Tag Archives: Morgan County

Eldren Bailey, Georgia

Eldren Bailey is seated in front of the sculptures in his front yard.

Eldren Bailey (1903-1987) was a sculptor known for large concrete sculptures. Born in Flovilla, Georgia, he moved to Atlanta at an early age. He first worked with the railroads, but he later became a mason. Many of his sculptures were brightly colored and adorned his front yard. Where he was most prolific though was helping many Black-owned funeral homes with the creation of grave markers.

Admittedly, I had always interpreted these as temporary markers, and for some families, they might have been true. For many, these markers are now permanent. Bailey’s markers differ from many of the other concrete markers seen in Black cemeteries.

Some of his larger pieces did end up in museums, but many of the sculptures seen in his front yard have disappeared.

Bailey’s marker in Southview Cemetery. You can see a similar sculpture behind Bailey in the photo at the top.
This is likely a Bailey marker. It is in Morgan County. Haugabrooks was a Black owned funeral home.
Clayton County, Georgia
Fulton County
Fulton County
A marker that was later incorporated as part of a crypt design
Based on the handwriting and the floral pattern, I suspect this was done by Bailey, too.
$10 receipt for marker that my friend Liz Clappin found

For more reading, I suggest the following:

Black Art Story

Oakland Cemetery Blog Post

Books recommendations

Souls Grown Deep

South-View: An African American City of the Dead

Wallace Grove Baptist Church and School, Georgia

Rutledge, Morgan County

Opened in 1902, the Wallace Grove Church and School were built after land was donated by W. P. Wallace in 1901. (My assumption is that this is William Pierce Wallace, who was a local banker and merchant in the area.) The one-room schoolhouse was used until the 1960s to educate Black schoolchildren.

The school fell into disrepair. In 2011, the congregation came together to restore the school. With assistance from the community, the school was fully restored in under a year. It is the only extant turn-of-the-century schoolhouse still standing in its original location.

Source: Wallace Grove Board Info with Madison Morgan Conservancy
“Henry B” engraved onto an outside wall of the school

Nolan House-Bostwick, Georgia

Morgan County

Built in 1906, this house is part of the Nolan plantation, Morgan County, Georgia. It is the second Nolan home on the property. The other one is supposedly still standing but isn’t easily accessible. The Nolan family built their wealth on the backs of enslaved labor prior to the Civil War. After the war, they switched to a sharecropping method of farming. There’s been talk for several years to preserve the home, but restoration has not been started. The Madison-Morgan Conservancy have been trying to get work done. The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.