroe, Sr., writes: This store front caught my eye because I first saw it after retiring to my childhood home of Helena, GA. It confused me because the name of my father’s business was Telfair Utilities Service Company in Helena, not McRae. A few months ago one of my borthers gave me the answer. Lewis Joyner had been an employee of my father, and after my father had closed his business in Helena to take a civil service job, Lewis asked my father if he could use the name for a business in McRae.
Recently recognized as a “Place in Peril” by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, the Gene Theatre is one of Georgia’s most unique movie houses. Architect Bernard Webb, Jr., designed the theatre to honor Telfair native and four-time Georgia governor Eugene Talmadge. The facade originally featured a diagonal tartan pattern behind the script lettering. Closed as a theatre in the 1970s and subsequently used as an auditorium, the historic interior features were sold in the 1990s and the building has gone into serious decline in the interim.
Jimmie Batchelor shared this snapshot made by her grandfather, Thomas Mason Pullen, on the opening night gala at the Gene in 1951. The movie was Two Weeks in Love starring Jane Powell. Jimmie notes:
I had many dates at that theater, spending my teenage summers with my grandmother, James Margaret Hughes Pullen. She adds: The Gene Theatre was such an important ‘hang out’ for us, especially on Sunday evenings.
Janice Green Scruggs recalls: The Gene Theatre was “the” place for everything going on in McRae back in the late ’50 and early ’60′s. All the kids/teenagers had to make their weekend showing there no matter what was showing. You didn’t go for the movie, you went to be seen and socialize, to meet boys/girls and have something to do on Saturday…it was great times, wonderful memories.
John Wayne McRae notes that this was the home of Max & Emma Sue McRae. He adds: Judge Maxwell Lamar McRae (1875-1951) read law under the Honorable Tom Eason and was admitted to the bar in 1895. In 1902 he was appointed city judge by Governor Terrell, a position he held until 1907. He was Secretary and Treasurer of the McRae Grocery Co., which he organized in 1906 and President of the Telfair Fertilzer Company, which he organized on 1910. In 1921 he returned to farming, owning about 3,000 acres of land. He was a member of the Georgia Legislature from 1898-1899, served as Mayor of McRae for several terms and was vice-president of the board of trustees of South Georgia College. He was a 1st Lieutenant during the Spanish-American War. Judge McRae was also a co-founder of Brewton Parker College in Mt.Vernon.
National Register of Historic Places
South Georgia College began operations in January 1893, a result of an educational initiative by the South Georgia Conference of the Methodist Church. (The school never had any assocaition with the present South Georgia College, in Douglas). Reverend W. A. Huckabee served as the first president. Although called a college from the outset, the institution actually offered various levels of instruction, from grammar and high school, to two years of college for students inclined to further their educations. The college closed in 1928, when the Methodist Church withdrew their financial backing. The campus was sold to the local school district and this structure served as the high school until the 1960s when it became a primary school. It’s now home to the Telfair Center for the Arts.
National Register of Historic Places