Category Archives: Darien GA

St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, 1876, Darien

Arguably Darien’s most beautiful church, St. Cyrpian’s can trace its origins to the years of devastation following the Civil War. Reverend Dr. James Wentworth Leigh arrived in the area from Great Britain in 1873 and initiated a project to provide a church for the freedmen of Darien. Donations came from Europe, Philadelphia, and elsewhere to assist the fledgling congregation in their quest to build a suitable home. They named their church St. Cyprian’s for the martyred African Bishop. Using the construction techniques they knew best, the men of St. Cyprian’s built the church using tabby and brick. It is one of the most significant tabby structures still in use.

Darien Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Artist Annie Greene Visits Darien

At 88 years young Annie Lucille Greene doesn’t seem to be caught up in the past, yet her work draws heavily from memory. Mrs. Greene, who grew up in Hinesville in the 1940s, tells her life story through yarn art, a process which first involves drawing images on a surface, then gluing different pieces of colored yarn to create a seamless mosaic. There’s a strong similarity to the Impressionist style known as Pointillism. Mrs. Greene actually refers to it as yarn “painting” and upon seeing the work in person, one completely understands. Presently, she is exhibiting What Color is Water: Tales and Art About a Segregated South as the featured event of the Black History Art and Humanities Program at the McIntosh Art Association in Darien. I’m honored to have met and photographed this amazing lady.

Detail of Babysitting, a recollection of Annie’s first job, in Hinesville © Annie Lucille Greene

Annie’s parents, Henry William and Ella Mae Tarver, were both pioneering black educators. They encouraged her doodling and drawing from an early age and they supported her creative efforts by buying art supplies. When Annie was 12, the family moved to Hogansville to work in the black school there.

Detail of 93 Boyd Road, the Tarver’s home in Hogansville. © Annie Lucille Greene

Summers were spent visiting her maternal grandparents on their farm near Adel. Mrs. Greene told me she didn’t like the farm work, but she loved the food. “The food was really good,” she recalled.

Detail of Granddaddy and Grandmama’s Farm, near Adel © Annie Lucille Greene

Detail of Once Upon a Time Women Washed Clothes in Tin Tubs…© Annie Lucille Greene

Annie spent her first year in college at Spelman but wasn’t happy there. She transferred to Albany State and loved it, Upon graduating in 1954 she was offered a job teaching in LaGrange. It was there that she married Oliver Nathaniel Greene, a Social Studies teacher. They had two children, and while Nathaniel was in New York, completing his Masters in Education at Columbia University, Annie stayed home and took a break from teaching. Dean Robert Simmons encouraged her to go to New York University and she graduated from there in 1956. She received her Masters Degree in Art Education in 1961 and went on to have a long and successful career in the Troup County school system.

Detail of Civil Rights Marches © Annie Lucille Greene

Detail of We Don’t Serve Colored Here © Annie Lucille Greene

Her third and latest book, which is available at the McIntosh Art Association, presents a blend of her work, from early memories to the Civil Rights activism of the 1960s. The images are much better seen in person and I encourage anyone in the Darien area to visit the exhibit. Details can be found here.

The opening reception at the McIntosh Art Association was very well attended and I think everyone enjoyed meeting Mrs. Greene and her husband.

She has exhibited and toured her fine work all over the Southeast but doesn’t keep as busy a schedule as she once did. As a result, you might want to visit this one as soon as you can.

Annie Lucille Greene

 

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Georgian Cottage, Circa 1875, Darien

West Darien Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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St. Andrew’s Cemetery, 1810s, Darien

In the tradition of other historic cemeteries of Coastal Georgia, St. Andrew’s in Darien is worthy of note as an important public green space. An impressive collection of Victorian monuments share space with exceedingly rare tabby tombs.

Thomas Spalding (1774-1851), owner of Sapelo Island and one of the most influential men of early Georgia, established his family cemetery here in the early 1800s, adjacent to his mainland home, Ashantilly. A man of his time, Spalding’s wealth was entirely dependent on slave labor. His last official act was leading the Milledgeville Convention which officially declared that Georgia would use force to resist any efforts of abolition by the federal government. He fell ill on his way home and died at the home of his son Charles, in Darien.

The tombs of Spalding and wife Sarah Leake (1778-1843) are at the center of the original cemetery.

Hester Margery Spalding Cooke (1801-30 November 1824), daughter of Thomas & Sarah Spalding; wife of William Cooke (d. 1861).

Tombs of Spalding children, including, at center, Thomas Spalding (1813-1819). These tabby forms are among the rarest forms of grave markers in Georgia.

Even rarer is this tomb, featuring what appears to be the original lime sealing over the tabby.

The original section of the cemetery contains many tombs, including tabby, brick, and marble examples.

Some are in poor condition, with a few slabs unreadable and perhaps even on the wrong tombs.

All of the burials in this part of the cemetery are Spalding family members and in-laws.

Names include Wylly, Bell, and Leake, among others.

In 1867 Charles Spalding (1808-1887) donated the land surrounding the family plot to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church for use by the city of Darien as a cemetery. The ground was consecrated in 1876 by the Right Reverend Dr. Beckwith, Bishop of Georgia and is known today as St. Andrew’s Cemetery.

Dr. James Holmes (1804-1883) was a prominent 19th century physician who left his home to study medicine in Philadelphia and returned to practice in Darien. A fastidious note taker and diarist, Holmes wrote of his encounters as “Dr. Bullie”. Dr. Bullie’s Notes: Reminisces of Early Georgia and of Philadelphia and New Haven in the 1800s, edited by Dr. Delma Presley, was published by Cherokee Publishing Company in 1976 and remains an insightful resource for students of the era.

Hilton Family

Lachlison-Clark-Fox Families

Reverend Henry Kollock Rees & Family

Jamie Manson (1890-1895)

Schmidt Monument

Churchill-Wilcox Mausoleum

This is the most prominent memorial in the cemetery.

Wilcox Children Memorial

Thomas A. Bailey (1828-1917) Ornamental Gate

Lewis Myers Bealer (1857-1942)

Adam Strain (1840-1897)

Barclay Family

Sutton Children

Lawrence Bailey Daniels (1894-1900)

Donnelly Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Craftsman Bungalow, 1902, Darien

West Darien Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Kenan-Fox House, Circa 1865, Darien

The date given for this house would make it one of Darien’s oldest. I have encountered the date on several resource surveys, so I’m assuming it has been validated. It was likely built as a smaller house that has been expanded over the years.

West Darien Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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James Walker House, 1890, Darien

This Folk Victorian was built for James Walker, who I understand at the time was chairman of the McIntosh County Commission. The architect/builder is identified as James Gone. Other owners have been the Fox, Valenti, Fishburn, and Bramlett families.

West Darien Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Eclectic Craftsman Bungalow, Circa 1915, Darien

Though it has been modified, this one-and-a-half story cottage originated as a Craftsman. Some elements of its original appearance have survived.

West Darien Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Tidewater Commissioner’s Office, Circa 1875, Darien

This was originally a small office building. It was later expanded and has been a residence for many years. I believe Raymond Clancy, whose Georgian Cottage still stands across the street, was the Tidewater commissioner in question. I’m still trying to track down a history of the Tidewater Commission.

West Darien Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Gale House, 1875, Darien

The Gale House is one of the oldest remaining examples of the Georgian cottages so common  in post-Civil War Darien. Few of these survive in original condition today; this is considered one of the least altered of the extant examples.

West Darien Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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