Old Madison Baptist Church, Oconee County

Madison, Oconee County, South Carolina
Right before the storm

Retreat Rosenwald School

Westminster, Oconee County, South Carolina

Built in 1924, the Retreat School sits on edge of Westminster, South Carolina. This two-teacher type school was built for $2300. It was open until 1950.

Put on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011, it was fully restored and reopened in 2021.

Noble Hill Rosenwald School, Bartow County

Now known as the Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center, this Rosenwald school was built in 1923 for the Black children of Bartow County. It closed in 1955 when schools were consolidated within the county. It now serves as a museum and community center. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

New Hope Rosenwald School, Chambers County

Built in 1916, the New Hope School was built in Chambers County, Alabama. It’s a one-teacher type school and was built with $1200. The school was recently restored. It was in use until 1958, four years after Brown v. Board of Education was decided.

Circus Train Wreck Memorial, Muscogee County

On November 22, 1915, the Con T. Kennedy Carnival Show left Atlanta for a show in Phenix City, Alabama. Unfortunately, over 50 passengers were killed when their train collided with a steel passenger train, which was significantly stronger than the carnival train. After a mass service at the Columbus First Baptist Church, there was a large funeral procession to Riverdale Cemetery, where the carnival show members were laid to rest. The Con T. Kennedy erected the “Under the Big Tent” monument in memory of those who lost their lives.

Randolph Cemetery

Baldwin County, Georgia
Portal to Randolph Cemetery in Baldwin County

Located on a side street on the outskirts of Milledgeville is one of the most impressive folk funerary monuments I’ve had the opportunity to document. The arched entryway for the Randolph Cemetery honors the Knights of the Pythias, Lodge 47. I would assume, minimally, they helped build this arch, but they likely had a hand in the start of this cemetery

The first Black KoP lodge was started in 1880 in Mississippi. I have not located much history about the Black history of KoP lodges in Georgia.

“He watches over me.”

The shield on the right represents the Knights of the Pythias. The F, C, and B stands for friendship, charity, and benevolence. They are often flanked by swords, battle axes, or a spear to represent the weapons they used to fight their enemies.

Cora Wright Randolph, 1874-1926. Notice the handprint on the headstone.

Cook Caldwell General Store, Georgia

Friendship Community, Fulton County

The Friendship Community is now part of the area in Fulton County known as Chattahoochee Hills. It’s not far from Palmetto. Homer Cook started the general store around 1890 and ran it until 1954. Jewell Caldwell, Homer’s sister, took over when her brother passed away. According to a Cook descendant, their family stayed in the area until the boll weevil came to the area.

Key’s Castle, Georgia

Outside of Tallapoosa, Georgia, there was a town called Budapest, Georgia. It was founded in 1882 after a real estate developer invited Hungarian immigrants to develop this area into wine country. The area flourished until prohibition was passed in 1907. Remnants of this area still exist today (a cemetery being one of those). Key’s Castle, named this because a descendant of Francis Scott Key purchased it, started as the Catholic Rectory. The home has been purchased in recent years, and it is under a restoration process.

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