I think this is a 1953 model.
Category Archives: Darien GA
In 1926, the languishing lands of the Butler Plantation were purchased by Colonel Tillinghast L’Hommedieu (T. L.) Huston. Colonel Huston, a veteran of the Spanish-American War and World War I, had previously been a part owner of the New York Yankees baseball team.
He built this house in 1927 and numerous baseball players were among his many guests here, including Babe Ruth.
The Huston dairy barn can be seen on the east side of US 17. The dairy, anchored by a herd of Friesians, proved a difficult enterprise and Huston transformed the property into one of the largest iceberg lettuce farms on the east coast within a decade. The remaining structures on the property, however, date to the dairy era.
This structure is said to have been the ice cream shop operated as part of the dairy; more likely, it was an equipment shed, but that wouldn’t explain the windows. I hope to learn more.
In front of the house is one of the landmarks of US 17 in McIntosh County, the old chimney from the steam-powered rice mill from the 1850s. The property is operated by the Nature Conservancy today; the house is not open to the public, however.
Lieutenant James Nephew received the property along Cathead Creek that came to be known as Ceylon Plantation as payment for service rendered to Colonel John Baker’s Regiment of the Liberty County Militia during the Revolution. Nephew and his wife, Mary Magdalen Gignilliat (pronounced Gin-lat), owned plantations in Georgia and South Carolina. Ceylon became quite successful from the labor of around 120 slaves by 1859. Nothing remains of the plantation, except for a few rice canals on Cathead Creek and this cemetery, where Ceylon’s slaves and their descendants rest in eternity.
Few places illustrate the dark shadow of slavery more than slave cemeteries. Many have been permanently lost and the few which do survive are often in poor condition.
Ceylon Cemetery is no exception in its lack of known burials and marked graves. Walking these historic grounds, one struggles to locate any old headstones. It’s thought that most burials were commemorated with wooden markers and shells, hence their absence today.
The cemetery is slightly more than an acre in size, and though the exact number can’t be known, surveys have indicated that about 76 souls are interred here.
Bailey, Blige, Butler, Carter, Cooper, Gibbs, Harris, Mansson, Mungin, Sheffield, Wilson, and Young, are among the family names represented here.
As the headstone of Corporal Andrew Bailey indicates, at least some of the former slaves of Ceylon served in the Union effort in the war. Bailey joined Company E, 33rd Regiment, United States Colored Troops, at Beaufort, South Carolina, on 12 January 1863. Though rosters list his age at 21 years old at the time, the birthdate on his headstone suggests he was actually 17; his corporal commission came in October 1865, after the war ended. He died on 17 November 1885.
Joseph Gibbs (5 June 1864-14 December 1918) is one of just a few visible older headstones.
Recent burials here, though infrequent, illustrate an ongoing connection between Ceylon’s slaves and their descendants.
Cannonball Jellyfish, or jelly balls, which have traditionally been unwanted in shrimpers’ nets, are now an important moneymaker for Georgia fishermen, third only to shrimp and crab as the state’s leading catch. The jelly balls are dried and shipped to Chinese and Japanese markets. In season, you can even take a tour of the Golden Island International processing facility.
This has been remodeled and now serves as the Darien firehouse. Its Streamline Moderne architecture remains though the “tabby” walls have been replaced with stucco. O. C. Welch III notes that this was built in 1947 as Darien Motor Company by Speed Edenfield. It was next owned by O. C. Welch (a well-known car dealer in these parts). Dianne Parks notes that it was later Steve James Ford, Jack Nelson Ford, and Lilliston Ford. (These photographs were made in 2011).
First opened at a nearby location in 1940, and once known as the Shrimp Boat Restaurant, Archie’s was a longtime Darien landmark and a favorite stop for travelers along the busy Coastal Highway (US 17).
As traffic moved off 17 and onto nearby I-95, business slowed and the restaurant was closed by 2006. The structure seen here opened circa 1975 and was demolished in 2015.