Tag Archives: South Georgia Medical History

Taylor Memorial Hospital, 1938, Hawkinsville

This hospital was chartered in 1936. Robert Jenks Taylor gave the city $100,000 for construction of the hospital in memory of his father, Dr. Eziekiel Henry Taylor, and his grandfather, Dr. Robert Newsome Taylor, Hawkinsville’s first physicians. It closed in early 1977 with the completion of a newer facility north of town.  After being in a state of disrepair for many years it is presently being restored for use as apartments.

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Filed under --PULASKI COUNTY GA--, Hawkinsville GA

Alexander Hotel, 1892, Reidsville

At his wife’s suggestion, Dr. Orlando L. Alexander (1852-1920) built this hotel, where the couple kept a residence, as well. Dr. Alexander was a local physician who received his medical schooling at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He served on a statewide medical conference in 1905. The hotel was built by D. J. Nobles, a master carpenter from Hagan, Georgia, who was responsible for as many as 25 structures in the general area; it was the first location in Tattnall County to have electricity and the first to have telephone service.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --TATTNALL COUNTY GA--, Reidsville 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.

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

Dr. John Middleton Spence House, 1902, Waresboro

Waresboro is the most historic community in Ware County, having served as the county seat before the establishment of Waycross. While looking around the area for sites to photograph yesterday, I met Joe Spence while he was tidying up the yard of this beautiful home. At 81, he has the energy of a many in his 30s and a reverence for the history of this house and community. He’s spent the better part of the past two years stabilizing and restoring it. He notes that it was not “in the family” for 90 years but persistent attempts to buy it from its last owner finally prevailed.

The home’s builder was his ancestor, Dr. John Middleton Spence, who once owned over 16,000 acres of land in the area. Dr. Spence went to Galveston after the hurricane of 1900 to assist in the recovery effort. He was so impressed by one house standing amid the ruins of others, with not a shingle touched, that he set about to locate the builder of that house and when he did he brought him back to Waresboro to build this house.

Please note that this is private property and not available for public tours.

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Filed under --WARE COUNTY GA--, Waresboro GA

Student Nurse Dormitory, Fitzgerald

fitzgerald-ga-pueblo-revival-house-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2016

This Pueblo Revival house is located across the street from the site of the former Fitzgerald Hospital. Though a private residence today, it served as a dormitory for student nurses from the 1930s through the early 1960s.

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

Doctor’s Office, 1920s, Lilly

lilly ga early 20th century doctors office photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Blakely Humber and Amy Thompson note that this later served as their grandfather’s (Claude Hugh Murray, d. 1965) barber shop.

Lilly Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --DOOLY COUNTY GA--, Lilly GA

Medical Clinic, Cedar Springs

cedar springs ga shotgun tenant house photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

This is quite small, even for a shotgun house, so I initially thought it might be an old office building, but there’s another one on the property (which I was unable to photograph due to vegetation) which led me to believe it might be a tenant house. Pete Tyson clarifies: That was the first aid/hospital of Cedar Springs that Mrs. S. A. Wright told me about. It was moved there in the 1960’s from the little dirt road behind Johnny Golden’s store. It was a barber shop (drinking spot) that was run by Bill Adams and he later moved his shop to Columbia, Alabama, to the old Orr’s Gun Shop on Highway 52. The other was a beauty shop run by May Megahee.

Though it’s obviously best remembered as a barber shop, I’m identifying it by its original purpose.

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Filed under --EARLY COUNTY GA--, Cedar Springs GA