The late Cornelia Bailey identified this as the home of Jessie Mae Banks (1918-1999).
Hog Hammock Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
I’ve shared photos of this favorite landmark in the past, but recently located some interior views. The property has changed hands several times but I believe it’s now owned by the Department of Natural Resources or McIntosh County. Hopefully, they will stabilize this important piece of Georgia history and utilize it as an event space in the future. The interior of the house is no longer publicly accessible.
Arguably Darien’s most beautiful church, St. Cyrpian’s can trace its origins to the years of devastation following the Civil War. Reverend Dr. James Wentworth Leigh arrived in the area from Great Britain in 1873 and initiated a project to provide a church for the freedmen of Darien. Donations came from Europe, Philadelphia, and elsewhere to assist the fledgling congregation in their quest to build a suitable home. They named their church St. Cyprian’s for the martyred African Bishop. Using the construction techniques they knew best, the men of St. Cyprian’s built the church using tabby and brick. It is one of the most significant tabby structures still in use.
Darien Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
At 88 years young Annie Lucille Greene doesn’t seem to be caught up in the past, yet her work draws heavily from memory. Mrs. Greene, who grew up in Hinesville in the 1940s, tells her life story through yarn art, a process which first involves drawing images on a surface, then gluing different pieces of colored yarn to create a seamless mosaic. There’s a strong similarity to the Impressionist style known as Pointillism. Mrs. Greene actually refers to it as yarn “painting” and upon seeing the work in person, one completely understands. Presently, she is exhibiting What Color is Water: Tales and Art About a Segregated South as the featured event of the Black History Art and Humanities Program at the McIntosh Art Association in Darien. I’m honored to have met and photographed this amazing lady.
Annie’s parents, Henry William and Ella Mae Tarver, were both pioneering black educators. They encouraged her doodling and drawing from an early age and they supported her creative efforts by buying art supplies. When Annie was 12, the family moved to Hogansville to work in the black school there.
Summers were spent visiting her maternal grandparents on their farm near Adel. Mrs. Greene told me she didn’t like the farm work, but she loved the food. “The food was really good,” she recalled.
Annie spent her first year in college at Spelman but wasn’t happy there. She transferred to Albany State and loved it, Upon graduating in 1954 she was offered a job teaching in LaGrange. It was there that she married Oliver Nathaniel Greene, a Social Studies teacher. They had two children, and while Nathaniel was in New York, completing his Masters in Education at Columbia University, Annie stayed home and took a break from teaching. Dean Robert Simmons encouraged her to go to New York University and she graduated from there in 1956. She received her Masters Degree in Art Education in 1961 and went on to have a long and successful career in the Troup County school system.
Her third and latest book, which is available at the McIntosh Art Association, presents a blend of her work, from early memories to the Civil Rights activism of the 1960s. The images are much better seen in person and I encourage anyone in the Darien area to visit the exhibit. Details can be found here.
The opening reception at the McIntosh Art Association was very well attended and I think everyone enjoyed meeting Mrs. Greene and her husband.
She has exhibited and toured her fine work all over the Southeast but doesn’t keep as busy a schedule as she once did. As a result, you might want to visit this one as soon as you can.
On a Bullock Wagon at Fairhope, Real Photo Postcard, Photographer Unknown, 20 March 1916. Collection of Brian Brown*
A group of businessmen from Akron, Ohio, purchased 7000 acres on the Sapelo River at the site of the old Mallow Plantation in 1911 and planned a community known as Fairhope. According to Buddy Sullivan (Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater), the Fairhope Land Company built a three-story hotel at the site in 1915, though “it never turned a profit and the Fairhope plan struggled to stay afloat.” By early appearances it had a promising future. In addition to the hotel, a few private lots were sold and a post office operated from 1913-1916. A couple of stores were also present. The biggest boost came from a rail spur run by the Georgia Coast and Piedmont Railroad from Eulonia to the town site. But the resort community didn’t materialize as planned and the Land Company was bankrupt by early 1916. After changing hands at least twice, it came into the ownership of the Georgia Land and Livestock Company in late 1916, at which time it came to be known by its present name, Pine Harbor. The name was suggested by surveyor Ravenel Gignilliat. The hotel was dismantled in 1931 and the lumber sold for scrap in Savannah. The old depot was moved to the waterfront and remodeled as a residence. Other than Fairhope Road at Pine Harbor, little evidence of the community can be found today.
*- This antique card from my personal collection was mailed to Cleveland, Ohio, on the date indicated at the caption and sends news to the recipient that an older couple, the Millers, are going to stay on at Fairhope for a short time before returning home. This was mailed from the short-lived Fairhope post office not long before it closed and the women on the bullock wagon were likely investors in the community. The structure depicted is not the hotel, so it was likely one of the few private residences constructed as part of the failed venture.
Altman’s is one of my favorite restaurants in McIntosh County and whether you’re a local or a first time visitor, you’ll feel equally welcome. Their specialty, of course, is local shrimp, but in addition to other local seafood specialties, they have some of the best fried chicken around.
That tide clock in the background isn’t for decoration; the men who bring in the shrimp eat here. That’s always a good sign.
The daily buffet is small but always has something for everyone. Their shrimp and brown gravy heaped over rice (below) may be an acquired taste for some but it’s a local favorite.