On East Court Street in Hinesville, a block from the Liberty County Courthouse, you can't help but notice the beautiful, 183-year-old home nestled beneath a canopy of lovely old live oaks. You may even notice the historical marker in the front yard by the sidewalk. If you are a native of Hinesville you already know the history of the home and perhaps have toured the inside.
"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. This is WGML radio station broadcasting live from Fort Stewart, Georgia. We have with us our President of the United States, John F. Kennedy."
On the way to work one day in 2005 along Highway 84 I noticed men taking the asbestos siding off the two-story white house at the back of the lot where Chili's Restaurant is now.
While looking through some old papers I found a very interesting article that was printed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution during the summer of 1941 by Mary L. Rogers. It gives a very detailed picture of what life was like in the city of Hinesville at the beginning of Camp Stewart. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
"Oh, look, that's my aunt, Mrs. J. R. (Rosalyn Taylor) Ryon. Their home was where the Hinesville Methodist Church is located now. There's Mrs. Ellender Caswell Gainey. Her parents owned the old Caswell Hotel on the northwest corner of South and Main Street and raised 11 children in Hinesville. My goodness, that lady, Mrs. Leila Layton, was the wife of Dr. Thomas Layton who was mayor of the town for two different terms. They built what was known as the Mingledorff house which was where The Heritage Bank is now. The house was ordered from Sears and Roebuck ...
Do you believe there are haunted houses? I have heard many tales about such places, but as for me, I have never experienced ghosts or haunted places. My daddy used to tell us about a house that he lived in that he swore was haunted and others told the same tales about it.
Charlton Hines was born in North Carolina in 1785 and moved to Effingham County with his parents and siblings before 1790. He and two sisters became permanent residents of Liberty County early in the 19thcentury.
Hinesville was settled in 1837 and the Hinesville Methodist Church was organized shortly after. A school, the Hinesville Academy was established beside the church on the land that is now Bradwell Park located between the courthouse and city hall.
In 1837 the Liberty County seat of government was moved from Riceborough to Hinesville. It was named for Charlton Hines, an early settler who was serving as senator from Liberty County and was instrumental in having the county seat moved to Hinesville.
The weather was too cool early in the morning to do yard work at our cabin in Tattnall County, so Gene and I drove the short distance to Reidsville as there were many cancer relay for life yard sales being held. We stopped in front of a majestic old home with the wrap around porch, tin roof and fancy woodwork trimming the edge of the porch. Several tables were set up and filled with varied objects.
"A rotten, filthy rathole" was what I was called when I was 80 years old by Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox, who also condemned me! When I was new I was described as having all the modern improvements of a first class prison.
Project director Nan Flowers, editor Edith Mallard, assistant editor Wayne Priester and 21 other Bradwell Institute Career Education students printed a booklet, "Sand & Pine: Glimpses of Other Liberty Days," in 1976, as part of the bicentennial celebration going on in Liberty County. These students were to discover through interviews what the prevailing occupations were in this area and what life in general was like two generations before them. Most of the students interviewed their grandparents.
In December 2004, I wrote an article about some local fellows playing a prank by dismounting the old cannon from the Liberty County courthouse square and consequently blowing it all to pieces in the wooded area that is now is front of the old hospital site.
Harry Smith lived in Evans County at the time of this interview. His family lived about five miles from Willie. His granddaddy's log cabin had a dirt floor. The family had originally come from South Carolina.
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