For many years an old wagon sat beside this iconic barn, surrounded by trees. I think I have a photo of the wagon somewhere but never got a good shot of the barn. I had just noted the loss of another Irwinville Farms barn I’ve photographed for many years when this came into view, as if to make up for that loss.
Tag Archives: New Deal Architecture in South Georgia
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.
This home was built for the Carver family by the Irwinville Farms Project, an initiative of the Farm Security Administration.
Because the houses were utilitarian and therefore quite small, most families outgrew them. A variety of expansions can be seen on most of the surviving Irwinville Farms houses today; the Bradford house has a minimal addition at the rear but it’s still one of the best examples of the way houses were originally built on the project.
I’ve photographed the tobacco barn on the farm many times over the years, and it remains one of my favorites. It’s an iconic symbol of Irwinville Farms.
Jane Tucker Gentry has made it her personal mission to keep Jefferson Davis Historic Site alive and well. She’s been able to do this despite a general lack of interest by most local politicians. I caught up with her at the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the capture of Jefferson Davis. The festivities included a Chasing Jefferson Davis Marathon, day-long re-enactments, free tours of the museum, as well as local food and craft vendors. Jane even did most of the baking herself. The event was capped off by a late afternoon showing of Gone with the Wind on the museum grounds.
Members of the local SCV encampment were on hand, as well as other supporters from all over Georgia.
This historic New Deal post office was saved and is now home to the Cook County Historical Society Museum. Mary A. King writes: My father, James S. Bailey, was in charge of some of the W.P.A. projects at that time and I know some of the work in Cook County was his, and I believe he was in charge of the construction of the post office, too. I seem to remember having seen photos of the construction process and hearing my parents talk about it, but I wasn’t born until 1941, just before the war started and that changed a lot of things, of course. He was doing W.P.A. projects around Ashburn and Sycamore when I was born because I was born in Sycamore and our home was Nashville in Berrien County.
National Register of Historic Places
The cornerstone notes that Louis A. Simon was the Supervising Architect and Neal A. Melick was the Supervising Engineer. All the WPA/New Deal post offices have a similar appearance but for some reason this is one of my favorites. A 1941 oil on canvas work by Abraham Harriton entitled “Plantation, Transportation, Education” was interestingly removed from the facility in 1987 on orders of the then-postmaster to a visitors center at the Old Mill in Augusta. I don’t know if is still there or if it’s been returned.
A photograph of the painting by Jimmy Emerson, who has tirelessly documented these for years, can be seen here.