History & Lifestyle
Discover the Historic Backroads of Heard County, Georgia
Most of the information here was found in the 'A Drive-It-Yourself Tour: Discover the Historic Backroads of Heard County, Georgia'. For more information The Heard County Chamber of Commerce has this pamphlet.
Heard County Historical Center & Museum
Heard County Historical Center, or 'Old Jail', served as county jail and sheriff's residence from 1912 to 1964. The Museum offers a look into the past of this rural community and highlights include the jail cells. The Heard County Jail was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1981.
The Museum has exhibits dedicated to notable residents of the county. One major exhibit is dedicated to local personality, Mahayley Lancaster. A fortune-teller, lawyer, political activist, school teacher, and self-proclaimed 'oracle of the ages,' who became a West Georgia legend in the first half of the twentieth century. This legendary psychic is most remembered for her role in the murder trial of John Wallace which later became a best-selling book and movie, Murder in Coweta County. Dot Moore, coauthor of Oracle of the Ages: Reflections on the Curious Life of Fortune Teller Mayhayley Lancaster (2001) was awarded the 2002 Lilla M. Hawes Award, which is given by the Georgia Historical Society to 'the book judged the most worthy contribution to Georgia county or local history published during the previous year.'
Flat Rock Campground
Consturcted in 1876, this Methodist campground still holds 'protracted meetings' every August. The open-air arbor is made of hand-hewn beams that are cut and pieced together with wooden pegs. Families built cabins or 'tents' around the arbor for use during the meetings - some of these tents are preserved on site.
It took faith to live on isolated farmsteads, therefore religion played a big part in the life of Heard County residents.
One of the county's most picturesque settings is Salem United Methodist Curch. The late 19th century church cemetery contains numerous unmarked graves and rock tombstones. Salem Church has been used as a camp meeting site, community center, and a school. The original church had two entrance doors, but was later remodeled by a 'progressive' minister.
The oldest church in the county, Bethel Baptist Church, was organized in 1828. Today's church on Bethel (East) Road was constructed in 1925 and has a small active membership. This forested area once known as the St. Cloud Community, hides the remnants of Wilson's Store nearby.
Not to be confused with the previous church, the circa 1934 Bethel Primitive Baptist Church, organized in 1849, is located on Armstrong Mill Road.
Pleasant Grove church was built in 1888 as a primitive Baptist church and restored in 2006 to be used as a wedding and events place. The newly renovated church highlights the original pews, glass windows and altar.
Rural 19th century schoolhouses consisted of one room, wood-framed buildings usually without electricity or toilet facilities. Until the 1920s, school was in session for five months out of the year. The county consolidated rural schools in the 1940s.
Schools in Heard County were also separated by race. Mary Johnson was a local champion of African-American education. In the 1940s, Ms. Johnson successfully raised funds to build a new county-wide African-American school in Franklin. In 1954, this school was replaced by the modern Mary Johnson High School on Bevis Road.
Stores and Post Offices
Burton Roberts' corner store is the only remaining historic store building left in Roosterville. Country stores, located at rural crossroads, provided food, clothes, farm supplies and medicine to area farms. It was common for stores to also serve as the area post office.
Centralhatchee and Corinth:
Centralhatchee (established 1903) and Corinth (established 1840) are crossroad communities that have survived as towns. Corinth is also home to the 1904 vernacular Gothic-style United Methodist Church.
The Glenn Post Office, established in 1887, was located in the rear corner of the existing P.C. Whitley Country Store. Closed as a U.S. Post Office in 1987, the Glenn P.O. remained a community post office until 2004.
Texas, a charming rural community named for the state of Texas, features the picturesque circa 1902 Prospect United Methodist Church.