Irwin County entrepreneur Wright Tomberlin Paulk (1873-1922) built the Aldine Hotel [pronounced al-dean] circa 1904, to capitalize on the rapid growth of the recently settled”Old Soldier’s Colony” at Fitzgerald. He named it for his daughter, who died at the age of eighteen months in 1898. In its early days it was one of the leading hotels of the city and was later modified for use as a retail space for various businesses. I recall a Fred’s Store being located here when I was a child in the late 1970s and early 1980s. As the above photograph shows, the front of the structure was sided with inappropriate concrete veneer at some point.
The original hotel was three stories; I believe this rear section was a later addition.
The structure had been abandoned and neglected for many years and in the past year or so bricks began to collapse into the adjacent alley, creating a serious liability and hazard. Sadly, this is the fate of far too many commercial structures in small towns all over Georgia.
As of October 2020, the property has been cleared.
Fitzgerald Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Though it appears at first glance to be a house, this was the Vernon Johnson School. Located across from Asbury Church, on the Wilkinson side of the Wilkinson-Twiggs County line, it is best known locally as Asbury School today. A state educational survey in 1918 recorded 31 students from both counties. Wilkinson County students attended for 5 months and Twiggs County students for 6 1/2 months. One teacher was responsible for all eight grades.
The Ludowici Roof Tile Company opened a factory in Johnston Station, Georgia in 1904. This large structure was its de facto community center and also provided lodging for traveling executives, salesmen and contractors.
The tiny settlement of Johnston Station was renamed in honor of William Ludowici, who donated most of the money required to build a schoolhouse in the overnight boomtown . The economic impact of the factory was massive and during its ten years in operation, it provided over 2 million square feet of roofing materials for government buildings in the Panama Canal Zone. After Ludowici Roof Tile left town in 1914, the Club House was generally used as residential housing.
John A. Brown, who made this photograph circa 1965 and graciously shared it with me, recalls that his Brown grandparents lived here during World War I, when it was owned by a Lang (Laing?) family. He also remembers a spring-fed pool on the property. His grandfather and a partner were in a cross-tie business known as Kendricks & Brown who had a government contract during World War I. I believe it was used as a boarding house but it may have also been rented to single families. I’m not sure when it was torn down, either, but it was likely not too long after this photograph was made.
Ann Chamlee made this photograph in 1989. A newer structure stands on this site, near the Powersville community, and this historic African-American church is presumed to be long gone. Like Jordan Chapel A. M. E. in Haddock, Lizzie Chapel was likely used by the community for various purposes.
Anne Chamlee made this photograph just south of Oconee in March 1991. She shares my fascination with old log structures.
Anne Chamlee photographed this house in March 1991. She believes it was in Washington County but if anyone knows otherwise, please contact me.
Anne Chamlee photographed this old store on Union Church Road near Warthen in January 1989.
Anne Chamlee photographed this abandoned Queen Anne house, just south of Tennille, in March 1991. I have also photographed a good bit in the area and haven’t encountered it; I’m presuming it is no longer standing. I’d love to get an identification if anyone remembers it. [Anne was unable to get a photograph of the front of the house, but these images give a good idea as to its size and layout.]
Anne Chamlee made this photograph, which she labeled “out in the boonies” in Spring 1991. Its present status is unknown.
I’m honored to be able to share this photograph by Anne Chamlee; it will be one of several I plan on publishing here and on Vanishing North Georgia. Earlier this year, Anne reached out to let me know that she appreciated the work I was doing documenting Georgia’s rural architecture and that she had some photographs of her own that I might enjoy seeing. After several back-and-forth emails and some phone conversations, I’m so glad we were able to make a connection. She’s just as intrigued by the architecture of rural Georgia as I am and by the late 1980s was wandering around the backroads of Middle Georgia, photographing the endangered examples that sparked her interest. She’s also a delightful conversationalist, which is a bit of vanishing thing itself these days.
A Sooner by birth, Anne came South with her family just as the Dust Bowl was coming to an end. They wound up in Florida and she eventually met and married a man with roots in Hancock County, Tilmon Chamlee. Tilmon was a rising architect who had a very successful career in the commercial sector. After many years in Florida and then Macon, Anne and Tilmon eventually settled at Lake Sinclair in Baldwin County, where he continued his practice and indulged in his love for flying. He was also a commercial and instrument-rated pilot. Tilmon passed away in 2015 but Anne remains active in the community. After talking with her on the phone a few times, I still cannot believe she’s 85.
Regarding the house: It was located near Warthen, and is believed to be no longer extant. The photo dates to January 1989. It is of particular interest, as there is a very similar example nearby. The ornamental middle “gable”, as best I can tell, is a localized vernacular interpretation of the Queen Anne style. It’s possible they were the work of the same builder.