Tag Archives: Folklife of the Georgia Coast

Baiting a Crab Trap, St. Simons Island

This gentleman [known on the island as The Original Crabman] was getting his crab trap ready when I was walking out to the end of the pier to photograph the progress on the Golden Ray cleanup effort. As is typical, he was using a chicken neck and fish head as bait. After dropping his trap in the water off the pier for just a few minutes, he brought it back up with several crabs.

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

Oyster Roast, Altama Plantation

When the weather on the coast turns cooler an invitation to an oyster roast is the one most coveted by locals. Whether an impromptu affair in one’s backyard or an orchestrated event benefiting a special cause, these gatherings are central to the folklife of the coast and it’s not a recent phenomenon. The Guale people perfected the art of roasting oysters long before Europeans ever arrived.

Oyster etiquette, if such a thing exists, requires no more than an open fire, a sheet of metal (often the inverted hood of an old junk car or truck), and enough wet burlap to cover your bivalves. Beer and other adult beverages also figure mightily into the ritual.

Folks who live along the Gulf of Mexico will argue for their oysters’ superiority but they only have size on their side. It’s true that ours live in complex razor-sharp beds known as clusters and as a result don’t get as large as Gulf oysters, but what we sacrifice in size we more than make up in taste. Georgia’s oysters are more flavorful, hands down, with a sweet saltiness not found in their Gulf counterparts.

The tender at this particular roast (known as Clam Jam) benefiting Altamaha Riverkeeper at Altama Plantation was busy all evening taking shovelfuls of freshly steamed oysters from fire to table in short order.

Newcomers to oyster roasts are often put off by the shucking but there are always folks around who will help the uninitiated. Most locals have their own gloves and oyster knives. Tables with long legs that position the oysters in easy reach of the diner are essential at a large gathering like this one.

Thanks to Jen Hilburn for inviting me to Clam Jam 2017. Mike McCall and I had fun showing guests around the Altama property while waiting for supper.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under --GLYNN COUNTY GA--

Baptism, St. Simons Island

True Life Ministries of Atlanta has been conducting “open water” baptisms on St. Simons Island for 21 years. The church welcomes all who want to take part and have baptized over 1000 since they began the annual event. It’s a wonderful thing to see, no matter your background or faith.

Often associated with African-Americans, mass baptisms were equally popular with white churches (especially rural congregations) into the mid-20th century. Indoor baptismal pools have largely replaced the outdoor ritual today.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Cast Net Shrimping, Sapelo Island

Sapelo Island GA Cast Net Fisherman Shrimping Folklife Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

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

Praise House, Bolden

Eulonia GA McIntosh County Unidentified Church or School Shuttered Windows Vernacular Architecture Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Located near Eulonia in the Bolden community [sometimes referred to as Briar Patch], this vernacular landmark was built by Joseph Palmer in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Throughout its history it has served as a community center and schoolhouse but is perhaps best known as a praise house.

Eulonia GA McIntosh County Gathering Place Unidentified Church or School Shuttered Windows Vernacular Architecture Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The praise house is locally known as the “Bolden Lodge”. It’s shaded yard is still a popular gathering place in this tiny community and it has long been associated with the world-famous McIntosh County Shouters.

Eulonia GA McIntosh County Highway 99 Gathering Place Unidentified Church or School Shuttered Windows Vernacular Architecture Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

 

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Filed under --MCINTOSH COUNTY GA--, Bolden GA

Shrimp Boats, Darien

Darien GA Shrimp Boats Blessing of the Fleet 2012 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

 

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Bringing in Oysters, Darien

Oystermen Bringing in the Days Catch of Oysters Darien River Altamaha Delta Darien GA McIntosh County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Scenes like this are common along the coast, but the independent fisherman is a dying breed. Environmental changes and farm-raised shellfish from Asia are the biggest threat.

 

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Filed under --MCINTOSH COUNTY GA--, Darien GA

Fishing on Black Island Creek, McIntosh County

Fisherman on Black Island Creek Causeway McItnosh County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

 

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Filed under --MCINTOSH COUNTY GA--, Black Island GA

Johnson Hammock, Sapelo Island

Just outside Hog Hammock is the community of Johnson Hammock, barely distinguishable but just as bucolic as the rest of the island. It’s characterized by numerous old moss-covered oaks. This is one of the Johnson family homes, built circa 1940.

Hog Hammock Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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

William Jones House, Circa 1900, Hog Hammock

This is among the older surviving houses in the Hog Hammock community.

Hog Hammock Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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