I ran into a local gentleman while photographing in Mershon and he said that sixty years ago this was a busy place, where turpentine workers who lived nearby ran accounts. He also said his father remembered working on Model-T Fords in the garage at the rear of the store.
Tag Archives: –PIERCE COUNTY GA–
I had a brief visit with the owner of this structure today, who graciously allowed me access to the property. He noted that it was once a commissary, owned by Alvin and Lizzie Dixon, the grandparents of well-known WTOC-TV anchorman, Sonny Dixon. It served as a general store and post office for Walkerville, as well. Stabilization and basic restorations have been made to insure its survival.
In his fascinating thesis, The “Gold Standard” of the Wiregrass Primitive Baptists of Georgia: A History of the Crawford Faction of the Alabaha River Primitive Baptist Association, 1842-2007, (Valdosta State University, 2009), Michael Holt makes special note of the architectural distinctions of the Crawfordites: “[An] aspect of the Crawfordite tradition that remains today is the construction style of the meeting houses. While other Primitive Baptist Churches, including those in the Bennettite faction of the Alabaha Association, have begun to use brick, mortar, carpet, and other modern construction techniques, Crawfordite churches remain exactly as they would have appeared over a century ago. They are still fashioned from unfinished pine, with no electricity, carpet, or running water…this austere architecture helps keep the connection with the past strong. It should be noted that in recent years, 0ne part of the church grounds has adopted more modern conveniences. The outhouses that adorned the grounds of all the churches in the association have now been replaced with outdoor restroom facilities with running water, though this change was made primarily to bring the restroom facilities in line with public health regulations. However, this addition has not encroached on the overall intended affect of the architecture…“
The Crawfordites are named for Elder Reuben Crawford. Dr. John G. Crowley, the leading authority on the history of Primitive Baptists notes in his article “The Sacred Harp Controversy in the Original Alabaha Primitive Baptist Association,” Baptist Studies Bulletin July 2004 “[they] emerged as a subset of the Primitive Baptists in the 1860s and 1870s. During the Twentieth Century the “Crawfordites” became the most austere and conservative Primitive Baptists in Georgia, eschewing radio, television, neckties, painted and heated meetinghouses.” Michael Holt further notes in his thesis: “Whereas every other Primitive Baptist association has altered somewhat from the original tenets of the denomination, the Crawford Faction of the Alabaha has remained unchanged since the time of its founding in 1842…“
Dr. Crowley’s article can be accessed here. Just scroll down to Primitive Baptists.
PHOTOGRAPHER’S NOTE: This is not a complete photographic record, as there are more Crawfordite churches in the area I’ve not yet visited. They will be added as they are documented.
Organized in 1833, Shiloh’s earliest members are some of the first settlers of this section of Georgia.
The congregation is still active today; storm windows have been placed inside to give some protection against weather, and new restrooms with modern plumbing are adjacent to the church.
The rafters pictured above serve as hat racks, each studded with nails for that purpose.
Shiloh’s large cemetery suggests an old and active congregation.
Private Isham Peacock, North Carolina Militia, Revolutionary War (8 October 1742 – 1851)
Isham Peacock was one of the most influential early Baptists in Georgia, and certainly the most influential of the Primitive Baptists. After first joining Lott’s Creek Primitive Baptist Church in Bulloch County around 1802, he went on to establish Black Creek, Beard’s Creek, Salem, and most notably, High Bluff at Schlatterville. As to Peacock’s theology, it was decidedly Calvinistic. Historian Michael Holt notes that he was quick to speak out against the proper “discipline” of the Baptist faith. “In 1830, he was able to get Beard’s Creek Church to adopt a resolution forbidding Missionary and temperance speakers from taking the pulpit there. However, they rescinded the resolution as soon as he moved to Pierce County. Though he was alleged to be sober, he was known to demonstrate his aversion to temperance societies by carrying a cane full of whisky he used to refresh himself while preaching…The disgust Peacock showed toward organized attempts to regulate public morality was typical of frontier Baptists.”–Michael Holt, (Thesis) The “Gold Standard” of the Wiregrass Primitive Baptists of Georgia: A History of the Crawford Faction of the Alabaha River Primitive Baptist Association, 1842-2007, Valdosta State University, 2009. In addition to these activities, Peacock founded the first Baptist church in present-day Florida in 1821 (Pigeon Creek Primitive Baptist Church near present-day Boulogne). For a brief time, it represented an extension of Baptist theology into a foreign territory, as this was still part of Spanish Florida at the time and therefore was technically against the laws of Spain regarding the establishment of non-Catholic churches. Elder Peacock’s last church was Providence Primitive Baptist in Ware County, where he was preaching at age 101; blindness ultimately ended his life of preaching and he moved to the Jacksonville area. On a trip to visit family members in Pierce County in 1851, at the age of 107, Peacock died and was buried at Shiloh.
James Strickland (1789? – 7 June 1849)
Nancy (Wife of E. F.) Stewart (12 February 1818 – 7 May 1882)
L-R: Private James Stewart, Company D, 26th Georgia Infantry; 1st Sergeant Colquitt Stewart, Company D, 26th Georgia Infantry; Junior 2nd Lieutenant James Sweat, Company N, 26th Georgia Infantry
Thomas Family Marker
James & Sarah from SC (South Carolina) to McIntosh (County) About 1790. Absalom to Ware Before 1824. Banner, Lewis, James R. by 1829. Gravesite of Lewis Thomas (1789 – 1860) Elizabeth M. Thomas (1795 – 1863)
1. Redden (b. 1810) married Suzannah
2. James R. (1811 – 1884) married Martha Leggett (1830 – 1918)
3. Marantha (1822 – 1890) married William Chancey (1825 – 1883)
4. Martha (b. 1823) married David Cason (b. 1812)
5. Sarah (b. 1825) married Thomas Dyal
6. Absalom (b. 1827) married Elizabeth Walker (b. 1827)
7. Lewis, Jr. (1830 – 1893) married Prucie Eason (1835 – 1919)
8. Banner (1833 – 1885) married Mary Walker (1837 – 1877)
9. Elizabeth (b. 1835) married Martin Nettles, Jr.