Tag Archives: South Georgia Hotels & Boarding Houses

Helena’s Hotel Willard Will Soon Be Demolished

I recently updated my original post about the Hotel Willard, noting that it appeared work was being done on the property. When I shared this on social media, it was confirmed that it’s being prepared for demolition. I’m not using this space to criticize the decision but rather to share some last photographs of this landmark.

It amazes me that communities can’t see the value in such properties, but owners are often reluctant to pour money into them and as a result they deteriorate over time to the point that repair is not feasible. We say we love our heritage but we have a really bad track record of saving it.

I understand that many of the architectural features of the hotel are being salvaged. I hope this cast iron door frame is among them.

Unfortunately, the most important features, such as the brickwork around the entrance and the fanlights will be lost forever.






Filed under --TELFAIR COUNTY GA--, Helena GA

Toomer Medical Office & Boarding House, Fitzgerald

I believe the lower floor of this landmark was once the office of Fitzgerald’s first black physician, Dr. Edward Toomer. The structure has been historically known as a boarding house, primarily for black railroad men. Though other businesses have been located here, its connection to Dr. Toomer is certainly the most significant aspect of its history. Sadly, it was demolished in the spring of 2017.


Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--, Fitzgerald GA

Queen Anne House, Jesup

According to neighbors this once served as boarding house, though it has primarily been used as a private residence.


Filed under --WAYNE COUNTY GA--, Jesup GA

Fred Roberts Hotel, 1926, Dublin

Though Dublin’s economy was hit hard by the boll weevil and numerous bank closures in the 1920s (as was the whole country), the Chamber of Commerce sponsored the construction of this hotel in an attempt at recovery. It was known as one of the finest hotels in the region until its closure in the 1950s; by the 1980s its upper floors were abandoned and its future didn’t look good. In 2011 with the assistance of Dublin’s Downtown Development Authority, the Fred Roberts became the first mixed-used development in the city, with office, retail and residential facilities.

Dublin Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


Filed under --LAURENS COUNTY GA--, Dublin GA

Demolition of the Irwinville Hotel


There’s just something unsettling about this picture of the Irwinville Hotel.  Many people have contacted me with complaints about the destruction of this mid-1880s landmark. The most common comments (and they’ve been numerous) have been: “Just what the world needs, another Dollar General” and “Dollar General is a plague on the landscape“.  I tend to agree. While I agree that anyone has the right to sell their land to anyone whom they wish to, I’m amazed that the community couldn’t come together for a better solution. In the past few years, Irwinville lost their post office, can barely keep the capture site of Jefferson Davis open, and now, is losing this. All this while a local state representative and state senator made no overtures to do anything about it. I don’t believe it’s the government’s responsibility to “save” these places, but a little input would have been nice.


While I’ve seen interior shots of the hotel posted on other sites, I was unable to get such images. At any rate, the property has long been used as a residential rental and retained very little of its historic interior appearance.


Progress is never a bad thing, as I’ve said numerous times over the past ten years. But the loss of landmarks in our smallest towns shouldn’t be a part of that progress.








Filed under --IRWIN COUNTY GA--, Irwinville GA

Phoenix Hotel, 1913, Waycross


Originally constructed as a two-story brick hotel between 1890-92, the Spanish Mission Revival appearance of the Phoenix today was the work of local contractor V. C. Parker. The expansion of the property was precipitated by the rapid growth of Waycross as a regional rail transportation hub. When the renovation was completed, the Phoenix was second only to the LaGrande as the city’s most prominent hotel. When the LaGrande burned around 1915, the Phoenix became the leading hotel of the city.  It remained a hub of downtown for much of the 20th century, with a decline in rail traffic leading to its closure in the 1960s. It was recently restored by the Jones Company (Flash Foods) and is again an anchor of the historic district.

National Register of Historic Places


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Filed under --WARE COUNTY GA--, Waycross GA

Tarrer Inn, 1905, Colquitt

colquitt ga tarrer inn photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

In the late 1990s, the Tarrer Inn was renovated after years of decline. It’s now a bed and breakfast inn and is well-known for its dining room.

Colquitt Town Square Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --MILLER COUNTY GA--, Colquitt GA