Tag Archives: South Georgia Superlatives

Pope Park, 1910, Sylvester

Georgia is lucky to have three landmark minor league parks dating to the 1920s [Golden Park in Columbus (1926); Grayson Stadium in Savannah(1926); and Luther Williams Field in Macon (1929)], but none is as old as Sylvester’s historic Pope Park. It’s been in continuous use as a baseball venue since 1910.

Named for Colonel John D. Pope, it has hosted amateur, semi-pro, American Legion and county league teams throughout its history. It’s presently home to the Worth County Rams high school team. The wooden grandstand is a rare sight in the modern era of baseball and is the centerpiece of Pope Park. The property is maintained jointly by the City of Sylvester and Worth County High School.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under --WORTH COUNTY GA--, Sylvester GA

Nevils Creek Old Line Primitive Baptist Church, Bulloch County

Nevils Creek is the oldest church in Bulloch County and one of the oldest Primitive Baptist churches in Georgia. It was constituted in 1790. A single headstone is located beside the church: John Neville served in the 2nd South Carolina Regiment during the Revolutionary War. He may have been the founder of the congregation.

Leave a comment

Filed under --BULLOCH COUNTY GA--

Jesup Drive-In, Valentine’s Day

Jesup Drive In Theatre Valentines Day Date Night Crowd Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Valentine’s dates were bumper to bumper at Jesup Drive-In tonight. It’s one of the few places in Georgia where you could experience a tradition like this, and it’s the oldest drive-in in the state.

4 Comments

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

Montgomery Lake & The World Record Largemouth Bass, Telfair County

Montgomery Lake Telfair County GA George Perry Worlds Largest Largemouth Bass Ocmulgee River Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Montgomery Lake is an oxbow of the Ocmulgee River. A mile or so before you reach the Ocmulgee Water Trail sign for Montgomery Lake & Stave’s Landing, driving north on Georgia Highway 117 from Jacksonville to Lumber City,  there’s a Georgia Historic Marker which gives this beautiful but nondescript place mythical status among sportsmen.

world-record-largemouth-bass-fishing-angling-telfair-county-ga-horse-creek-picture-photo-image-cc-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2009

Approximately two miles from this spot, on June 2, 1932, George W. Perry, a 19-year old farm boy, caught what was to become America`s most famous fish. The twenty-two pound four ounce Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoldes) exceeded the existing record by more than two pounds and has retained the world record for more than fifty years. Perry and his friend, J.E. Page, were fishing in Montgomery Lake, a slough off the Ocmulgee River, not for trophies but to bring food to the table during those days of the Great Depression. The fish was caught on a Creek Chub Perch Scale Wigglefish, Perry`s only lure, and was 32 1/2 inches in length and 28 1/2 inches in girth. The weight and measurements were taken, recorded and notarized in Helena, Georgia and Perry’s only reward was seventy-five dollars in merchandise as first prize in Field and Stream Magazine`s fishing contest. The longstanding record is one of the reasons that the largemouth bass was made Georgia`s Official State Fish. Montgomery Lake is today part of the Department of Natural Resources Horse Creek Wildlife Management Area.

A largemouth weighing in at one more ounce (22.5 lbs.) was caught by Manabu Kurita in Japan in 2009, but since it doesn’t weigh at least two more ounces than the existing world record, it’s considered a tie. Perry’s record is in no danger of being forgotten.

Montgomery Lake Telfair County GA Ocmulgee River Worlds Largest Largemouth Bass Montgomery Lake Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Today was the first time I’d ever laid eyes upon this place and in appearance it was scarcely different from numerous similar places I’ve photographed all over South Georgia in the past seven years. But the history of George Perry and the world record Largemouth Bass gave me pause. It made this place a tangible landmark.

Montgomery Lake Telfair County GA In Ocmulgee RIver WInter High Water World Record Bass Official George Perry Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

For a third consecutive winter there’s high water on the Ocmulgee. The fishing must be good. Stave’s Landing is publicly accessible at the end of a dirt road about three miles in length. The road is generally safe for travel, though a four-wheel drive is the best way to go.

Staves Landing Montgomery Lake Ocmulgee River Official World Record Largemouth Bass Telfair County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

I look forward to returning in the spring.

Montgomery Lake Telfair County GA Dirt Road Ocmulgee River Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 20154

There are many references to George Perry online, but this is one of the best.

5 Comments

Filed under --TELFAIR COUNTY GA--

Old Government House, 1801, Augusta

Old Government House Augusta GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The central section of this structure housed the old Richmond County Courthouse, making this the oldest standing courthouse in Georgia. (The oldest in its original form in the 1825 Fayette County Courthouse). Sold in 1821 to mayor Samuel Hale, the building was expanded for use as a residence. The family of Dr. Eugene Murphy were the last private owners, selling it to the Augusta Junior League in the 1952. It is depicted on both the Augusta city seal and flag. A gingko on the property is thought to have been planted on the lot in 1791 to commemorate George Washington’s visit to the city.

National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --RICHMOND COUNTY GA--, Augusta GA

Jesup Drive-In Theater, 1948

jesup drive in theatre photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2014

Opened in 1948 by Ward Riggins, Sr., as the Family Drive-In, the Jesup Drive-In Theater is the oldest and one of just four remaining in the state of Georgia. It was briefly closed in the 1960s, reopened as the Jesup Twin Drive-In and has been going strong ever since. Today it’s owned by Ralph and Jamie Hickox, who have really improved it while keeping its nostalgic feel. It’s a real treasure for Southeast Georgia.

jesup drive in theatre theater movie wayne county ga marquee at night photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2014

7 Comments

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

Oldest Jail in Georgia, Circa 1783, Warthen

Aaron Burr Apocraphyl Presumed Oldest Jail in Georgia Warthen GA Washington County Political Prisoner Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Located today on private property, this structure is nonetheless accessible and widely visited. Thought to be the oldest standing jail in Georgia, it’s better known as the Aaron Burr Jail. The former Vice-president is said to have been held here overnight during transport to Richmond for his 1807 trial for treason. A granite-and-bronze marker was placed at the site by the Governor Jared Irwin Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. However, research and evidence suggests that this story is apocryphal. A 1906 newspaper article by Col. Macon Warthen, Sr., gave a very detailed account of Burr’s movements from Fort Wilkinson (Milledgeville) to Shoals of Ogeechee in Hancock County. According to Col. Warthen’s research, Burr spent the night in Shoals of the Ogeechee, not in Warthen (then known as Wicker).

Aaron Burr Jail Warthen GA Washington County Political Prisoner DAR Bronze Marker Plaque Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

It reads: “Site of First Washington County Jail – Erected 1783 of Logs – Aaron Burr Incarcerated Here 1807, En Route to Trial for Treason“. I believe this claim is possible, but I wish there were further documentation.

Aaron Burr Oldest Jail in Georgia Warthen GA Washington County Political Prisoner Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Different sources list different years for the date of construction, generally ranging from 1783 – 1793. Since there’s no way of specifically dating it, my source is John Linley’s Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area (UGA Press, 1972).

Warthen Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

5 Comments

Filed under --WASHINGTON COUNTY GA--, Warthen GA