This mural was uncovered in 2011 when the City of Pembroke was working on revitalizing its downtown area. A new mural was planned for this wall, but when workers uncovered this one, it was decided that it was an important asset to the history of the community and was left intact. It was a great save on Pembroke’s part, as I’ve seen several historic murals painted over in towns all over South Georgia in the past few years. There’s a similar mural in Ochlocknee, though its condition is not as good.
Tag Archives: Restoration in Coastal Georgia
Originally located on Main Street, this depot was moved to its present location around 2005. The Flemington, Hinesville & Western had a line that ran five miles to the McIntosh community via Flemington and though intended to run as far as Glennville, never completed that route. It was renamed the Savannah, Hinesville & Western in 1916 and by 1917 was out of business as a commercial carrier. It was purchased by the Dunlevie Lumber Company in 1917 and operated as a lumber road for several years thereafter. It is presently home to a printing business.
The recent restoration of this historic African-American schoolhouse is one of the greatest preservation successes on the Georgia coast and should serve as a model for similar projects. After the Civil War and the collapse of the plantation economy, the descendants of enslaved persons remained on St. Simons and lived in the communities of South End, Jewtown, and Harrington. They were the dominant population on St. Simons until development in the early and mid-20th century changed the racial makeup of the island. Only remnants of their presence remain, and among them, the Harrington Graded School (thought to be a Rosenwald school), and Hazel’s Cafe, are the most significant.
The school served all three African-American communities until desegregation in the 1960s and was briefly used as a day care center until being abandoned in the early 1970s. It was eventually purchased by Glynn County and the St. Simons Land Trust but due to deterioration, it was slated for demolition in 2010. The Land Trust and the St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition formed the Friends of Harrington School and saved the school house. Serious work began in 2015 and by December 2016, the school was restored to its former glory.
With all the new construction on St. Simons it’s easy to miss places like this, but they represent the first major wave of construction and development on the island and they’re important historic resources. Most are located on Ocean Boulevard and nearby. This English Vernacular cottage was built sometime between 1935-1939.
Built in 1949 by Agnes Harper and deeded to Christ, the Smallest Church in America has been a place of refuge for thousands who have traveled US17 over the years. While it isn’t actually the smallest church in America, it’s among the smallest. Such roadside chapels are scattered all over the country. It was lost to arson on 28 November 2015 but a reconstruction effort was in place immediately with contributions of money and materials pouring in from all over the world.
I made the first four photographs of the tiny 190-square-foot before the fire.
Visitors often leave prayers and messages to loved ones who have passed.
The following photos detail the reconstruction of the church, which reopened on 8 April 2017.