This broken building is in Effingham County, GA. I stumbled on this shell of a building in the early Spring of 2018 when I was out perusing the area for country cemeteries. Being a taphophile, I love old cemeteries, and I love photographing them. My intent is to put together a history of the area along with the thousands of photos I have taken,
This old structure was something I stumbled on accidentally. I had found a cemetery, and satisfied with my shoot, I had turned back towards Chatham County, where I currently reside. Being one who loves to take unknown paths, I had decided to take a different route home, separate from the one I used to traipse into the area.
This house was almost not visible, as the highway took a sharp left turn, towards the east, away from it. I barely caught a glimpse of it when I threw my car into reverse……..thank God the logging truck behind me was still a good piece down from me as I did what we called a ‘donut’ in the middle of the intersection. I pulled into the dirt driveway seen in this picture and parked.
I stood for a few moments, imagining what this building really was, and who may have occupied it. By wondering such things before turning on my camera, I wind up with the best photographs. Spontaneity is often best, but for me, a touch of wonderment adds a dimension that I seem to be able to capture when shooting a scene.
I imagine this structure was somebody’s home. Or, it could have been a store front, with the upstairs serving as the home above the store, for the store-keep and his family. I can imagine bags of flour, sugar, and produce, such as Carolina Gold (also known as rice) out front for sale. Horse and buggies most likely pulled up to the front.
What, I wonder, was the demise of said store and family? One suspicion is the use of Confederate money. Georgia, once being a non-slave state, succumbed to the planter’s class demand for slave labor, and thus in turn joined the doomed Confederacy at the outbreak of the Civil War. When all of that ended, so many were left with worthless Confederate money, even before the end of the war – 1865, for many in the South, was indeed the TRUE beginning of a Great Depression – not just due to being sore losers, but the economy they had grown accustomed to had collapsed.
Even though it is unlikely the end of the Civil War resulted in this shell, more than likely, a tragic event must have occurred for this to remain standing in such shambles……and for there to be no living human being occupying it. I wonder what happened to the human beings that once inhabited this facility. Are the children and grandchildren somewhere in Georgia? Regardless, the offspring have scattered elsewhere. Their stories are embedded in the walls, the woodwork, the stairs, the dirt road, the surrounding nature. One day, the earth will pull this structure down to it, and like the original owners, and like the rest of us, it will become dust.