Tag Archives: Coastal Georgia Folk Art

Sheffield Cemetery, Glynn County

Sheffield Chapel was organized in 1854 with 20 members, including namesake Jack Sheffield, Sr. Three churches of varying construction housed the congregation from just after the Civil War until they merged with Haven United Methodist Church to form Haven Sheffield United Methodist Church in 1998. The last, built in 1969 and abandoned since the merger, was lost to arson in 2009. The cemetery is cited in some sources as Sheffield U. M. C. Cemetery and in others as Clayhole Cemetery, for its location in Clayhole Swamp.

Tile Grave Markers of Sheffield Cemetery

Sheltered by old-growth oaks, Sheffield Cemetery contains some of the most important surviving African-American vernacular grave markers in the region. Otherwise simple  headstones were decorated with commercial tiles of various colors. (There are nine by my count). Some of the sides and bases feature the tile, as well, while the backs are exposed and feature the names of the decedents. They generally date to the 1930s and 1940s and were likely accomplished by a member of the congregation.

Frenchie Taylor Wite (White?) 15 April 1902-7 October 1944)  – This is the most colorful of all the tile markers. The name for Mrs. Wite may be a misspelling of White. Such errors are common with homemade markers, in both black and white cemeteries. The first photo shows the marker in perspective.

Name Indiscernible (1940s) – This is the smallest of the markers.

Name Indiscernible (May 10 1885?-December 19?) – Eroding text on the exposed concrete backs complicates identification.

Sam May (7 September 1867-22 September 1936) – This is the only stone not featuring the predominant mid-century commercial tile.

Lawson Markers

Carther Lawson (22 May 1932-? 1946)

Unknown Lawson

Robert Sheffield (1884-9 June 1947) Tiles have fallen off this marker.

Name Indiscernible (1940s)

There is also a marker for Prince Richardson (1877-27 January 1949), but I somehow overlooked it.

 

Other Headstones of Sheffield Cemetery

Besides the whimsical tile markers, a number of other significant markers and plots are located within Sheffield Cemetery. I’m sharing a small selection here.

John Sheffield (11 November 1825-13 October 1910) – The Sheffield family, who established the congregation in slavery days, are well represented.

Susan (Akin) Sheffield (16 December 1834-9 December 1914) – Susan married John Sheffield in 1852.

Arnold Sheffield (25 February 1859-14 July 1910) – Arnold was the son of John and Susan Sheffield. Chains carved on the grave indicate he was born into slavery, as were all (or nearly all) those buried here who were born before the end of the Civil War. Sometimes, actual chains were placed within the concrete of the graves and some scholars suggest that broken chains indicate that the decedents were freed. This is not employed in all cemeteries but the chains speak for themselves, even for those who lived long after Emancipation.

March Wesley (August 1848-28 January 1931)

H. E. Westley (Wesley) (?-5 November 1957) – Birthdates of African-Americans, even long after the end of slavery, were often unknown.

Ida Roase (Rose) (1882-18 March 1904) – I believe this is a foot stone, placed before a more formal marker was added.

Atkinson Enclosure

Alex Atkinson (13 March 1863-6 December 1945) & Ida Atkinson (10 August 1869-10 September 1938) were successful small farmers, like many members of Sheffield Chapel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY

Folk Art Gravesite Decoration, Crescent

Hopkins Belleville Cemetery Crescent GA McIntosh County Ornamental Gravesite Folk Art Flower Pots Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

This was one of the neatest things I found in the historic Hopkins-Belleville Cemetery.

 

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Crescent GA

University of Georgia Marine Institute, Sapelo Island

University of Georgia Marine Institute Sapelo Island GA Old Dairy Barn of Richard RJ Reynolds Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

The main building housing the University of Georgia Marine Institute was once part of a dairy and farming operation overseen by tobacco heir Richard Reynolds during his residence on Sapelo Island. It seems out of place in the harsh environment of Sapelo, but Reynolds was a worldly man whose influences ran the gamut of style and function.  The weathervane (below) depicting a tall ship is one of my favorite features of the structure.

University of Georgia Marine Institute Sapelo Island GA Old Dairy Barn of Richard RJ Reynolds Weathervane Tall Ship Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

 

 

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Sapelo Island GA

Headstones of Behavior Cemetery, Sapelo Island

Behavior Cemetery Sapelo Island GA Homemade Headstones National Register Landmark African-American Folklife Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Sapelo slaves and their descendants have been buried at Behavior since 1805. Due to senseless vandalism in the past, the cemetery is now accessible only by permission. See Amy Hedrick’s article on the cemetery for more background.

Isabella Robinson Behavior Cemetery Sapelo Island GA Concrete Fleur de lis Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Fleur-de-lis Marker & Headstone of Isabella, Wife of Monday Robinson

(26 September 1858 – 17 February 1889) Married 6 May 1876

Sallie Hall Headstone Behavior Cemetery Sapelo Island GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2012

Sallie Hall (15 March 1886 – 7 August 1951)

Ceaser Jackson Headston Star Motif Behavior Cemetery Sapelo Island GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Ceaser Jackson (17 January 1893 – 7 February 1916)

(Additional Text) He. Die. In. Faith. Sleep. On. Son. Take. You. Rest.

This headstone, along with several others, features the “star” motif common in Gould’s Cemetery.

Charles Walker Ex Slave Headstone Behavior Cemetery Sapelo Island GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Charles Walker (1813 – 5 February 1897)

Sarah Wilson Headston Behavior Cemetery Sapelo Island GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Sarah Wilson (29 July 1881 – 18 November 1940)

Peter Maxwell US Colored Infantry Headston Behavior Cemetery Sapelo Island GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Peter Maxwell, Company A, 30th (?) United States Colored Infantry

Liberty Handy Behavior Cemetery Sapelo Island GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Liberty Handy (1 August 1856 – 20 May 1916)

Husband of Katie Brown Headstone Ex Slave Behavior Cemetery Sapelo Island GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Beloved Husband of Katie Brown (1850 – 28 January 1918)

Mary Jackson Headstone Ex-Slave Behavior Cemetery Sapelo Island GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Mary Jackson (1837? – 7 February 1913)

Minto Bell Bilali Mohamet Muhammed Daughter Headstone Behavior Cemetery Sapelo Island GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Minto Bell (1780? – 25 August 1890)

The age, as well as the dates on the tombstone, is an estimation; Bintou (Minto) Bell was one of seven daughters of the patriarch of Sapelo Island, Bilali Muhammad (Mohamet).

Mary Wright Headstone Behavior Cemetery Sapelo Island GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Mary Wright (13 February 1873 – 29 September 1923)

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Sapelo Island GA

Sapelo Tour Bus

 

 

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Sapelo Island GA

Roadside Produce Stand, Eulonia

Roadside stands selling peaches, peanuts, watermelons, and other iconic local crops, seem to be making a huge comeback, as the traffic at this one just off I-95 would attest.

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Eulonia GA

Bowie Seafood, Tybee Island

Bowie Seafood is a popular and longtime local favorite on the island, though the hours are often irregular. Tybee Islanders will tell you that Bowie’s has some of the freshest seafood in town.

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Filed under -CHATHAM COUNTY, Tybee Island GA