Built in 1898, the Lone Star Benevolent Society Hall is one of the oldest buildings in the Black community in Waynesboro, Georgia. Benevolent societies provided death insurance to their members while also providing a place for members to gather. Here is a great article on the history of benevolent societies.
Notice the “lone star” cutouts in the bell tower.
Thank you to Emmett McNair for helping identify this building.
Tied to the Boggs Academy in Keysville, the Blackburn Church began as the Morgan Grove Presbyterian Church in 1907. Five children began school in the church building. Unfortunately, in 1930, the building was destroyed by fire. A new church was built due to the generosity of the Blackburn family. An addition was added in 1962.
Founded in 1926 on the corner of Ivanhoe Plantation, this land was donated by Mrs. Clarissa Dye and her son Rowland Dye to start a one-room schoolhouse. They were the direct descendants of Charles Alden Rowland, the founder of Ivanhoe Plantation.
The school was started when Jim Hall, a sharecropper on Ivanhoe Plantation, asked the Dyes about the possibility of getting land to start the school. When it opened, there were no glass windows, just shutters. It had a white steeple roof. Savella Hall, Jim’s wife, was the first teacher at the school.
Like so many schools, the building had other uses. On the weekend, it served as the benevolent society.
Thank you to the Burke County Archives for confirming the identification of the building and sharing the older photo of the school. Information on the school was pulled from Eugenia Mills Fulcher’s 1999 dissertation, “Dreams do come true: How rural one- and two-room schools influenced the lives of African Americans in Burke County, Georgia, 1930-1955.”
Located across from the post office in Keysville, Georgia is this small church with a mausoleum for Reverend Quillar Vertery Russell (1889-1959) and family. My friend Brian and I had just stopped when a nice Keysville native stopped to chat.
He asked if we were kin to the Russells, and we said no. He said that the Reverend was the church’s founder and owned the lumber mill in Keysville. He told us to go inside.
In diving into the ancestry records, Reverend Russell was a farmer and mill owner. I suspect he founded this church as the Keysville Baptist Church.
Over the years, it changed names to the Keysville Evangelistic Church and finally to the New House of Worship before it closed for good.