Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Potato Creek Mill and Dam in Thomaston, Georgia

The mill and Potato Creek Dam in the 1960s
Although the grist mill hasn't stood for 30 years or more, the site of the old mill and dam at Potato Creek in Thomaston, Georgia has fascinated me ever since I was a young child. I recall stories of the old mill told by mother, grandmother, and Aunt Anne as far back as I can remember. What fun they must have all had at Potato Creek Beach, as they called it.

I'm not entirely sure when the old mill was built, but I'm going to assume the late 1800s. I've heard it referred to as the old Reeves Mill as well as the Potato Creek Mill, but I'm not sure which is correct. My great grandparents, Thomas Alton Franklin and Ida Boggs Franklin, as well as their six children, lived in the mill from 1934 to 1937. Those six children were Wilmoth (my grandmother), Anne (my great aunt), Percy, Joe, Fred, and Andy. Thankfully Aunt Anne is still alive and she was able to tell me her first-hand account of what life at the mill was like. She informed me that they lived at the old mill itself until there was a big fire in 1936. The Franklin family had to live in the storage building, which was attached to the mill, for 3 months until the damage was repaired.

The site of the mill and what's left of Potato Creek Dam in May 2016

The mill in 1945.
A drawing by Sandra Herring depicting what the mill looked like historically (2000).

The site of the old mill can be found close to the intersection of Old County Road and W Moore's Crossing Road. Technically, in the heyday of the mill, that area was considered part of Upson County and not the Thomaston proper. Aunt Anne stated that a walk from the mill to her school, Robert E. Lee Institute was a 3.1 mile trek both ways. She and everyone else had to walk that each day come rain or shine.

Map of old mill site.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Fall of the House of Stevens-Snider

Encompassed by venerable pecan and oak trees sits a house that must have been quite grand in its time. Architecturally, it would be classified as a vernacular farmhouse; however, the house would fit right in any Southern historic district of a city. From my research, I've determined the house was built circa 1910 and it is located between Buena Vista, Georgia and Ellaville, Georgia. Additionally, a local resident of the area has informed me that the house has been abandoned for thirty years or more and has not had any work done to it in ten years time.

I have been taking notice of the the Stevens-Snider house for over twenty years, and at one time, I hoped it might have been restored. However, since 2005 it has fallen in ill repair. The roof was no longer a suitable protector of the house beginning around 2010, and by 2012 the roof shingles were starting to come off. It wasn't long before more and more exposed wood became quite prominent leading to rot of the structure. It is now 2016 and so much wood has rotted that the second floor is now collapsing into the first floor.

The house appears to be rapidly returning declining, so if you would like to visit it, I suggest you do so as soon as possible. However, I advise against entering the home because it is private property, and structurally unsafe.

The house in 2010. 

I do not own this image and will remove it by request.

The house in 2012.

The house in 2016.

If you are traveling along Highway 26 from Buena Vista to Ellaville, the house is located on the left side of the highway right after the intersection of Highway 26 and Highway 112. It is about halfway between Buena Vista and Ellaville.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Titanic: Honor and Glory Video Game - Part 1

Have you heard the news about Titanic: Honor and Glory? If you're even a casual fan of Titanic, you'll want to hear about it.

I grew up playing the video game Titanic: Adventure Out of Time (1996) as a way to not only pass the time but to learn about the magnificent ocean liner known as Titanic.  Although it was a great game and a great way to learn the actual layout of Titanic, 1996 technology didn't allow the game to showcase the ship in great detail. Missing were the grain and lines of the hand-carved Grand Staircase, the woven texture of the lush carpets, and the accurate color tone of 1912 lighting. Additionally, the game models weren't entirely accurate, and a lot of areas of the ship were not accessible, leaving one to wonder what some rooms on Titanic looked like or how they were accessed.

That all will change in the next year or so. Tom Lynksey, Kyle Hudak, and Matthew DeWinkler have been working on Titanic: Honor and Glory since at least 2011. They have been recreating the ship as accurately as possible with 21st century technology. The game will center around a central character named Owen Morgan, who has been unfortunately been convicted of a crime he did not commit. Similar to Titanic: Adventure Out of Time, Owen must use clues found throughout the ship to help clear his name and find out the identity of the true guilty party. This will all take place in real time, and Owen must continue his investigation even while the ship is sinking. Juicy! Additionally, and for the true Titanic aficionados, there will be a free roam mode where once can explore virtually every nook and cranny of the ship.

To make this game a reality, the team needs your help in raising enough money to complete the game. Completion of the game will require a minimum of $250,000, but final costs will probably wind up being closer to $1 million. The link to the campaign on IndieGogo can be found here. Click Here for Campaign Link

I could go on and on singing praise for Titanic: Honor and Glory and its team, but I rather think photos and video will do the project more justice. Please note that a lot of the interior photos are older renders, and the game will have finalized models that are more accurate. After all, it is a continuing work in progress.

Titanic Exterior

First Class

Older render of the Grand Staircase from Boat Deck to E-Deck.

Older render of First Class stateroom B-59 decorated in the Old Dutch style
Older render of First Class stateroom B-53 decorated in the Italian Renaissance style
Older render of First Class stateroom B-54 decorated in the Empire style.
This stateroom was part of the Portside Parluor Suite.
Newer render of First Class Stateroom B-58 decorated in Louis XVI style.
Older render of First Class Stateroom B-81.
Newer render of C-Deck landing on the forward Grand Staircase.
Newer render of D-Deck landing with E-Deck visible below.
Newer render of First Class Reception room on D-Deck.
Newer render of First Class Dining Saloon on D-Deck
Newer render of First Class Dining Saloon on D-Deck.
Older render of First Class Elevator Foyer on E-Deck.
Older render of First Class Smoking Room on A-Deck.
Newer render of First Class Smoking Room on A-Deck.
Newer render of the Turkish Bath Cooling Room on F-Deck.
Older render of the First Class Swimming Bath located on F-Deck.

Second Class

Newer render of the Aft Second Class Stairs on D-Deck.
Older render of a Second Class cabin.
Older render of a Second Class cabin (alternate view).
Older render of Second Class Dining Saloon.
Newer render of Second Class Dining Saloon.
Newer render of Second Class Library.
Older render of Second Class Smoking Room.

Newer render of Second Class Forward Staircase landing on E-Deck.

Progress Report


Please note all images, video, and information are property of Titanic: Honor and Glory and Four Funnels Entertainment. I have received explicit permission to use these images and video specifically for this blog posting.