Tag Archives: South Georgia Pioneers

Seminole Chickee Grave Shelter, Ware County

Chickee is the Seminole word for house, and these iconic shelters are still scattered throughout Florida. To my knowledge, this chickee in the Carter Cemetery is the only such grave shelter in Georgia.

In addition to the construction, the shells marking the graves of George Washington Carter (25 October 1862-4 July 1934) and Millie Louvine Thrift Carter (18 January 1860-30 December 1947) honor a Native American ancestry. Mr. Carter, who was born on Cow House Island, was one of the pioneer settlers of the Okefenokee Swamp. The Thrifts were also early residents of the swamp.

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Filed under --WARE COUNTY GA--

Early Settlers Cemetery, 1881, Swainsboro

Over 80 of Swainsboro and Emanuel County’s earliest settlers are buried in this secluded downtown cemetery. It’s a great space for quiet reflection and if you’re a taphophile, you’ll enjoy it.

The triumphant arch marks the graves of John Calhoun Coleman (28 October 1844-1 January 1923) and wife Martha Sarah “Mattie” Moring Coleman (21 April 1858-15 September 1926). The angel memorializes their daughter, Juanita Coleman Smith (16 March 1874-18 May 1910). Mr. Coleman was one of the most prominent men in Emanuel County during his lifetime and was a Confederate veteran. He served in Company H, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, taking part in the Seven Days Battle, first and second battles of Cold Harbor, Harper’s Ferry, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, first and second battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysbur, and finally at Manassas Gap, where he was captured and held as a prisoner until the end of the war.

John Coleman Mitchell (25 April 1897-21 January 1901). Grandson of John Calhoun Coleman.

 

 

 

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Filed under --EMANUEL COUNTY GA--, Swainsboro GA

Wyley J. Byrd House, Jeff Davis County

Though its appearance has been altered by the addition of shed rooms and vinyl siding, this is among the oldest houses in Jeff Davis County. The date of construction is unclear but is thought to be just prior to or just after the Civil War.

Wyley J. Byrd (1825-1908) was a pioneer settler in the section of Coffee County that is now the Snipesville community of Jeff Davis County. He was the patriarch of a huge family (he had 20 children with two wives) who were very involved in the community, donating land for construction of the nearby Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in 1878.

Thanks to Michael Ellis for sharing the location and the vintage photograph of Mr. Byrd and some of his children. The photo probably dates to the 1890s and shows Victorian porch posts, a common “improvement” to Plantation Plain houses in that era. Mr. Ellis writes: ...this was “The Home Place” in my early childhood. My maternal grandparents lived there from sometime in the late 1930s until 1956-1957. I had a ball around there as a young child, until we relocated to Opa Locka, Florida.

 

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Filed under --JEFF DAVIS COUNTY GA--

Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Jeff Davis County

Mount Pleasant was organized in 1820 and is among the oldest congregations in Jeff Davis County. This structure, built on land given by the Byrd family circa 1878, was used until a newer structure was built next door in 1989. It is sometimes referred to as Byrd Church.

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Filed under --JEFF DAVIS COUNTY GA--

Goodman-Rigdon House, Circa 1819, Bulloch County

This home was built by Reverend Jesse Goodman. Thanks to Kenneth Dixon for the identification; Reverend Goodman was his 6th great uncle.

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Filed under --BULLOCH COUNTY GA--

Clary-Whaley House, Circa 1869, Jesup

Willis Clary established what would become Jesup at Station Number 6 on the Atlantic & Gulf Railroad line in early 1869. He paid to have the town surveyed and built this house on City Lot #1, presumably around the time the survey was done. Clary would serve as Jesup’s first mayor. As he and wife Lucinda Hall Lee had no children of their own, his stepdaughter, Georgia Lee Whaley, eventually inherited the home.

It appears to have originated as a simple central hallway structure. Expanded over the years, it’s presently used as an office.

 

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

Moniac Baptist Church & Canaday Cemetery, Charlton County

Adjacent to Moniac Baptist Church is the historic Canaday Cemetery, established in 1830. Notably, it’s the final resting place of Missouri Powell Canaday, the sister of the Seminole chieftain Osceola. Many of the pioneers of this section were assimilated Native Americans.

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Filed under --CHARLTON COUNTY GA--, Moniac GA