Tag Archives: South Georgia Curiosities

Mercer Grave Houses, Candler County

These grave houses, located at Salem Baptist Church Cemetery, mark the final resting places of Clemons* Mercer (1832-1881) and Jane Elizabeth “Janie” Johnson Mercer (1835-1880). Clemons Mercer served in the Third Seminole War in Florida and contracted malaria there in 1856, which he never completely recovered from. He was later a lieutenant in the Emanuel County Militia (Captain Moring’s Company) during the Atlanta Campaign in the Civil War. Janie Mercer bore him 11 children, all of whom lived to adulthood.

Gary Lee writes: Local lore is that it was raining the day of her burial and her husband promised that another raindrop would never touch her grave. Her family actually rebuilt these a few years ago. Also near her are two of her sisters, Hattie and Adeline who were married to twin brothers, George Washington Lee and Henry Clay Lee who gave the land and the materials for the church.

*also recorded as Clemmons Mercer

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Filed under --CANDLER COUNTY GA--

Roscoe Peoples Sinclair Station, 1935, Oak Park

Roscoe Peoples built this Sinclair Gas station in 1935, in the Mediterranean Revival style often associated with the roadside architecture of the time. In recent years it was home to John Lindsey’s service station and the Snake Hunters Club. John Lindsey was a well-known snake collector who milked venomous species for the manufacture of antivenom. The structure has been restored and now serves as the Oak Park City Hall.

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Filed under --EMANUEL COUNTY GA--, Oak Park GA

Wat Hathainares Buddhist Meditation Center, Ware County

On one of the most rural roads in Georgia it is quite a surprise to come upon this fascinating place. Wat Hathainares is a Buddhist meditation center located on the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp. It’s not a cult or a compound, but simply a place of peaceful meditation.

The statuary is quite impressive, and contrary to popular belief, they are not worshiped.

Like all religions and belief systems, Buddhism is not monolithic. Numerous ethnic groups and various sects follow the teachings of the Buddha.

The practitioners at Wat Hathainares are from Thailand.

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Filed under --WARE COUNTY GA--

Billy Carter’s Service Station, Plains

Billy Carter (1937-1988) bought this station from Mill Jennings in 1971 and owned it until 1981. During Jimmy Carter’s campaign for President in 1976, it became famous as the headquarters for the national media while they were in Plains. He reminisced of those days: There were 20,000 tourists a day pouring into Plains right after Jimmy’s election. Cars would be bumper-to-bumper for about 10 miles, from Americus to Plains. Highway 280 looked like a Los Angeles freeway. At the height of the station’s popularity 2,000 cases of beer and between 40,000 to 50,000 gallons of gas were sold every month.

Billy was a character and often got as much press coverage as his brother. He was perhaps best known, though, for his infamous Billy Beer. His endorsement didn’t go far to save the brew, which many said was the worst they’d ever tasted. Cans of Billy Beer can be seen in the service station, which is now a free museum. A pair of Hee-Haw overalls Billy wore are also in the collection, as well as numerous magazine covers and press clippings.

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Filed under --SUMTER COUNTY GA--, Plains GA

Roadside Art, Workmore

workmore-ga-mg-school-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2017

This old MG convertible and mannequin have been a roadside curiosity for as long as I can remember. They’re located in front of the old Workmore School. You might not call it art, but in lieu of a better description, that’s what I call it.

workmore-ga-car-mannequin-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2017

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Filed under --TELFAIR COUNTY GA--, Workmore GA

Recycled Art, Cobbtown

cobbtown-ga-recycled-art-farmer-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2016

These are located just south of Cobbtown on Georgia Highway 57. The farmer appears to have been constructed of old fertilizer barrels.

cobbtown-ga-recycled-art-horse-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2016

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Filed under Cobbtown GA

Police Precinct, Glenwood

Glenwood GA Wheeler County Police Precinct House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

I’m calling this a police precinct because I’ve seen several like it around Georgia, but it appears the police station is now located in the city hall. Still, this is one of the better maintained examples I’ve seen. The Uvalda Police Department, just down the road, utilizes a similar structure (I believe it’s still in use).

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Filed under --WHEELER COUNTY GA--, Glenwood GA