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Posts Tagged ‘A.T. Brightwell’

Maxeys, Georgia

Posted by graywacke on September 30, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2055; A Landing A Day blog post number 473.

 Dan –  On a bit of a roll, with the fourth USer in a row with this landing in . . . GA; 36/40; 5/10; 150.5.  One more USer, and I’ll pass the mythical 150 boundary . . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 ga landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows many small towns near my landing, with the major city of Athens (home of the University of Georgia) not far away:

 ga landing 2

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows that I landed in the woods, but not far from some cleared fields:

 ga ge 1

The arching east-west road south of my landing has StreetView coverage.  Here’s a shot looking at the dirt road that heads northwest towards my landing:

 ga ge sv

Backing out a little on GE, you can see that I landed at the edge of a large wooded area:

 ga ge 2

Here’s a new ALAD feature, a streams-only map showing my local watersheds:

 ga streams

I landed in the watershed of an unnamed tributary of Sandy Ck; on to Sandy Ck; on to the Oconee R (5th hit, the 148th river on my list of rivers with 5 or more landings); on to the Altamaha (8th hit).  By the way, Sandy Ck is my 28th stream with the word Sand or Sandy in the name.  It was my sixth “Sandy Creek.” 

 While perusing GE Panoramio photos, I happened upon this shot entitled “Company Store Ruins at Scull Shoals” by CWoods:

 ga company store by cwoods pano

Here’s a GE shot showing how remote the site is (but also very close to my landing):

 ga ge scull shoals 2

A GE close-up reveals a little clearing in the woods with the company store ruins evident:

 ga ge scull shoals

A little internet research, and I realized I had stumbled on an interesting historical site.  From GhostTowns.com:

Scull Shoals is an extinct town on the Oconee River in middle Georgia, site of a 19th century mill village which included Georgia’s first paper mill from 1811-1814. Under owner Thomas M. Poullian, Scull Shoals contained grist mills, sawmills, and a 4-story brick textile mill, stores and homes. At its height, there were 500 workers tending 4,000 spindles in the mill. Dr. Lindsay Durham of Scull Shoals developed medicines from his extensive herb garden, and ran a sanatorium there. Flooding caused the demise of the mills in the 1880s, and the town was abandoned by the 1920s.

There is a “Friends of Scull Shoals” organization works to facilitate archeological research and also maintains the grounds.  Click HERE to check out their site.

On the USDA Forest Service website is a video about the work being done there (focusing on the restoration of a stone & brick bridge over the long-gone mill race.  Click HERE for the video:

 OK.  Moving right along to Maxeys.  I found an article written by Rhiannon Brewer Patrick with On-Line Athens.  Here’s an excerpt that talks about the town’s history and the town today:

MAXEYS — This little Oglethorpe County town hasn’t changed much over the past 30 years, but residents of Maxeys seem to like it that way.

”It’s quiet and everything. There’s no reason to leave,” said James Brisco, who has lived in Maxeys for 30 years and has spent the last 10 working at Maxey’s New and Used Tires.

While Brisco can’t think of a reason to leave his town, that wasn’t the case for Maxeys residents in the past. The town that straddles Georgia Highway 77 once prospered but practically dried up after the state’s cotton boom was over.

The town was first called Shanty and then Salmonville before the railroad came to town and the Maxey family lent the town its name.

”There was a Maxey family that lived here,” said Maxeys Postmaster W.O. Dawkins. ”They gave the land to the railroad to come through, and they moved out to the country. The were afraid their kids would get run over by the train.”

Maxeys was incorporated in 1907 and soon became a bustling farm town. A train passed through town twice a day, carrying cotton between Athens and Union Point.

At its height prior to the boll weevil invasion, which shrunk Georgia’s cotton crop considerably in the 1920s, Maxeys boasted a dozen shops, a cotton gin, a blacksmith shop, at least two banks, three doctors, a dentist, and a population of more than 500.

”It was at one time a thriving little crossroads community,” said Maxeys Mayor John Stephens. ”It even had a hotel where traveling salesmen would sleep.”

The main thrust of the On-Line Athens article is actually the A.T. Brightwell Scholarship (I didn’t include any of the verbiage about the scholarship in the above excerpt).  I found an article about the scholarship that I liked a little better (even though it’s a 1985 article from the Evening Independent newspaper out of Petersburg FL).  Check this out:

evening independent st petersburg fl 1985

evening independent st petersburg fl 1985 (2)

I love it!  A no-strings-attached scholarship (as long as you live within a mile of the old Brightwell home and don’t flunk out).  No essays to write; no cut-throat competition for the money!  It’s as simple as “I live in town, I’m going to the University of Georgia in the fall, and I’m going to live at home while going to school.”  Bingo.  The money is yours.

As you might imagine, this scholarship actually boosts the real estate values in town!

I’ll close with a couple of local photos.  First, this of the Maxeys town hall, courtesy of City-Data.com:

city-data.com maxeys city hall

And then there’s this interesting Panoramio shot by Realist Photo entitled Iron Horse, taken in a farm field just across the Oconee from Scull Shoals:

ga realistphoto pano

That’ll do it.



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