Ashburn Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Tag Archives: The Great Depression in South Georgia
This was originally a residence, but the Byromville Woman’s Club purchased it for $75 in 1936 and utilized WPA labor to renovate it for use as their clubhouse. They held their first meeting here the day after Thanksgiving, 1937. A bit of history from the 2010 Byromville Woman’s Club Yearbook: In October 1918 a group of ladies met at the school auditorium to organize a club to promote a more friendly relationship between parents and teacher and to work for the upbuiding of the school and community. Mrs. Minnie McDonald was the organizer and suggested the name School Improvement Club, which was adopted by the club.
They changed their name to Byromville Woman’s Club in 1970.
Taylor County’s Neoclassical/Colonial Revival courthouse was funded by the Civil Works Administration, part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. Significantly, it was designed by Frederick Roy Duncan (1864-1947) an architect from nearby Columbus, known for work on the Gatun Power Plant on the Panama Canal in 1910, as well as public buildings in Columbus and various structures at Fort Benning. This courthouse replaced Taylor County’s first courthouse, on the same location. It was built in 1852 and stood until 1934, when it was torn down using convict labor.
A six-sided police station stands on the northwest corner of the courthouse grounds. These were once common features but are rarely seen today. I don’t know that I’ve seen another one in Georgia. I’ve seen a few in the Midwest, though.
National Register of Historic Places
This home was built for the Carver family by the Irwinville Farms Project, an initiative of the Farm Security Administration.
Because the houses were utilitarian and therefore quite small, most families outgrew them. A variety of expansions can be seen on most of the surviving Irwinville Farms houses today; the Bradford house has a minimal addition at the rear but it’s still one of the best examples of the way houses were originally built on the project.
I’ve photographed the tobacco barn on the farm many times over the years, and it remains one of my favorites. It’s an iconic symbol of Irwinville Farms.
Burke County’s historic antebellum courthouse is actually the fourth to serve the county. A log cabin built in 1773 first served this purpose, followed by a wooden courthouse built in 1777. After it burned in 1825, temporary facilities were used until a third courthouse was built in 1856. It burned soon thereafter and was replaced by this structure in 1857. Expansions in 1899 by architect L. F. Goodrich gave the courthouse its present appearance. To accommodate population growth, an annex (pictured below) was completed by the Public Works Administration in 1940.
Waynesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
This historic New Deal post office was saved and is now home to the Cook County Historical Society Museum. Mary A. King writes: My father, James S. Bailey, was in charge of some of the W.P.A. projects at that time and I know some of the work in Cook County was his, and I believe he was in charge of the construction of the post office, too. I seem to remember having seen photos of the construction process and hearing my parents talk about it, but I wasn’t born until 1941, just before the war started and that changed a lot of things, of course. He was doing W.P.A. projects around Ashburn and Sycamore when I was born because I was born in Sycamore and our home was Nashville in Berrien County.
National Register of Historic Places