Tag Archives: South Georgia Landmarks

Griffin Farmhouse, Irwin County

This farmhouse was a landmark on Old Valley Grove Church Road. The photograph dates to 1996 and the house was razed by 2007. Owned by Otto Griner, it was home for many years to the Roberts and Griffin families.

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Filed under --IRWIN COUNTY GA--

Riley Spear Fender & Body Works, Columbus

This photograph of Riley Spear’s garage was made circa 1939. Cathy Fussell notes this was a well-known business in Columbus for many years.


Filed under --MUSCOGEE COUNTY GA--, Columbus GA

Merchants & Farmers Bank, 1905, Sparks

Jim Cottingham shared this historic photograph of three gentlemen outside the Merchants & Farmers Bank circa 1905. His grandfather, W. T. Cottingham, is pictured at left.

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Filed under --COOK COUNTY GA--, Sparks GA

Gabled-Ell Farmhouse, Washington County

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Fitzgerald’s Historic Lynwood School Being Demolished

When word came recently that my old elementary school was being demolished, I was already expecting it but it still brought a rush of emotions. This is where I spent most of my life from the 1st through 7th grades.

I made this photograph of the school in 2010.For more photographs and a bit of history, visit the original post.

Ben Hill, like many Georgia counties, had a city and county school system well into the late 20th century. Lynwood was the county school. During my lifetime, it was officially known as Ben Hill County Elementary School.

The structure has been vacant for quite a few years and has been deteriorating.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of old schoolhouses like this wasting away all over Georgia.

A few counties have successfully put theirs to use, but that’s the exception, not the rule.

People always ask why a place like this is torn down and not put to good use.

The answer is never simple, and can be attributed to numerous factors, including political calculations, lack of funding, and the absence of a community effort.

In the case of Lynwood, a recent explanation arose of the need for a traffic roundabout on the adjacent state highway.

I hope the roundabout makes the area safer, but I know I’ll miss my old school on the hill.


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

Jay-Eppes House, Circa 1900, Fitzgerald

Pioneer settler David Belton Jay built this home on the edge of the newly settled town of Fitzgerald circa 1900. It would have been a country house at the time but is now well within the city limits.

My friend Lydia Jay Mason shares some historical background on her great-grandfather in the heartfelt memoir Growing Up Southern: In 1896, David Belton Jay, affectionately known as D. B., moved his family to Fitzgerald… from Morgan, Georgia…Later, that same year, his parents, James Lemuel and Priscilla Jay, followed them to Fitzgerald and were two of the thirty-four charter members of the First Baptist Church in Fitzgerald. 

Jay was instrumental in 1905 in leading the drive for Fitzgerald to leave Irwin County and form its own county, Ben Hill…There is a story of how several men from Irwin County wanted to meet D. B. Jay in a duel because of his desire for Fitzgerald to become a new county. The men knew that would lead to the taking of revenues from their county.

A 1943 newspaper account by Jesse Mercer notes: Soon after the colony had been established and before I moved to Fitzgerald an effort had been made to move the county seat to the city from remote Irwinville, a very difficult thing to do in Georgia…Jay was a prime over in the undertaking, as in everything for the community advancement. Returning from a remote district in the then large county, he met in the road a party of active and violent opponents to removal. Then and there, during the inevitable controversy that ensued, an attempt was made to assassinate him, and it was his single-handed, manly and courageous stand that saved his life.]

The Frank Eppes family has owned and lovingly maintained it for many years.

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

Colonial Revival House, Midville

This eclectic Colonial Revival house appears to be earlier than the 1900 date given on realty websites. If so, it likely originated as a simple Georgian Cottage.

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Filed under --BURKE COUNTY GA--, Midville GA

Georgian Cottage, Midville

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Filed under --BURKE COUNTY GA--, Midville GA

Craftsman Bungalow, 1920, Midville

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Filed under --BURKE COUNTY GA--, Midville GA

Midville Grammar School

My identification of this structure is tentative. It appears to have been a school, and since the old Midville High School survives, my guess is that this was the grammar, or elementary, school. It has most recently been used as the Midville Voting Precinct.

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Filed under --BURKE COUNTY GA--, Midville GA