This originally served as the administration building for Norman College. A granite marker commemorates the history of the college, with the First Baptist Church in the background. Jim Howard notes: This building replaced the building destroyed by fire in 1945, completed and occupied in January 1949. The public high school used the premises along with junior college students
Tag Archives: South Georgia Historic Markers
Montgomery Lake is an oxbow of the Ocmulgee River. A mile or so before you reach the Ocmulgee Water Trail sign for Montgomery Lake & Stave’s Landing, driving north on Georgia Highway 117 from Jacksonville to Lumber City, there’s a Georgia Historic Marker which gives this beautiful but nondescript place mythical status among sportsmen.
Approximately two miles from this spot, on June 2, 1932, George W. Perry, a 19-year old farm boy, caught what was to become America`s most famous fish. The twenty-two pound four ounce Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoldes) exceeded the existing record by more than two pounds and has retained the world record for more than fifty years. Perry and his friend, J.E. Page, were fishing in Montgomery Lake, a slough off the Ocmulgee River, not for trophies but to bring food to the table during those days of the Great Depression. The fish was caught on a Creek Chub Perch Scale Wigglefish, Perry`s only lure, and was 32 1/2 inches in length and 28 1/2 inches in girth. The weight and measurements were taken, recorded and notarized in Helena, Georgia and Perry’s only reward was seventy-five dollars in merchandise as first prize in Field and Stream Magazine`s fishing contest. The longstanding record is one of the reasons that the largemouth bass was made Georgia`s Official State Fish. Montgomery Lake is today part of the Department of Natural Resources Horse Creek Wildlife Management Area.
A largemouth weighing in at one more ounce (22.5 lbs.) was caught by Manabu Kurita in Japan in 2009, but since it doesn’t weigh at least two more ounces than the existing world record, it’s considered a tie. Perry’s record is in no danger of being forgotten.
Today was the first time I’d ever laid eyes upon this place and in appearance it was scarcely different from numerous similar places I’ve photographed all over South Georgia in the past seven years. But the history of George Perry and the world record Largemouth Bass gave me pause. It made this place a tangible landmark.
For a third consecutive winter there’s high water on the Ocmulgee. The fishing must be good. Stave’s Landing is publicly accessible at the end of a dirt road about three miles in length. The road is generally safe for travel, though a four-wheel drive is the best way to go.
I look forward to returning in the spring.
There are many references to George Perry online, but this is one of the best.
William Eason (22 May 1771 – 1 October 1831) , one of the first settlers of Tattnall County and ancestor of many was born in Perquinman County, N. C., May 22, 1771, a son of George Eason, R. S. The family moved to Barnwell District, S. C., and William grew up there. Around 1802 William’s family with several others sold their holdings in S. C. and moved to Georgia. William settled in Tattnall County and married Sarah Mattox (3 December 1777 – 16 May 1859). In addition to farming he was a local Methodist preacher and was so effective in this work he was instrumental in organizing Mt. Carmel and Shiloh and helped in establishing other Methodist Churches to the extent he became known as the “Father of Methodism” in this area. He served in the War of 1812 as a private at Fort Perry on the Altamaha River in 184. William Eason and his family lived in a two-story log house 0.7 miles south of Mt. Carmel Church. He died Oct. 1, 1831 and was buried in a unmarked grave probably near his house.
Though I pass through Nevils from time to time, I hadn’t photographed there since 2009. Having heard that the store on the right had collapsed, I had to investigate.
The Jack N. & Addie D. Averitt Foundation, a real credit to Bulloch County and the pursuit of history in general, recently placed this historic marker, entitled Nevils Station & Shearwood Railroad. It reads: This is the site of the Nevils railroad station. The paved road from Denmark to Nevils is the original bed of the Shearwood Railroad that existed from 1912 to 1937. John N. Shearhouse of Brooklet and George Brinson of Stillmore owned Shearwood Lumber Company in Brooklet. The began by opening the line from Clyo to Claxton. Farmers in the Nevils area promised to pay a large sum of money to run the line through the Sinkhole District. The railroad acquired right-of-way from Jake Nevils, the first merchant in the area.Farmers depended on the Nevils Station for shipping carloads of watermelons and receiving tons of fertilizer. Here many residents began excursions to Savannah and Tybee, after buying picnic supplies at Mr. Nevils’ nearby store. The SR established a morning passenger-freight train leaving Egypt and serving Leefield, Brooklet, Denmark, Nevils, Claxton, and Hagan. Mr. Shearhouse was killed and his son seriously injured in a railroad accident in 1926. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the railroad declined and dissolved. The tracks and equipment were removed and sold for scrap. Although the depot served as a country store after 1945, it was eventually deserted.
I don’t know of any other surviving architecture of the Shearwood Railroad, but would love to know if any exists. I believe this building deserves depiction from many angles.
The yellow brick building with the Coca-Cola ghost mural below was a grocery/general merchandise store, but I don’t have any further background yet.
The town isn’t completely gone, though. There are a couple of stores and churches, as well as some nice old houses.
As you’ll see in the following posts, Louvale’s Church Row (a National Register Historic Site) is one of the most historic and unique religious landmarks in Georgia. The marker placed by the Chattahoochee Historical Commission and the people of Louvale in 1986 reads: Originally Antioch, the town developing at the terminus of the Savannah, Americus and Montgomery (Little SAM) Railroad, was renamed Louvale in 1886. Antioch Primitive Baptist Church, founded 1832 in Pleasant Valley, moved to Moccasin Gap 1842 and here 1851. Present church was erected c. 1885 to replace original log structure. Marvin Methodist Church, founded 1830 in Green Hill moved here 1900 when present building was erected. New Hope Baptist Church constituted 1860 two miles from here moved to present building in 1901.
Marvin Methodist Church & New Hope Baptist Church © Brian Brown 2013
Louvale Church Row Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
According to the historic marker, Bay Branch Primitive Baptist Church was organized on 22 April 1877. I don’t know if the present structure is contemporary to that date. Elder A. R. Strickland was the first pastor and charter members were: Martin E. Rogers; Sara Jane Rogers; William H. Bazemore; Hester A. C. Bazemore; and James J. Martin.
In 1870 a group of Croatan Indians migrated from Robeson County North Carolina, following the turpentine industry to southeast Georgia. Many became tenant farmers for the Adabelle Trading Company, growing cotton and tobacco. They established the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Adabelle, as well as a school and this nearby cemetery. After the collapse of the Adabelle Trading Company, the Croatans faced both economic hardship and social injustice. As a result, most members of the community returned to North Carolina by 1920. The tribe to which these families belonged became known as the Lumbee in the early 1950s. Few headstones remain, though there are five or six in the cemetery, likely of local people somehow connected to the tribe.
Text of the Marker: In memory of Lucinda Locklear, Pink Locklear, Hezie Emanuel and Margaret Adline Locklear, and the other dauntless Indians from Robeson County, North Carolina, who settled, lived, and died here sometime between the close of the Civil War and the 1920s and whose graves are unmarked. Dedicated June 4, 1989.