Tag Archives: Vernacular Architecture of Coastal Georgia
The property surrounding this front gable bungalow has recently been cleared, suggesting it’s likely to soon be redeveloped. This is one of just a few surviving vernacular structures in the scattered community known as Jewtown. The community got its name from the Levison brothers, who had a thriving store about a mile east of Gascoigne Bluff. They called it Levisonton but the name didn’t stick and residents referred to the area as Jewtown. Like the other two historic African-American communities on St. Simons, Harrington and South End, Jewtown is largely indistinguishable from the rest of the island today. I believe the cottage dates to circa 1940-1945, making it a relatively late construction for the community.
Hidden on the edge of the road by thick woods today, these utilitarian hip-roof/pyramidal cottages are some of the last surviving examples of a vernacular style that was once widespread among the African-American communities of the coastal counties, as well as many areas of the state.
Because of their isolation, there is not a good way to photograph them other than showing them in their present state. They will eventually succumb to the ravages of time, but I think they are very important examples.