This Endless Search for Historical Markers

Saving history one day at a time

Archive for October 2008

Part Three. Soupy Grits, Cold Coffee, Runny Eggs and Hard Biscuits . . .

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. . . But the atmosphere was entertaining. Maybe I arrived late for breakfast but I swear I’ve cooked better breakfast while camping. Without a fire. Still, I was starving and I needed strength after the night I’d had. A night hike can be invigorating but also alarming. Maybe that wasn’t dog fighting, maybe it was only a lot of dogs barking aggressively to the amusement of human voices (at least I think it was human voices). Who knows? I’ve never been to Taliaferro County before.

So breakfast was cold. No matter. The morning had the first hint of nice weather I’ve felt since June, I was in a pretty little town (see Greensboro gallery below) and I had the whole world open in front of me (i.e. five counties in central Georgia). First though, a tip was due. Now what is 20% of $3.89?

A note about Greensboro first: If you are driving through, and I assume that is the usual extent of one’s interaction with Greensboro, try to get out and stretch your legs. Check out the Old Gaol, learn about the town when it was on the Creek Indian frontier (see pics below) and, for goodness sake, let loose some legal tender. The more towns like Greensboro, the better!

From Greensboro on to Madison I had an enjoyable ride along beautiful farm country near Lake Oconee and back through the little hamlet of Buckhead (photos belos). What one could do with these empty buildings if one never needed a return on their investment?

In Madison, a town that I visited often while in graduate school in Athens, I spent a pleasurable few minutes touring avenues filled with the grand homes of ancient (by new world standards) Georgia families and, more often, modern day Yankee transplants and wealthy Atlantans who fled the sprawl of a still-proud, just increasingly unlivable city, at least, anyway, for those who love walking and small town convenience. (Note: I will be in Atlanta in three weeks to test this theory,).

I also visited a beautiful cemetery (see video).

I’m sure I could spend a year only touring historic Georgia Cemeteries and be quite happy. This one in Madison was in an especially beautiful setting with interesting topography and even boasted a kudzu monster

Here’s what I have to say about my trip to Milledgeville: “If I get honked at one more time, I’m gunna lose it.” Seriously, I understand that I drive a silly car. Lay off the horn.

And, “Go see Flannery O’Conner’s Andalusia (Flannery O’Connor – Andalusia Foundation)” It is very special place and I am sure they could use the patronage. During the spring of ’05 I executed a historic resource documentation project on the two story vernacular farm house on the property. It was well nigh to collapsing when I last saw it. I hope things have changed since. Also, I wonder if Flossy, the disgruntled mule, is still there . . .?


Written by 4baldtires

October 24, 2008 at 11:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Part 2: Yes, that is a camera around my neck. And I’d appreciate it if you stayed out of my personal space.

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Apparently there are a couple of blocks in Augusta where one garbed in new camera and folding map should not tread after dark. Yes, I know that I’m an easy target and yes, I may be willing to stay in a situation longer than I should because, after all, intimidation is a bitter pill and, besides, what if it is all bluster? On the other hand a good jolt of adrenaline does help clear the head and my thoughts were crystal when I fled out of there.

Regardless of my close call, I did have a good time in Augusta. The areas that I surveyed were largely full of historic resources, some being renewed and others on the unfortunate side of dereliction (see video below).

The streets were walkable (mostly, see above) and, to my delight, I was able to spend a few minutes at the Confederate Powder Works, which is just west of Downtown in a little, rough, depression-era neighborhood (see photos in gallery below and lament the lack of video). Pink Floyd fans are sure to expect a giant pig to float above this huge historic complex of crenelated brick facades and one giant obelisk of a smoke stack.

The coolest thing about this location though was the Augusta Levee Road that begins at the Confederate Powder Factory and follows the Savannah River north from the city to a lower levee spillway. It always goes that my favorite spots are nature oriented getaways, but this one is especially cool in that, just minutes from the city (and well upstream from the industrial sites south of the city), an Augustan or spirited visitor can find some river solace and stretch their legs all at the same time. And they may not even be accosted.

*Food/Dining Note: Be sure to stop in at the “The Soul Bar” and ask Coco or Jason to put a drink on Tom’s tab (sorry Tom, but you offered).

Written by 4baldtires

October 14, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Posted in Travel Journal

9.15 “Where to hide in Augusta at Dusk?” or “The highs and lows of Rural Georgia”

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At least this time it’s not a Beetle. It’s no pick-up either but, then again, I don’t really pass for a farm boy anyway. It is, however, a shiny black urban crossover with Illinois plates (see below). The land of Lincoln? Not hardly; but it sure is pretty out here.

My first successful stop of the day – the previous stops resulted in four missing markers, many mistrustful looks (a recurring theme, you’ll soon see) and two very helpful strangers – was at Old Town plantation (see gallery below). And I wish the day could have ended there. It was too cool for words, really, though here come several anyway:

Old Town is the jewel of Jefferson County and would sparkle most anywhere.  On the grounds are a beautiful Craftsman-bungalow farm house (all that remains of the original are three brick chimneys), a family library contained in a mini-Monticello, a lovely Brick Water-tower, several county vernacular cottages, a bed and breakfast (how cool), and a confectionary. All encased by the green, green fields of fertile Middle Georgia. Having learned that the owner of this property is a member of GHS, I will be sure to call on her for a more detailed look.

Several hours of surveying later, I arrived at A.H. Stephens State Park in the postage stamp town of Crawfordville. There I was to be escorted by a most courteous park employee to Cottage #2 (see below) where, for the first time, I would be bedding down to stay in one of our lovely state parks.

I then took a pleasant (code for hotter than blazes) 45-minute stroll back to the main office so the wonderful staff could re-unlock the cottage. These days, it seems I can muss up a situation in only 30 seconds, which is exactly the amount of time it took me to lock the cottage keys, my black Chevy HHR keys and my cell phone inside. I did not, however, lose my hiking shoes or my camera (please see exclusive post trauma video below). Aw well, if that’s the worst thing that can happen today then I’m still doin’ pretty well. Ominous, huh? What possibly could these omens portend? It’s probably nothing . . . off to Augusta.

Written by 4baldtires

October 1, 2008 at 4:49 pm