Confession: For the last several years, I’ve been avoiding Eatonton. Its four-lane bypass is notorious as a revenue generator for Putnam County, so when heading north to Madison or Athens I have been taking the prettier Monticello route instead.
My mistake. In almost twenty years of living less than fifty miles from this gem — and perhaps because of that bypass — I’d not explored downtown. It’s definitely earned another visit.
I also wasn’t aware that Alice Walker (The Color Purple) and Joel Harris (Uncle Remus) were locals — the latter explaining the prevalence of rabbits hopping about:
I’ve been meaning to take a camera to Sparta for a minute now; its downtown is small yet old and photogenic in a distinctly Southern way.
On that subject: let’s get the elephant in the room out front and center. Sparta is 85% Black, arguably economically and socially suffering, and yet this monument stands front and center. Why?
However, there are signs of hope. More than one building downtown is being refurbished, and there are at least a couple of businesses that are surviving — perhaps even thriving — by providing a sense of community:
By the way, those old buildings often have beautiful cast iron details:
Spring is beginning to blossom here in Middle Georgia, which means it’s time to restart the traditional Sunday drive and photostroll. This week’s destination was the small city of Jackson, seat of Butts County, and home to a typically pretty downtown square:
The courthouse, as is often the case in Georgia, takes center stage:
No, I usually don’t make political commentary. Why do you ask?
Anyway, there are several examples of my architectural studies, including these:
I didn’t realize that Jackson was the filming location for Stranger Things — a stand-in for Hawkins, Indiana:
Named for the city in Ireland, Dublin in Georgia is an hour or so southeast of Macon. It’s my third trip there, and, like last time, I enjoyed Gerald’s company.1He seemed to enjoy the trip, rain notwithstanding, but apparently the creative juices didn’t flow. (Sorry, man.) Details here.
It has a photogenic downtown, too:
The Welcome Park includes a clock and bell complete with clover, reminding visitors that the name is, in fact, a tribute:
As has become typical, my favorite — “best” is debatable, of course — shot is a close-up that’s almost an abstract. In this case, a turquoise box car in the appropriately-named Railroad Park:
Just off the main drag we found an item thankfully not yet painted over:
. . . Which may, in fact, be a holdover from a bygone era. In fact, I’d be remiss if I didn’t call this subject out:
The only people of color depicted here are Native Americans, relegated to viewing (probably from afar), and two Blacks, very much shown “in their place.” (Dublin still prominently features a Confederate memorial, as well.) Let’s hope that this small city continues its journey into the 21st century, one step at a time.
See the updated gallery here. As always, once in the gallery, click on any photograph to start a slide show.
He seemed to enjoy the trip, rain notwithstanding, but apparently the creative juices didn’t flow. (Sorry, man.) Details here.
An unintended postscript to the recent photostroll, and another in the lengthy list of places you pass through without stopping — except, this time:
While tiny, Fickling Mill in 2022 is eye-catching, thanks to this building at the water crossing, and likely represents exactly what the name advertises — the location of a former mill of some sort, driven by the power of the water of Patsilinga Creek.
We were there late in the day, hence the fading-yet-still-golden light:
Only nine photographs, but posted as a dedicated gallery. Enjoy your virtual photostroll — and thanks for visiting.
The county seat of Talbot (Wiki) was the primary destination of our recent photostroll, another of those places that are often passed through without stopping. A small, poor town — and county — its rich history absolutely deserves a home here amongst the galleries of Georgia.
Founded in 1828, Talbotton was a center of education for the area; its architectural splendor reflects a wealth no longer present. Even the later courthouse (1892) is a beautiful structure:
There was one structure in particular that I wanted to visit: the Zion Episcopal Church, an 1848 wooden item, painted dark brown with white shutters:
Unfortunately, Georgia’s early- and mid-century legacy survives intact. From the Zion Church’s Historical Marker:
The choir loft at the east end of the structure opposite the sanctuary, above the narthex, is flanked on each side by a gallery, where slaves worshipped prior to the conflict which many believed temporarily destroyed Southern culture.
Georgia Historical Commission, 1955
The church is still beautiful, it’s still beautifully preserved and maintained, and I’m glad that we can, in 2022, look at it in the historical context it deserves.1Read more about Zion Episcopal and its place in Talbotton here.
See the church and all of Talbotton — 34 photographs in all — in the new gallery here.
Thanks to Gerald for a pleasant Sunday of fine photography.
Read more about Zion Episcopal and its place in Talbotton here.
Despite the leaves pretty much, well, leaving us, yesterday was too nice a day to not do a photostroll — or three, in our case. First up: Sprewell Bluff Park. Located in rural Upson County on a lovely bend in the Flint River, the park has long been one of those places that was driven by and not visited.
Glad to have fixed that! Better still, it’s more than just a bluff with a view:
As it’s technically located there, the Thomaston gallery has grown by nineteen photographs — check it out. (As always, once in the gallery, click on any photograph to start a slide show.)
Stay tuned for Talbotton and Fickling Mill, which will be posted as soon as possible.
The small city of Milledgeville, on the banks of the Oconee River in nearby Baldwin County, is a favorite for photography. In this case, Gerald and I stopped on our way home from Sandersville, and spent some time wandering the historic district.
I especially liked this gate:
We were these the day after (part of) the Deep Roots Festival, which meant some street decorations lingered:
Sandersville, seat of Washington County, was the photography destination this past weekend. Gerald and I wanted to get out and enjoy this beautiful stretch of fall weather, and this small city — with its National Register-listed cemetery (more on that tomorrow) — hadn’t yet been explored.
There was a pleasant little park off what I’m calling Courthouse Square (it doesn’t seem to actually be named that):
The Washington County Courthouse is a beautiful and historic building, like many here in Georgia:
Last weekend, Gerald and I took a summer road trip and photostroll through southwest Georgia — with stops in Andersonville and Americus.
Andersonville is a sobering place: “The deadliest ground of the American Civil War.” Further:
Nearly 13,000 men died on these grounds, a site that became infamous even before the Civil War ended. Their burial grounds became Andersonville National Cemetery, where veterans continue to be buried today. This place, where tens of thousands suffered captivity so others could be free, is also home to the National Prisoner of War Museum and serves as a memorial to all American prisoners of war.
National Park Service
We just visited the National Cemetery section of the park, with its closely-spaced Civil War graves, memorials, and reminders that it’s still in use today.
Later, we headed just down the road to the small city of Americus:
Both galleries — Andersonville and Americus — have been updated with new photographs. The new items start with “2022,” and remember that clicking on any photograph starts a slide show for that gallery. Thank you!
As promised, I returned to Madison, Georgia, to complete the gallery my camera battery didn’t permit last time. Special thanks to Gerald, who accompanied me around the beautiful downtown historic district and on the lovely drive from here to there.
This round is mostly details, taken with my stunning new Leica APO lens. (Introduced in this Macon post.) The whole line has been discontinued, so I am incredibly glad to have gotten one while they’re still available — every single photograph shows just how good this lens is. I’ll try to do it justice:
I’ve revamped the gallery with the new shots mixed in with the old. Several are improved versions of shots taken last time, meaning those were deleted in favor of the new ones.
132 Madison photographs have been posted in all. Peruse and enjoy; remember to click on any individual photograph to start a slide show, and if you’d like, click “buy” to get options for fine art prints in a variety of sizes and finishes. Thank you!
Celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., known as “the father of landscape architecture”, the Cultural Landscape Foundation has created an ever-growing digital guide of Olmsted’s most notable works.
Of course, the building’s interesting, too, so there’s a good mix of architecture, gardens, architecture from the garden, and — you guessed it — garden architecture:
I enjoyed the visit, and as a result of that visit, added 32 new photographs to the Columbus gallery. (They’re grouped together: “Columbus Museum – Mar22.”) Peruse anytime; purchase if you’d like. Thank you!