Category Archives: Irwinville Places

Construction of the Co-Op Gin at Irwinville

John Vachon/Library of Congress. (May 1938)

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Old Irwin County Courthouse, 1883

Arthur Rothstein/Library of Congress. (August 1935)

The old courthouse was decommissioned in 1910 when a new courthouse was opened in Ocilla. (Even though Ocilla was designated the county seat in 1907, Irwinville remained the defacto center of county government until the construction of the new courthouse). It served as apartments for those being resettled during the Irwinville Farms Project. It burned soon thereafter.

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Old House & Remodeled House at Irwinville

Arthur Rothstein/Library of Congress. (August 1935)

These houses are still standing, near the corner of Pinetta Road and the Irwinville Highway (Highway 32/125).

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Old Irwinville Baptist Church

John Vachon/Library of Congress. (May 1938)

If anyone from Irwinville Baptist Church knows more about the history of this building, especially when it was lost, please let me know.

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An Appreciation

While browsing through the American Memory collections of the Library of Congress, I’m most focused on Georgia, of course. I’ve known of the Irwinville photographs since the late 1980s, but I’m surprised it’s taken me 25 years under their influence to discover that they may be the singular most important document of life in  Georgia during the Great Depression among their numerous contemporaries. There are well over 200 unique images, illustrating everything from agricultural improvement to electricity to health care for expectant mothers. Ultimately, the Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographers were underpaid artists, grateful to have jobs, who were the last to walk among the country crossroads that once gave life and light to America. This site, which I hope to be an interactive archive, exists to honor their world.  Please comment freely, especially when you have links to this community.

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Old Harness House, Irwinville Farms

Arthur Rothstein/Library of Congress. (September 1935)

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Leon & Vera Bradford Home, Irwinville Farms

Carl Mydans/Library of Congress. (June 1936)

The Bradford home was one of the first to be completed on the project.

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Griffin’s Store, Irwinville

Arthur Rothstein/Library of Congress. (August 1935)

This store was owned by Mrs. G. M. Griffin, as the Coca-Cola sign announces. This is one of the most iconic shots made by FSA photographers in Irwinville, and has long been one of my favorites.

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Repainted & Remodeled House, Irwinville

Arthur Rothstein/Library of Congress. (August 1935)

This great old Folk Victorian still stands in Irwinville today with little change to its appearance. Of course, the picket fence is gone, and there are more trees in the yard…

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Barn at Irwinville Farms

John Vachon/Library of Congress. (May 1938)

If you’re familiar with the Irwinville area, you will notice that many barns of this design are still in use.

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Filed under FSA Photographer John Vachon, Irwinville Places