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Guide to the Ghost Towns of

GEORGIA

“The Peach State

 

 

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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for Georgia

Georgia like the other eastern states is usually shorted in ghost town books.  Exploration in the future state began in the mid 1500s, but it wasn’t until 1732 that an actual colony was planted on Georgia soil.  As such it was the last of the original 13 Colonies to be established.  In 1788, it was the fourth state to ratify the new US Constitution, with only Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey ahead of it.

 

In 1799, gold was discovered in North Carolina, and as a result, prospectors headed southwest into Georgia and found that precious metal in 1829.  The resultant rush to the northern Georgia Mountains also precipitated the establishment of a United States Mint branch at the gold rush town of Dahlonega. This massive gathering of non-native peoples ended up costing the Cherokee and other tribes their land and they were forcibly removed and sent to what is now Oklahoma.

 

The gold boom lasted about 20 years and when gold was found in California in 1848, the mass exodus from Georgia’s gold fields began.  Then on January 21, 1861, Georgia joined with its neighboring states seceding from the United States and forming the Confederate States of America.  During the Civil War, many battles were fought here, and Georgia was blasted by the war.  After the war ended in 1865, Reconstruction of the South began, and Georgia was the last state to be reinstated into the Union on July 15, 1870.

 

However, it took until the end of WWII for the state to make its comeback, and today is a strong, populous state.

 

Like the other eastern states, there are a lot of ghost towns, near ghost towns and historic old communities.  However, due to the devastation wrought by the Civil War and the neglect of the subsequent Reconstruction era, many of the older towns are pretty much barren, forgotten sites.  A number of the old gold rush era towns still survive, and inclusion on any ghost town list becomes controversial.  I have been taken to task several times about including places like Dahlonega on my lists, but continue to stand by my decision based on its history and much lower population figure than at its peak during the gold rush boom years.

 

I consider it in the same category of town as Deadwood (SD), Tombstone (AZ) and Virginia City (NV).  

 

 

HELP!  Please check here to find a list of ghost towns that various contacts are looking for.  IF you have any information on these places please e-mail me and I can respond back to those looking for info on these ghosts.

  

 

PLEASE NOTE: 

Where photos are indicated thusly (PHOTO!), please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this page.  More photos will be added over time.

 

THE GHOSTS

 

ALEXANDER

 

 

Burke Co.

In Burke County, Alexander can be found when you travel south(east) on (State) Highway 24 outside Waynesboro and then take a left on a dirt road in the Alexander area.  A short drive will bring you to a cluster of abandoned wood structures. 

Contributed by Clayton Bence (March 05, 2007)

 

“Settled in 1849 and named for early settler Hugh Alexander. Incorporated on 16 December 1851. Located 14.5 km (9 mi) southeast of Waynesboro on State Route 24.”  It was also known as: Academy Council and Alexander Village.  (GNIS)

 

GNIS shows it at the junction of SH 24/Munnerlyn-Alexander Rd (southwest)/Roberts Rd (northeast).  The aerial photo shows what appear to be occupied buildings mixed in with what appear to be abandoned buildings.

 

·        Latitude:  33.0220988 / 33° 01’ 20” N

·        Longitude: -81.8767822 / 81° 52’ 36” W

·        Public Land Survey System (Section/Range/Township) NOT USED in GA

ANDERSONVILLE PRISON

 

 

 

Sumter/Macon Co. line

First called Camp Sumter, this class C/F restored Civil War era prison is a National Historic Site located on SH 49, one mile east of Andersonville (1990 pop 277). At its peak in August 1864, some 33,000 Union troops were imprisoned here, and during the 14 months between February 1864 and April 1865, nearly 13,000 Union prisoners died.  The present town of Andersonville lies west of the junction of SH 49/228, in Sumter County, and the prison/cemetery/National Historic Site lies to the east in Macon County.

 

·        Latitude:  32.1982170 / 32° 11’ 54” N

·        Longitude: -84.1287971 / 84° 07’ 44” W

AURARIA

Lumpkin Co.

This old gold mining town is located seven miles southwest of Dahlonega, and about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta. It was one of Georgia's first gold rush towns.

See our AURARIA page for additional details.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

BATH

Richmond Co.

This one-time summer resort/spa has faded from favor.  It was also known as Richmond Baths.  It is located just east of the Fort Gordon complex, about 15 miles southwest of Augusta on Parkwood Road, just past the junction with Bath-Edie Road, about a mile northwest of the junction with Bath-Edie Rd/US 1 (SH4)(Deans Bridge Road).  It is marked on the GNIS map as Bath-Edie and the topo map as Bath.  The aerial photos shows a scattered rural community with three cemeteries in the vicinity.

 

·        Latitude:  33.3387524 / 33° 20’ 20” N

·        Longitude: -82.1765096 / 82° 10’ 35” W

BIRDSVILLE

 

 

Jenkins Co.

Located at the junction of Birdsville/North Plantation roads, four miles northeast of Herndon (1990 pop 75) and seven miles northwest of Millen.  It was established around 1767 and has faded from the maps. It is also known as Birdville (without the “S”).  The GNIS topographic map shows the cemetery and an airport also.  The aerial photo shows what appears to be a small cluster of farms.

 

·        Latitude:  32.8715469 / 32° 52’ 18” N

·        Longitude: -82.0778963 / 82° 04’ 40” W

BONEVILLE

McDuffie Co.

“In McDuffie County, the town of Boneville lies between Dearing and Thomson.  When you turn off the main highway—Highway 78—Boneville greets you with a strip of abandoned brick buildings including at least one defunct bank and several abandoned stores.  This abandoned “main street” sits on a dreary looking pond.” (Boneville Pond

Contributed by Clayton Bence (March 05, 2007)

 

GNIS gives Bonesville as a variant name.  It sits along the railroad about five miles south of I-20, about 20 miles west of Augusta.  It is just east of the junction of SH 78/Boneville Road, four miles southeast of Thomson and about the same northwest of Dearing as indicated in Clayton’s E-mail above.

 

·        Latitude:  33.4334717 / 33° 26’ 00” N

·        Longitude: -82.4387380 / 82° 26’ 19” W

CENTERVILLE

Charlton Co.

The site of this class A location is located on SH 40, at or near the junction with May Bluff Road, about two miles east-northeast of Folkston, southeast of Waycross and east of Okefenokee Swamp and just a couple miles north of the state line. This early 1800s marketing center died after the railroad missed the town.  GNIS gives it the variant names of Center (Centre) Village.

 

·        Latitude:  30.8430103 / 30° 50’ 35” N

·        Longitude: -81.9687251 / 81° 58’ 07” W

DAHLONEGA

Lumpkin Co.

A class E gold-mining town on US 19, 66 miles northeast of Atlanta.  Today, it bears no semblance to a ghost or even a semi-ghost as it is a busy little town with a 2010 population of 5242.  However, it is in the heart of Georgia's gold rush country and was the focus of that gold rush. Gold was discovered here around 1829, but in 1849 after news of the California gold discovery reached the east, many miners headed west. In 1833, Dahlonega became the county seat Lumpkin County, and in 1838, the United States government built a branch mint here to produce gold coins.  The mint closed in 1861 at the onset of the Civil War. Today Dahlonega capitalizes on its golden past and is only listed here because of its massive historical impact to the state and country’s history.  It is also far smaller than at its gold rush era population peak when possibly as many as 15,000 miners flocked to its streets.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

 

·        Latitude:  34.5337049 / 34° 32’ 01” N

·        Longitude: -83.9826878 / 83° 58’ 58” W

EBENEZER

 

 

Effingham Co.

This small colony of Salzburg Lutherans was established in 1734. But, in 1736 they relocated six miles to the east, on the west side of the Savannah River (state line).  In 1741 the first church was built and a grist mill, sawmill and rice mill followed.  But in 1779 the British ran them out. A few buildings and a museum remain just off the east end of SH 275 (Ebenezer Road), about 20 mile north of Savannah, and seven miles east of Springfield.

 

·        Latitude:  32.1189870 / 32° 07’ 08” N

·        Longitude: -81.1823320 / 81° 10’ 56” W

ETOWAH

Bartow Co.

This one-time iron forge community once had 2000 people and all the businesses to support it as well as the Cooper Iron Works. The furnace dates to the 1830s and was built by Jacob Stroup.  Mark Cooper purchased it in 1843 and operated it until 1862 or 1863 when the Confederate Government operated it.  On May 22, 1864, both were razed by General Sherman’s Union troops.  When the Allatoona Dam was built and the lake filled, the townsite just a mile east of the dam was flooded.  However, the furnace is on higher ground and the stone structure still remains in Lake Allatoona’s Cooper Day Use Area on the northern side of the lake, off Bartow Beach Road east of Cartersville.

 

COOPER FURNACE: (These coordinates actually place it in the lake.  Inquire locally for exact location.)

·        Latitude:  34.1681529 / 34° 10’ 05” N

·        Longitude: -84.7141023 / 84° 42’ 51” W

FORT FREDERICA/

Town of FREDERICA

Glynn Co.

On St. Simons Island northeast of Brunswick, this class B military post/settlement ($) was established by British General James Edward Oglethorpe in 1736. This was to defend the British colony against any incursions by the Spanish.  After the fort was established, the town of Frederica was founded outside the stockade, eventually growing to a population of about 1000. In 1749 the military presence lessened, which hurt the town's economy. Then in 1758 a fire destroyed most of the town, and finally in 1763 the fort was abandoned. Today the fort's ruins are part of Fort Frederica National Monument, and various exhibits explain how life was for the British settlers in the early 1700s. 

 

·        Latitude:  31.2227303 / 31° 13’ 22” N

·        Longitude: -81.3884310 / 81° 23’ 18” W

FORT KING GEORGE

McIntosh Co.

A mile east of US 17, on the east side of Darien, off McIntosh Road, on a peninsula overlooking the Altamaha River, this restored ($) class B/F British settlement marks Britain's southernmost settlement and fort, established in 1721, and abandoned in 1736.  It is now a state historic site.  The GNIS location below is slightly off from the restored structures.

 

From 1721 - 1736, Fort King George was the southern outpost of the British Empire in North America. A cypress blockhouse, barracks and palisaded earthen fort were constructed in 1721 by scoutmen led by Colonel John ‘Tuscarora Jack’ Barnwell. For the next seven years, His Majesty’s Independent Company garrisoned the fort. They endured incredible hardships from disease, threats of Spanish and Indian attacks, and the harsh, unfamiliar coastal environment. After the fort was abandoned, General James Oglethorpe brought Scottish Highlanders to the site in 1736. The settlement, called Darien, eventually became a foremost export center of lumber until 1925. - Located along Black Island Creek in the community of Darien.” (GNIS)

 

·        Latitude:  31.3649480 / 31° 21’ 54” N

·        Longitude: -81.4145449 / 81° 24’ 52” W

FORT MORRIS

Liberty Co.

SEE Sunbury (below).

FORT St. SIMONS

Glynn Co.

This old military fort is located off Beachview Dr, between 12th and 13th streets, where the lighthouse is on the south tip of St. Simons Island, just south of the Malcolm McKinnon Airport on the south side of St. Simon.  It appears nothing remains as this is developed land now.

 

LIGHTHOUSE:

·        Latitude:  31.1341208 / 31° 08’ 03” N

·        Longitude: -81.3937078 / 81° 23’ 37” W

FOWLER MILL

Forsyth Co.

On Hurricane Creek, east of Heardsville, about 12 miles northwest of Cumming. This was a pre-Civil War era grist mill.

 

It is not listed in GNIS, but the maps show a Fowler Park (not in place name index) southwest of Cumming and about three miles northwest of the town of Big Creek.  It is north of US 19/SH 400, along the south side of SH 9 (Atlanta Highway.)  I don’t know if this is related to the old mill or not. There is a creek running along the west side of the park.  Heardsville (above) is not shown on GNIS.

 

FOWLER PARK:

·        Latitude:  34.1491755

·        Longitude: -84.2132950

GOODMAN SAWMILL

Gilmer Co.

In the late 1850s, B. L. Goodman established a sawmill about six miles southeast of Ellijay, and due north of Atlanta.  It is not shown on GNIS, but POSSIBLY may be in the Oak Hill – Cartecay area near the Cartecay River.  It is not listed in GNIS.

GOUGH

Burke Co.

In Burke County, half of the town of Gough is abandoned.  There are streets, houses, and former businesses on the east side of town but no people.    Contributed by Clayton Bence (March 05, 2007)

 

It is located on SH 305, at the junction with Gough Spur Road-Old Louisville Road, about ten miles west of Waynesboro, south-southwest of Augusta and due south of Fort Gordon.  There are quite a few buildings visible on the GNIS aerial photo.

 

·        Latitude:  33.0918155 / 33° 05’ 31” N

·        Longitude: -82.2265113 / 82° 13’ 35” W

HARDWICKE

Bryan Co.

This quiet (1990 pop 120) community was founded in 1754 and in 1797 vied for the state capital. It lost and faded. It boomed from 1754-early 1800s.  It is not listed in GNIS.

JEKYLL ISLAND

Glynn Co.

On the south side of St. Simons Sound, southeast of Brunswick, this strategic island was a Spanish and pirate settlement from 1566 to 1735. It was followed by an English community, after the English took over.  In the 1880s it changed to a wealthy enclave.

This millionaires' village, established in the 1880s, provided a setting for the latest in fashionable architecture. Built by the North's weathiest men looking for desirable Southern property where they could spend the winter season.  National Historic Landmark. This NHL offers public access. Please contact the NHL directly for visitor information.”  (GNIS)

 

·        Latitude:  31.0685662 / 31° 04’ 07” N

·        Longitude: -81.4134297 / 81° 24’ 48” W

KING’S FERRY

Camden Co.

SEE entry in Florida

LUTHERTOWN

McDuffie Co.

This 1880's saw mill town is located south of Thomson and east of SH 17, just north of the south county line.  It is not listed in GNIS.

 

·        Latitude:  33.2770858 (Where SH 17 crosses the southern county line)

·        Longitude: -82.4292183 (Where SH 17 crosses the southern county line)

MAYFIELD

Hancock Co.

One of the oddest ghost towns I’ve seen is the town of Mayfield on the border of Hancock County and Warren County.  Mayfield has a few grand old houses that look abandoned.  The odd feature is the community of abandoned brick housing units that look like a failed public housing project.  There is very little traffic into Mayfield as it is in a very remote section of rural Hancock County.

Contributed by Clayton Bence (March 05, 2007)

 

GNIS gives Latimores Mill as a variant name and also indicates that there was once a school here known as the Mayfield Academy. The GNIS topo map and aerial photo shows the housing project mentioned by Clayton, to the west of “downtown”.  On the aerial photo very few of the homes have vehicles around them and all had little or no evidence of occupancy (Mayfield is located on the railroad, west of the Ogeechee River/county line, about a mile south of CR 165 (Mayfield Road), about ten miles southwest of Warrenton. (GBS)

 

·        Latitude:  33.3551413 / 33° 21’ 19” N

·        Longitude: -82.8006949 / 82° 48’ 03” W

NEW ECHOTA

 

 

Gordon Co.

Four miles northeast of Calhoun at the present town of Echota, the reconstructed log buildings mark the site of the Cherokee nation capital. It was active from 1825-1838 when the Cherokee were evicted from Georgia.  For more information, click here.

 

GNIS says: “New Echota was the first national capital of the Cherokees, established in 1825. Here the Indians adopted a republican legislature, published a newspaper, and established a supreme court, all based on Anglo-American precedent. It was here in 1835 that the Treaty of New Echota was signed, establishing the basic pretext for the final removal of the Cherokee to the West and the "Trail of Tears".

 

·       Latitude:  34.5381419 / 34° 32’ 17” N

·       Longitude: -84.9085530 / 84° 54’ 31” W

OSIERFIELD

Irwin Co.

"There is a village in Irwin County, GA. named Osierfield.  At one time it had a bank, drug store, a resident doctor, several stores, train station, post office, about 50 houses and a cotton gin. (It’s) down to one store now.”

Contributed by “JLM” (01/22/2005)

 

It is located just south of the county line, at the junction of Osierfield Road/Wray Road about eight miles southeast of Fitzgerald (Ben Hill Co.) (GBS)

 

·       Latitude:  31.6671329 / 31° 40’ 02” N

·       Longitude: -83.1159842 / 83° 06’ 58” W

POOL(E)S MILL

Forsyth Co.

Grist milling center established in 1880 and in operation until 1949. Only rubble remains.  It is probably located at or near the Poole’s Mill Covered Bridge, which is about 15 miles west of Gainesville (N of Atlanta).  The bridge is located where Poole’s Mill Road crosses Settingdown Creek, about a mile northwest of Heardville and two miles southwest of Hightown.

 

·        Latitude:  34.2909276 / 34° 17’ 27” N (Covered Bridge)

·        Longitude: -84.2424200 / 84° 14’ 33” W (Covered Bridge)

RUSKIN

Ware Co.

“Ruskin was located in the southeastern section of Ware County, GA. It was a colony of some sort.”

Contributed by “JLM” (01/22/2005)

 

It is located along the railroad, south of the junction of Ruskin Road/US 84-SH 38 (Valdosta Highway), about six miles southwest of Waycross.

 

·        Latitude:  31.1513273 / 31° 09’ 05” N

·        Longitude: -82.4448568 / 82° 26’ 41” W

SAPELO BRIDGE

McIntosh Co.

From 1793-1818 this was the McIntosh County seat, with all attendant businesses and population. In 1824 a hurricane damaged the town, and it has since become just scattered rubble.  It is probably located at or near the town of Sapelo Island, which is located at the southern end of the island by the same name, about 45 miles south-southwest of Savannah. 

 

·        Latitude:  33.3551413 / 33° 21’ 19” N

·        Longitude: -82.8006949 / 82° 48’ 03” W

SCARBORO

 

 

Screven Co.

“Outside of Statesboro, GA (Bulloch Co.). I can't tell you much about it except what I saw. We found it quite by accident. The road runs right next to a railroad and is in rural farmland.  You turn onto this dead end road about the length of two to three city blocks at most. There is a general store that I guess still functions now and then, but ancient with peeling paint and whitened wood.  Across from that on the right side is an old Victorian house, crumbling and colored the same.  Looks uninhabited.  A little farther an old gas station with an overhang.  No pumps remain but the building is intact.  Then a graveyard.  The road ends at the Ogeechee River where there are remains of an old bridge and we think what was a factory at one time.  (Seemingly purposeless pipes running here and there)

     If you can give me any information about Scarboro I'd appreciate it.  I have researched, but have not found any information as of yet.”  Contributed by Stacey Cornwell (12/10/2001)

 

GNIS does not list Scarboro, but there is a railroad station called Dover located north of the Ogeechee River near the area described by Stacey (above).  About two miles north of the river is Cooperville and the junction of US 301-SH 73/SH 17 (Scarboro Highway).  The railroad runs parallel to US 301-SH 73 and Dover is located about a quarter mile west of the highway and ¾ of a mile north of the river.  The river crossing is about nine miles northeast of Statesboro.  GGNIS shows a “T” railroad junction at Dover with a “Y” coming up from the south.

 

DOVER:

·        Latitude:  32.5771168 / 32° 34’ 38” N

·        Longitude: -81.7151103 / 81° 42’ 54” W

SUNBURY

 

 

Liberty Co.

About 25 AIR miles southwest of Savannah and 14 miles east of Midway, on the south bank of the Medway River, this class D river port was established around 1758. By the mid 1800s it faded, and in 1990 only had 150 people. It was also known as Sunbery and Sunbury Landing.   About a quarter mile south is the site of the 1770s era British, then American Revolutionary War fort – FORT MORRIS. 

 

·        Latitude:  31.7682722 / 31° 46’ 06” N

·        Longitude: -81.2809372 / 81° 16’ 51” W

 

·        Latitude:  31.7633333 / 31° 45’ 48” N (FORT MORRIS)

·        Longitude: -81.2811111 / 81° 16’ 52” W (FORT MORRIS)

WILD’S FERRY

Camden Co.

SEE entry in Florida

WRIGHTSBORO

McDuffie Co.

“GA had a Quaker community founded in the late 1700s. By 1810 the community had dissolved. Wrightsboro Settlement is located in McDuffie County outside of Augusta, GA.

Contributed by DH Deci (May 12, 2005)

 

GNIS indicates variant names of:  Brandon, Wrightboro and Wrightsborough.  It is located at the junction of Wrightsboro/Ridge roads, three miles northwest of the Thomson-McDuffie County Airport, about three miles north of I-20, at a point about 25 miles west of Augusta.  A cemetery and a Methodist Church are also located here.

 

·        Latitude:  33.5504119 / 33° 33’ 01” N

·        Longitude: -82.5690205 / 82° 34’ 08” W

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

 

Historians estimate that there may be as many as 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America. Gary B. Speck Publications is currently in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of ***

These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

 

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!

 

For more information on the ghost towns of GEORGIA, contact us at:

Ghost Town USA.

 

E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:

Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to any e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line. 

THANK YOU!  :o)

IMPORTANT

 

These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in GEORGIA above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.

 

If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.

 

 

When you are exploring the ghost towns of GEORGIA, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.

 

 

 

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FIRST POSTED:  January 12, 2001

LAST UPDATED: January 25, 2012

 

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