Besides being one of the prettiest drives in this part of Georgia, Deepstep Road, which is situated near the Fall Line, allows the traveler to see where the Coastal Plain ends and the Piedmont begins.
Tag Archives: South Georgia Geology
Known locally as “The Rocks”, this site in the Salem community of northwestern Ben Hill County seems out of place in the Coastal Plain landscape surrounding it. It’s been an area landmark for at least a century but there is no general access. I’m unable to give directions to the site.
For years these geological features were informally identified as Ashburn formations (Wharton, The Natural Environments of Georgia, Atlanta, 1978, et al.) , after the first well-documented site of this type, located off Highway 41 north of Ashburn. Since I’m not a geologist, I don’t know if they’re related to the well-known Altamaha formations (or Altamaha grit). I suspect they may be grouped together at this point. Recent scholarship suggests they may be remnants of coral reefs near the ancient shoreline. Still others believe they’re meteoric in origin.
It’s looks quite small from some perspectives but the largest rock is actually nearly twenty feet high.
Boulders like the ones seen below can also be found in random nearby locations.
This is an important natural heritage site and I hope it remains in pristine condition for years to come.
The site of a historic ferry on the Ocmulgee, this landing now provides public access to the river. It’s truly one of the most appealing areas on the river, just upstream from the confluence with the Oconee and the beginning of the Altamaha River.
Rock outcrops common to the Altamaha Formation are found here as they are in other parts of the county.
Jesse M. Bookhardt recently shared this about Burkett’s Ferry: Burkett’s Ferry is a wonderful place and occupies a special place in my memory. Located in Jeff Davis County just off the old Pioneer Tallahassee Trail, it represents one of several ferries that provided river crossing services. Though not in operation during my time, I remember the site well. Folks from the neighboring communities such as Snipesville often went there fishing, boating, and picnicking. There existed a small spring of cool clear water that seeped from a bank just up stream from the landing. From this pool of fresh water, many fishermen and visitors to the river stopped to drink. It is unknown to me whether the spring still runs or has succumbed to the dynamic forces of nature. Burkett’s Ferry was one of two closely geographically connect fishing spots. Nearby is Pike Creek recorded as Pipe Creek in the original land survey of the area. Both places provided rich fishing waters. Perhaps the “Pipe” referred to a site for making Native American tobacco medicine pipes. Obviously Native Americans once occupied the Burkett’s Ferry site, for in the 1950s when I was a kid, I found pottery and stone artifacts. During the pioneer period, the ferry connected Telfair with Ocmulgeeville, and further to the east Holmesville, the county seat of Appling. When the original plan was made for the old Macon and Brunswick Railroad, it called for the route to cross the Ocmulgee near Burkett’s Ferry. Later the plan was changed and the railroad was scheduled to be built across the Ocmulgee at Lumber City further down stream. Burkett’s Ferry is historically significant to the Ocmulgee and Wiregrass region for it provided much needed access to the hinterland of South Georgia.
If you’ve ever traveled Georgia Highway 107 between Jacksonville and Snipesville, you’ve undoubtedly noticed these large outcrops near the Coffee/Jeff Davis County line. They’re an extension of the better-known Broxton Rocks, a natural area protected by the Nature Conservancy of Georgia. The area, known as Flat Tub, is accessible as a Georgia Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and recent covenants have led to further protections of this fascinating resource.
Long thought to be Altamaha Grit, different hypotheses suggest that it could be of Altamaha Formation, but not as “gritty” as other such areas previously identified. Another thesis suggests this may be a more specific “Ocmulgee Formation”, the result of a meteorite impact which may have created the Big Bend of the Ocmulgee.
Whatever the specific geology, it’s certainly an amazing environment, almost alien in comparison to adjacent lands.
This sign marks an entrance, at Turkey Road, to Rio Piedra Plantation. This area of southwest Georgia is nationally known for its Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) populations and the hunting lodges which cater to the sport.
This is a relatively well-preserved example of one of Georgia’s most iconic rural architectural styles.
I’m really impressed that the plantation has chosen to save it, at least for now.
There is a large field of gigantic chert rocks on the plantation. I’m not quite sure why they’re here.
Janet Peek McGill writes: The rock in this picture looks like fossiliferous chert. It is really a very ugly rock on the outside…..all crusted over with crumbly white yuk with often, many fossils though. (which helps with dating the geology of the land and aboriginal peoples) On the inside is a beautiful rock, with chalcedony, vugs, druzy, sometimes hyalite opal, bands of agate and or jasper. It is stunning when faceted and polished. Native Americans frequently used this for knapping for their tools and in the Lee, Dougherty, Baker, Early, Mitchell county area, you often find native American lithic scatter along and near the outcrops of this type of rock.
Toomsboro was settled around 1851 (the year it first had a post office, known then as Toomsborough). It was named for Robert Toombs, a prominent politician of the antebellum and war eras, but I have no idea why Toombs is misspelled in the town name. A mile away was Emmitt, which had a post office from 1842 – 1857, but lost most of its rail business to Toomsboro. While the history may be a bit unclear, one thing for certain is that Toomsboro today is a beautiful village, a step back in time. Nestled among gently rolling hills carved by the nearby Oconee River, the town is as well-preserved of any of its era in Georgia. Kaolin is king in this area, so if you’re photographing in Toomsboro, watch out for the trucks, which come through quite regularly.
See Athens photographer Dagmar Nelson’s wonderful black-and-white shots of the town here.