Tag Archives: African-American Culture of Coastal Georgia

Gable Front House, Liberty County

This is a typical house style of early-20th-century Coastal Georgia. This example is located near Midway.

Leave a comment

Filed under --LIBERTY COUNTY GA--

Ruins of the Union Brotherhood Society, Liberty County

The Liberty County Historical Society recently noted on its website that William McKinley Walthour’s Union Brotherhood Society meeting hall near Midway was in eminent danger of collapsing. While doing some re-shoots in coastal Liberty County yesterday, I drove by the site and can now report that it has indeed collapsed.

This relic of the Jim Crow era was a great example of the strong fraternal bonds of the African-American community, required at the time for the common benefits white society often took for granted, such as burial insurance. Its loss is most unfortunate.

The Historical Society made an impassioned plea for saving the structure, but its loss illustrates the limitations faced by such organizations. Donations are often slow to materialize and in an extraordinarily challenging year like 2020, even more so.

 

1 Comment

Filed under --LIBERTY COUNTY GA--

Thomas Landing, McIntosh County

Thomas Landing, on the South Newport River, has been occupied since the early days of Colonial Georgia and its history is indelibly linked to the hundreds of African-Americans who resided here. They first landed here against their will but after Emancipation chose to remain, only to have their land taken from them by the United States government in the 1930s.

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Leave a comment

Filed under --MCINTOSH COUNTY GA--, Harris Neck GA

Bungalow, 1940s, St. Simons Island

The property surrounding this front gable bungalow has recently been cleared, suggesting it’s likely to soon be redeveloped. This is one of just a few surviving vernacular structures in the scattered community known as Jewtown. The community got its name from the Levison brothers, who had a thriving store about a mile east of Gascoigne Bluff. They called it Levisonton but the name didn’t stick and residents referred to the area as Jewtown. Like the other two historic African-American communities on St. Simons, Harrington and South End, Jewtown is largely indistinguishable from the rest of the island today. I believe the cottage dates to circa 1940-1945, making it a relatively late construction for the community.

2 Comments

Filed under --GLYNN COUNTY GA--, Jewtown GA, St. Simons Island GA

Carneghan Emanuel Baptist Church, McIntosh County

This church was constructed between 1979-1983. Set in a beautiful grove of moss-draped oaks, its of a style typical among African-American congregations in Coastal Georgia. [“Carneghan” is likely the original spelling of the community, but it has been changed to “Carnigan” on modern maps.]

1 Comment

Filed under --MCINTOSH COUNTY GA--, Carnigan GA

Gable Front Cottage, Carnigan

Vernacular housing of the early 20th century, much of it related to the Gullah-Geechee community, is growing much rarer on the coast. Survivors are important links to the cultural history of the region, though I know of no effort to preserve them or their history.

Leave a comment

Filed under --MCINTOSH COUNTY GA--, Carnigan GA

Manufactured House, Carnigan

Manufactured kit houses, like this well-preserved side-gabled example, proliferated in McIntosh County (and much of America) from the 1930s to the 1960s. Such structures were improvements over earlier vernacular structures and afforded more convenience to homeowners than was previously available.

1 Comment

Filed under --MCINTOSH COUNTY GA--, Carnigan GA

Hip-Roof Cottages, Meridian

Hidden on the edge of the road by thick woods today, these utilitarian hip-roof/pyramidal cottages are some of the last surviving examples of a vernacular style that was once widespread among the African-American communities of the coastal counties, as well as many areas of the state.

Because of their isolation, there is not a good way to photograph them other than showing them in their present state. They will eventually succumb to the ravages of time, but I think they are very important examples.

2 Comments

Filed under --MCINTOSH COUNTY GA--, Meridian GA

Milton Wilson House, Circa 1900, Hog Hammock

Hog Hammock Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --MCINTOSH COUNTY GA--, Hog Hammock GA, Sapelo Island GA

Johnson House, Circa 1880, Johnson Hammock

This is the last surviving double-pen house on Sapelo and among the oldest surviving houses on the island.

Hog Hammock Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

1 Comment

Filed under --MCINTOSH COUNTY GA--, Johnson Hammock GA, Sapelo Island GA