Thousands of tourists pass by this sign regularly without giving it much notice. It’s on the southbound side of the Torras Causeway and is inconvenient if you’re heading onto the island. But legions of local fishermen will tell you George’s Bait is the place to get bait in all of Glynn County.
The late George Bennett began a bait business on the other side of the Torras Causeway in 1953 which quickly earned a reputation as the best in the area. In the 1970s, with the four-laning of the causeway, the business moved here, to this tiny hammock in the marsh between Brunswick and St. Simons Island. Shirley Bennett, her son, daughter, and other relatives have kept the business thriving over the years.
R. C. Baumgartner established the Glynn Ice Company in 1903. It was first located on Grant Street, then Newcastle. With an output of 75 tons per day, it was one of the most successful businesses in Brunswick. Baumgartner sold it to F. D. M. Strachan in 1912, and it was relocated here in 1920. Coal delivery was added to the business at that time. F. D. Aiken purchased the ice company in 1930 and changed the name to Glynn Ice & Coal Company. Modern appliances put an end to the day-to-day delivery of ice by the end of World War II, but bulk customers such as shrimpers and other fishermen kept the business afloat. The business closed permanently in 1982 and the building fell into ruin. It was scheduled for demolition by the city but in 2001, Keith Missildine, a Brunswick native with preservation experience, successfully petitioned the city to purchase and restore the property. One structure was saved and restored as a residence, and the remainder was stabilized, as seen today. I’m unsure what has come of plans to restore the building as office space, but at least it has survived with some of its original character intact.
Thanks to Kristen Knost for sharing her photographs and the location on the Vanishing Georgia Facebook group.
Brunswick Old Town Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
This was the main office of the Atlantic Refining Company/Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), which operated an oil refinery in Brunswick from 1919-1935. it was one of the largest employers in Brunswick and built an entire village to support its operations, albeit a segregated one. Subsequent owners of the property were Georgia Power, Dixie Paint, and two chemical companies, and years of unchecked pollution led to the classification of much of the property as a Superfund site. Honeywell, the present owners, are involved in ongoing cleanup and reclamation of the property and surrounding estuary.
This Folk Victorian cottage is located in the ARCO (Atlantic Refining Company) neighborhood but was not part of the workers village.
Passing by this rather plain metal building you might not even give it any notice, but to locals, it’s a landmark. Poteet Seafood has been a leading distributor of Wild Georgia Shrimp for over 35 years. I am passionate about documenting and promoting these places because the people behind them really are a vanishing breed. Due to the prevalence of pond-raised Asian shrimp and the lower price of that product, combined with higher fuel costs, it’s harder than ever for independent fishermen to survive. Though I personally don’t buy any imported shrimp, I understand that not everyone is lucky enough to live near the coast and have easy access to the product. But by all means, please buy Wild Georgia Shrimp whenever you can. If you live far from the coast and just have to have some, you can order from Poteet’s website, linked above.