Tag Archives: South Georgia Pioneers

“Twin Houses” of Norman Park

Thanks to Meredith Kelley Zidek, I finally know the identity of the house pictured above. She writes: It’s my understanding that one house was Vernon Franklin Norman’s (25 October 1869-30 December 1920), and the other was Marion Davis Norman’s (28 June 1862-30 January 1928). Their sister was Sarah Ann Norman, my great grandmother. (Meredith notes that this is how she understands it). If it was built after M. D. Norman’s house, it probably dates to around 1908-10 or thereabouts. The Normans were members of the founding family of Norman Park and the Norman Institute. The house was obscured for many years by pines. After clearing them and vastly improving the landscape, the present owners have given new life to what many readers and contacts have called the “Twin Houses of Norman Park” or “The Norman Park Twins”. The  M. D. Norman House (below), across US319, has been one of my most popular photographs but since I got new photographs, I thought I’d share.




Filed under --COLQUITT COUNTY GA--, Norman Park GA

Simeon Brinson House, 1893, Brinson


This grand Victorian was built by Simeon Brinson (1847-1918), founder of the town that bears his name. In the 1870s, Simeon bought large tracts of land in the area and surveyed the area for a town in 1889, after the coming of the railroad. He served as a postmaster in the town’s early days and after it was incorporated in 1907 was its first mayor. The family owned the only bank in the town, as well as a cotton warehouse.

Brinson Family Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --DECATUR COUNTY GA--, Brinson GA

Curry Hill, Circa 1855, Decatur County


Duncan Curry, Jr., son of a state representative and senator and one of the earliest settlers of this section of Georgia, established a plantation in 1842 on property that had included an important early stagecoach stop. As the plantation expanded to eventually cover several thousand acres, the family lived in a log house next to the old stagecoach house. The present house, in the Plantation Plain style with a Greek Revival entryway, was built in the mid-1850s. It also served as a de facto neighborhood school.

In addition to their farming and entrepreneurial activities, Duncan, with his brother Calvin, built the first Presbyterian church in this section around this time. At the outset of the Civil War, Curry rallied a group of local men for the cause. They became Company F, Fiftieth Georgia Regiment, under Curry’s command. Injured in Maryland, Curry returned to the plantation and helped secure supplies for the local effort. His son, Perry, was killed in the war.

National Register of Historic Places


Filed under --DECATUR COUNTY GA--

Single-Pen Log Farmhouse, Toombs County


This structure is already in ruins but I felt it needed documenting.



Filed under --TOOMBS COUNTY GA--

John Rountree House, 1832, Twin City


John Rountree was born in 1809 in present-day Emanuel County. His father, Joshua Rountree, had migrated to the area from Greene County, via Tar River, North Carolina, probably at the turn of the 18th century. John built this house around the time he married Nancy Brown Kent in 1832. He died in 1858. The house is quite significant in a number of areas. It was built by a member of one of the pioneer families of Emanuel County and as a a surviving example of the rural architecture of that period, it’s unequaled in the area.


Early log saddlebag houses are very rare and the Rountree House is made even more significant by the use of diamond notching on the logs, one of fewer than ten known to exist in Georgia. As is the norm with this style, a large brick chimney is centrally located between the two original rooms


Also, instead of chinking, the logs are sealed with battens on the interior. A later shed room was added across the back of the house no later than 1845-50 by John Rountree.


The house remained in family hands until 1995, when Lynne Santy Tanner and her brothers, Chris and Ross Santy, transferred the house and surrounding ten acres to the City of Twin City. It has been recognized by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation as a 2017 Place in Peril. Its regional architectural significance can’t be overstated.


National Register of Historic Places


Filed under --EMANUEL COUNTY GA--, Twin City GA

Long Pond Methodist Church, 1877

Historic Long Pond Methodist Church Montgomery County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Long Pond is a real treasure. It retains its two historic churches, an old school house and store. Most places like this have long disappeared and are nothing more than a name on a map, but not so Long Pond, where history is truly appreciated. When the congregations of this church and its neighbor, Long Pond Baptist, got too small to sustain services, the community came together and decided to meet in both houses of worship on alternating schedules. Both congregations date to 1802, when Montgomery County was filled with pioneer settlers taming Georgia’s interior.

Historic Long Pond Methodist Church Photo Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

I first went to Long Pond in February of 2012. At that time I met Mr. James Fowler, to whom I’m grateful for sharing  the history of this wonderful place, and for granting me access to it’s beautiful interior. He was a true Southern gentleman, of the kind you never find anymore. His charisma and love for this place and the surrounding area was inspiring.

historic long pond methodist church interior photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

I hope someone in the community will work to place this church, as well as the Baptist Church, on the National Register of Historic Places.

long pond methodist church pews photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010



Filed under --MONTGOMERY COUNTY GA--, Long Pond GA

Silas Wheeler House, Bacon County

Pioneer Log House Bacon County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Stephen Dubberly shared this history of the house, via Richard Wheeler: The house is owned by Dr. Hank Wheeler; it was built by his grandfather, Silas Wheeler in the early 1900s.

Pioneer Log House Details Bacon County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Typical of pioneer log structures, the material is rough-hewn.

Pioneer Log House Interior Bacon County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Mud chinking served as the insulation, but over time, much of this has disintegrated.

Pioneer Log House Bacon County GA Joinery Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

As seen here, the structure is actually two smaller log buildings set together to make a larger whole.

Bacon County Pioneer Log Farmhouse Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

A nice old log barn survives (barely) on the property, as well.

Bacon County GA Log Barn Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015


Filed under --BACON COUNTY GA--