Tag Archives: Curiosities of Coastal Georgia

U. S. Picric Acid Plant Ruins, Circa 1917, Brunswick

Jim Morrison graffiti, U. S. Picric Acid Plant, Brunswick

Known as “The Factory that Never Was”, this place looks more like something one would encounter under a freeway in New York or Los Angeles than in Coastal Georgia.

As America entered World War I in 1917, construction began on a factory at the site with the purpose of manufacturing picric acid, then vital to the manufacture of explosives.

It was to employ 5000 during the construction process and 6000 during operation and promised an economic boom for the community.

But the signing of the Versailles Treaty on 11 November 1918 put an end to the war and an end to the U. S. Picric Acid Plant in Brunswick.

Construction was halted immediately and the site was abandoned, just a month shy of completion.

It’s been suggested that the remains seen here were multi-level, built for the separation of chemicals used in the process.

Over the years large sections were demolished and this is all that remains, to my knowledge.

A partial chimney, visible from I-95, was also part of the operation. (Not pictured).

It’s suggested by some that another section remains nearby in the woods, overgrown to the point of obliteration, but I’m not looking for them so I cannot confirm either way.

 

 

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, Brunswick GA

Dead Peoples Things for Sale, Woodbine

This tongue-in-cheek sign for an antique store greets you just as you cross the Satilla River bridge into Woodbine on US 17. It may be odd but it definitely gets your attention. It has become somewhat of a landmark itself. (This is an older photo, but I believe the sign is still there).

 

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Filed under -CAMDEN COUNTY, Woodbine GA

Giant Cow Mailbox, Pooler

If you’ve ever traveled to Savannah on Interstate 95, you’ve likely seen the big cow, Kelly, at Keller’s Flea Market when you turn onto Abercorn Street (Georgia 204). This giant mailbox, which is visible from I-95, was created by Charles Keller. The 16-foot traffic-stopper sits on a pole 30 feet above the ground, on Quacco Road.

 

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Filed under -CHATHAM COUNTY, Pooler GA

First Brunswick Stew Pot, Brunswick

This curious monument in Mary Ross Waterfront Park claims: In this pot the first Brunswick Strew was made on St Simon Isle July 2, 1898. Both Brunswick, Georgia, and Brunswick County, Virginia, claim to be the birthplace of the delectable stew. Tyler Jones wrote a great article exploring the origin story and the rivalry for The Brunswick News. It’s highly possible it originated nowhere near either place, but somewhere in the backwoods, where pioneers made the most of everything they had on hand. We’ll doubtfully never know the whole story, but the old stew pot is a neat attraction, if dubious in origin.

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, Brunswick GA

East Beach Christmas Tree, St. Simons Island

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I talked to a couple of locals while admiring the latest additions to this driftwood totem, used to post remembrances of lost loved ones and pets earlier this summer, but now put into action as the East Beach “Christmas tree”. How cool is that?!

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The first thing that caught my eye was this strip of vinyl siding with the legend “St. Simons 1-Matthew 0” in reference to the lack of damage the island sustained during this year’s hurricane.

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Ornaments were actually being placed while I was getting the shots. I imagine the “tree” will be full by Christmas day.

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, St. Simons Island GA

Turkey Fountain, Sapelo Island

In the quadrangle of the University of Georgia Marine Institute can be found one of the most interesting pieces of outdoor sculpture in the state and certainly the most famous on Sapelo. In 1936, Dick Reynolds commissioned German sculptor Fritz Zimmer to design a large fountain topped with this large turkey and joined by two smaller turkeys on the ends of the structure. I’ve heard that it was “given” to his wife as a Christmas gift, much to her dismay, but I’m not sure if there’s any validity to that story. Still, if you make it Sapelo Island, be sure you visit the Marine Institute and the turkey fountain.

 

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Sapelo Island GA