Union Brotherhood Society, 1932

Union Brotherhood Society Midway GA Liberty County Endangered African American Historic Site Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

William McKinley Walthour, Sr., founded the Union Brotherhood Society or “The Society” in March 1932 to help provide for the proper burial of Negro citizens. During this period of segregation and Jim Crow Laws, Negroes were uninsured and had to use homemade pine boxes to bury their loved ones. The organization collected dues of ten and twenty-five cents monthly from its members; enabling them to have death and health benefits. The Society with 34 members still exists in 2006 with death benefits of $140.00 and sickness benefits of $10.00. At funerals, the Society members dressed in black and white, wore badges and greeted each other as Brother and Sister. Anniversay celebrations, known as the “Society Turning Out,” had a worship program followed by fellowship, fun and games. The founding members were: William Walthour, Sr., Frank Baker, Willie Stevens, Joe Bowers, Wilhelmina Walthour, Beatrice Bowers, Gus Williams, Priscilla Maxwell, Rose Bell Roberts, Ben Maxwell, Sarah Jane Walthour, Joe Walthour, George Walthour Sr., William Brown, Rev. R.W. Monroe and Janie Stevens. Less than an acre of land was purchased and a building, structured similar to an old T-shaped church, was built by The Society members for their meetings and gatherings at this location in 1932. This monumment is a tribute to their unity, vision and community concern. Source: Historical marker placed in 2007 by the Liberty County Historical Society.

Union Brotherhood Society Midway GA Liberty County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Such relics of the Jim Crow era are fading fast and are tangible evidence of a different world. It’s a shame to see this old building in such disrepair, but I’m glad Liberty County made the effort to mark this significant part of its history. (Though maps locate this at Midway, it’s a bit further inland).

Union Brotherhood Society Interior Midway GA Liberty County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Liberty County, Georgia

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Oatland Island, Savannah

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Built in 1927 as a retirement home for the Brotherhood of Railroad Conductors, the “main building” today serves as an educational center for the surrounding Oatland Island Wildlife Center. It is quite typical of institutional architecture of its era and subsequently served as a Public Health Service hospital in World War II. Until being surplussed in 1973, it was used as a development laboratory by the Centers for Disease Control. The Chatham County Board of Education has owned it since then and it serves over 20,000 students and visitors each year as a wildlife education facility today. To movie buffs, the building may be familiar to viewers of the John Travolta movie, The General’s Daughter, as it was used as a set location. And Martha Barnes adds this interesting bit of Savannah trivia: People who read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil will remember the main building as where Luther Driggers worked and actually developed the chemical used in today’s flea collars, but in the book he was always about to poison Savannah’s water supply.

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Carol Suttle, a Savannah native and Oatland’s most enthusiastic ambassador, contacted me several months ago about photographing the old water tower at the entrance to the center; it’s scheduled to be demolished and it’s one of her favorite structures on the island. Touring the island and its natural features with Carol and photographer Mike McCall was a real treat, and I hope to revisit in the future. Located just past downtown Savannah on the Islands Expressway (US 80), it’s often overlooked by tourists heading to Tybee Island but is well worth a visit! See the link at the end of this post for specifics about admission and other particulars.

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David Delk, Jr., built this cabin in 1837 in the Taylor’s Creek community near Gum Branch in Liberty County. It was moved and reconstructed here by the Youth Conservation Corps in 1979. The layout is of the Scots/Irish or “shotgun” design (not to be confused with the more common and more recent shotgun “house”), a vernacular form common in early Georgia.

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Martha Phillips Youngblood writes that the corn crib pictured above was originally owned by her grandfather, Thomas Hilton Phillips, and was moved here from Treutlen County.

Oatland Island GA Abandoned Barn Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Oatland Island GA CDC Predecessor Abandoned Utility Building Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

The two abandoned structures pictured above are remnants of the bureaucratic era on the island. A hand-crafted boat from the 1970s can also be seen on the property.

Oatland Island GA Savannah Abandoned Ship Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus), as well as wolves and bison can be easily seen on the property.

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Beautiful Richardson Creek runs adjacent to the island.

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Richardson Creek at Oatland Island Savannah GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

 

http://internet.savannah.chatham.k12.ga.us/schools/oat/default.aspx

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60814-d1077850-Reviews-Oatland_Island_Wildlife_Center-Savannah_Georgia.html

Chatham County, Georgia

 

 

 

 

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Driftwood Beach

Driftwood Beach Entrance Jekyll Island GA Maritime Oak Forest Salt Wind Effects Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

To access Driftwood Beach, park in the small lot  just past the Villas-by-the-Sea condominiums. After walking through this maritime oak forest you’ll find a “boneyard” full of fallen trees, gradual victims to the ravages of wind and salt-spray. In springtime, you’ll see lots of thistle.

Driftwood Beach Thistle Jekyll Island GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

A short or long walk will reveal some of the most stunning scenery on the Georgia coast.

Driftwood Beach Jekyll Island GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Driftwood Beach Boneyard Jekyll Island GA Maritime Forest Erosion Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Driftwood Beach Jekyll Island GA Oak Boneyard Fallen Trees Maritime Forest Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Jekyll Island, Georgia

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Cherub Ornaments of Bonaventure Cemetery

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Andrew Granger (1902-1904)

In cemetery symbolism, cherubs almost always represent departed children. Bonaventure has numerous incarnations of these and I’ve chosen some of its best examples. The variety among different carvers is remarkable to me. Also known as winged babies or winged heads, cherub ornaments were most abundant in the late Victorian era, due especially to high infant mortality rates.

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Dorothy Miles Willcox, d. 1907

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Mary Catherine Roberts (1923-1926)

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Mary J. Schwarz (1901-1902)

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John N. Schwarz (No date discernible)

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Dieter Infant

Savannah, Georgia

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Replica of a Scottish Highlander’s Colonial Cottage

Scottish Highlander Cottage Fort King George Darien GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Located at Fort King George, this is a reconstruction/replica of a Scottish Highlander’s cottage. It’s the style of dwelling some of the earliest settlers of Georgia would have called home and it’s very primitive, with dirt floors, mud walls, and a wattle frame. It’s hard to imagine how difficult life must have been for those pioneers.

Fort King George Darien GA Moss Draped Cedar Tree Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

There’s a secluded pond on the walk to the cottage.

Scottish Highlander Cottage Reconstruction Fort King George Darien GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

The interior is quite small and it’s impossible to imagine a family of any size living in such a space.

Scottish Highlander Cottage Interior Fort King George Darien GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

A depiction in the museum shows the formal dress of a Scottish Highlander around the time of Darien’s founding.

Scottish Highlander Tartan Fort King George Museum Darien GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Darien, Georgia

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Fort King George, 1721

Fort King George Darien GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

The first British outpost in present-day Georgia, Fort King George was built and commanded by Colonel John “Tuscarora Jack” Barnwell in 1721, under the auspices of South Carolina Governor Francis Nicholson. Upon its construction it was the southernmost fort in Bristish North America, manned by His Majesty’s Independent Company of Foot. The British claimed the land along the Altamaha River as part of the South Carolina colony as a protection against Spanish forces, who sought to expand their reach northward from Florida. Colonel Barnwell died in 1724 and a mysterious fire claimed the fort in 1726. Rebuilt, it remained in use as a garrison until 1732 when it was officially abandoned. Upon its ruins General Oglethorpe founded Darien in 1736.

Fort King George Darien GA Colonial Stockade Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

The blockhouse was built of cypress logs. Its construction proved no simple matter in the wilderness of Coastal Georgia. Though Nicholson and Barnwell had requested fit young soldiers, they were instead supplied with members of the Regiment of Invalids, veterans who in one way or another were not capable of heavy service. The British welfare system of the day allowed them light duty and by 1722 about 100 soldiers were sent from a hospital in Port Royal, South Carolina, to Fort King George.

Fort King George Darien GA Stockade Gun Embrasure Port Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

From embrasures (gun-ports) on the top level of the blockhouse, soldiers kept watch over the Altamaha River delta. Guardhouses, or sentry towers, were also essential to the site’s security.

Fort King George Darien GA Sentry Guardhouse Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

None of the original fortification survives; the structures seen today were built using original plans in 1988. Besides the blockhouse, an officers’ quarters and workshop were also reconstructed.

Fort King George Darien GA Outbuildings Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Fort King George Darien GA Interior of Residence Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Barracks were located at the rear of the property and provided quarters for His Majesty’s Independent Company of Foot.

Fort King George Darien GA Barracks Exterior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Fort King George Darien GA Barracks Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Fort King George Darien GA Barracks Hearth Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Black Island Creek flows behind the barracks.

Black Island Creek from Fort King George Darien GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

National Register of Historic Places

Darien, Georgia

http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/fort-king-george

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Darien GA

Cay Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center

Cay Creek Freshwater Wetlands Liberty County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Cay Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center is one of the best day trips in Coastal Georgia. Located at 189 Charlie Butler Road in Midway, the center has ample parking, picnic tables, and a boardwalk which covers several different ecosystems. It’s a place for reflection, as well as a haven for amateur naturalists, birdwatchers and anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Best of all, it’s free and open to everyone, through the daylight hours seven days a week. There isn’t an actual “center” as yet, but excellent interpretive signs located along the boardwalk provide ample information about the environment and its inhabitants.

Cay Creek Liberty County GA Freshwater Swamp in Transitional Coastal Wetland Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Your walk begins in a freshwater tidal swamp, full of oak, cypress, and bay trees. Irises were already sprouting in January (below).

Cay Creek Wetlands Liberty County GA Cypress Knees Iris Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

As the boardwalk reaches the observation tower, the freshwater swamp is intermingled with salt water. Almost a third of the tidal salt marshes on the Atlantic Coast are located in Georgia, along with many freshwater tidal swamps and marshes. Only specific plants are able to thrive in salt water environments, so the plant life begins to change, if subtly, in this zone.

Cay Creek Wetlands Intepretive Center Midway GA Boardwalk from Observation Tower Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

A short walk up the observation deck affords a birds eye view.

Cay Creek Liberty County GA Wetlands Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Just past the observation tower, the transition becomes more obvious, as marsh grasses begin to dominate the hammocks.

Cay Creek Brackish Marsh Intertidal Swamp Wetland Liberty County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

In winter, you’ll see the red berries of native hollies (Ilex).

Cay Creek Liberty County GA Native Holly Ilex Berries Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

The last stretch of the boardwalk opens into brackish marsh, with the transitional swamp and marsh visible in the background.

Cay Creek Wetlands Liberty County GA Boardwalk Natural Area Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Here, you’re surrounded by marsh grasses and can smell the salt in the air.

Cay Creek Liberty County GA Intertidal Transitional Wetland Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Native cedars, often covered in lichen, are scattered around the marsh.

Cay Creek Liberty County GA Native Cedar Coastal Wetland Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

This is the view at the end of the boardwalk. You’ll want to return!

Cay Creek Liberty County GA Protected Wetland Intertidal Zone Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Raymond Cay (1803-1885), namesake of Cay’s Creek.

Raymond Cay Namesake of Cays Creek Midway Liberty County GA Historic Image Photograph Via Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

This was originally known as Salter’s Creek but was changed in honor of Raymond Cay’s nearby plantation.

Midway, Georgia

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Filed under -LIBERTY COUNTY, Midway GA