Tag Archives: National Register of Historic Places

Greek Revival House, Americus

This amazing Greek Revival townhouse likely dates to the 1850s-circa 1860. The only history I’ve been able to track down so far is that it once served as a funeral home. I hope to update with a name and a more accurate date. The facade of the house was obscured by pines for many years but has recently been exposed by the removal of the trees.

Americus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --SUMTER COUNTY GA--, Americus GA

Greek Revival Cottage, 1850s, Americus

This house, with its ornate latticed porch, is a great example of the transition from the Greek Revival to the Victorian aesthetic.

Americus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --SUMTER COUNTY GA--, Americus GA

1st Headquarters of Habitat for Humanity, Americus

Alabama natives and self-made millionaires, Millard and Linda Fuller came to Americus by way of Koinonia Farm in 1965. Koinonia was (and remains) an interracial faith-based community south of Americus which promoted equality for all. Just being a member of the collective was a bold statement at a time when the Jim Crow South was being subjugated by emerging Civil Rights legislation and mandates.

This historic home on West Church Street served as Millard’s law office. When his family returned from a three year mission to Zaire in 1976, it became the first headquarters of Habitat for Humanity. The organization, which has become a household word, has been widely applauded for the good work they have done over the years, especially the construction of affordable housing for those who can’t always purchase them through traditional methods.

Americus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --SUMTER COUNTY GA--, Americus GA

Greek Revival Cottage, Americus

Americus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --SUMTER COUNTY GA--, Americus GA

Holley Mural Dedication, Lumpkin

Ezekiel and Lonnie Holley

On 24 July 2021 I was honored to attend the dedication of a mural designed by nationally renowned artist Lonnie Holley and painted by his son Ezekiel, on the side of the Singer Hardware building on the square in Lumpkin. Mr. Holley’s work is often classified as Outsider Art, though The New York Times called him “the Insider’s Outsider”.

The work actually comprises two individual works of art. The image on the left is “Born into Color”, and the image at right is “Black in the Midst of the Red, White, and Blue”.

According to his website, Lonnie Holley began working by the time he was five years old. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1950, and lived in a whiskey house, the state fairgrounds, and several foster homes. Holley notes that his early life was chaotic and he never got to experience a real childhood. Perhaps this explains why the artist has such an infectious good spirit today.

Also from Mr. Holley’s website: Since 1979, Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle, hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound. Holley’s sculptures are constructed from found materials in the oldest tradition of African American sculpture. Objects, already imbued with cultural and artistic metaphor, are combined into narrative sculptures that commemorate places, people, and events. His work is now in collections of major museums throughout the country, on permanent display in the United Nations, and been displayed in the White House Rose Garden. In January of 2014, Holley completed a one-month artist-in-residence with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva Island, Florida, site of the acclaimed artist’s studio.

A nice crowd turned out for the dedication and braved excessive heat for the opportunity to meet Mr. Holley.

This young man kicked off the ceremony with a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem.

Annie Moye, who organized the event and helped secure the mural, speaks at the dedication.

Mike McFalls, an Associate Professor of Art at Columbus State University and Director of Pasaquan, gave context about Mr. Holley’s place in the art world and a brief overview of his life and career.

Spontaneity was the order of the day, and Mr. Holley was quick to join the improvisational street dance and shared some good moves with the crowd.

Carlonie Holley putting the finishing touches on her chalk art

Mr. Holley also took time to visit with anyone who was so inclined and personally answered many questions from those in attendance.

He also gave a demonstration of his process to local 4-H members.

The hand of the artist

I want to personally thank Annie Moye for inviting me to document the event and to give a special thanks to Lonnie, Ezekiel, and the entire Holley family for allowing me to photograph them. They were really nice folks and I’m honored to have had the opportunity.

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Filed under --STEWART COUNTY GA--, Lumpkin GA

Mathis House, Fitzgerald

This was home for many years to Fitzgerald’s last door-to-door pedestrian mail carrier, Richard Mathis. It was originally owned by his father, I believe. Richard graduated from high school with my grandmother and was one of my Sunday School teachers at Central United Methodist Church.

South Main-South Lee Streets Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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

Denmark-Hiers House, 1906, Fitzgerald

This was the home of Fitzgerald pioneer settlers Dr. Arthur Howell Denmark (1872-1957) and Bertha Twiss Denmark (1879-1949) and was owned by their descendants for over a century. His daughter, the late Frances Denmark Hiers (1909-2010), spent most of her life in the house. She and her husband Jimmy opened Hiers Jewelers in 1945 and Frances later served as the first woman president of the Georgia Jewelers’ Association.

She earned a degree in Drama from the State Normal College in Athens (now UGA) and taught “expression” at Fitzgerald High School for a number of years. She directed the first production of the local historical pageant, Our Friends the Enemy, but is best remembered for directing over 1000 weddings. I was a member of one of those wedding parties and have fond memories of Mrs. Hiers. She was all business and didn’t suffer foolishness but was an absolute delight. Her civic involvements were legion and included service on the boards of Central United Methodist Church, the Pilot Club, the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Arts Council, and the Blue and Gray Memorial Association.

South Main-South Lee Streets Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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

William Tyre Swift House, 1857, Perry

Also known as the Swift-Tolleson House, this antebellum Greek Revival townhouse was built for Judge William Tyre Swift, most likely with the labor of enslaved men. The street on which it is located is named for Judge Swift. In 1879, legend relates that the world-famous SSS Tonic was invented in the backyard by Judge Swift’s descendant, Charles Thomas Swift. The tonic was one of the best-selling American patent medicines of its time and is still in production today, albeit a different formula. J. Meade Tolleson purchased the home in 1929 and it remained in the Tolleson family another forty years.

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Filed under --HOUSTON COUNTY GA--, Perry GA

Wilcox House, Fitzgerald

This was the home of sisters Dorothy Wilcox and Irene Jones. Dorothy was the Church Secretary at Central United Methodist and Irene worked at Sears for many years. Thanks to Jan Stokes for assistance with the identification.

South Main Street-South Lee Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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

Christmas in Fitzgerald, 2020

One of my favorite childhood Christmas memories is riding around and looking at all the lights with my grandmothers. It’s still a tradition with my mother and me. Here are some highlights from my hometown.

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