Historical Markers

Georgia Historical Markers

Warren County

Beall Springs has faithfully produced chalybeate (ka-lib'-e-at) water for centuries.  Chalybeate water is characterized as water containing iron salts.  In addition to iron, Beall Spring water contains nine other minerals.

First frequented by Indians who used the water for curative purposes, the springs were ceded to the state in 1773.  After cession the land was acquired by the Beall family who allowed the public access.  The springs have been in continuous public user ever since.

In the nineteenth centurey Beall, Madison, Indian, Porter, Rousseau and Catoosa Springs as well as many others became popular resort areas.  These "watering places" became great social centers and vacation spots as well as escape areas from the fever ridden lowlands.

Beall Springs was the host to Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephens and Senator Robert Toombs as well as other notables when watering places were in vogue.

Photo: Chris Beall  1996

Georgia Historical Marker 149-1, formation of Warren County

This County, created by Act of the Legistlature Dec. 19, 1793, is named for Gen. Joseph Warren, Massachusetts Revolutionary hero killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill.  What is claimed to have been the first iron works and woolen mill in Georgia was established by Col. Richard Bird at Ogeechee Falls near Georgetown.  Among the first County Officers were: Sheriffs Peter Hodo & David Neal, Ordinary Septimus Weatherby, Clerks of Superior Court Wyche Goodwin & Isaiah Tucker, Clerk of Inferior Court Turner Persons, Surveyor Ethelred Thomas and Coroner John Trant.

Photo: Chris Beall  May 2003

Georgia Historical Marker 149-2, the original R.F.D.

In 1868 at Norwood six men along a five mile rural route hired Jerry Parsons, a Negro who could not read, to deliver and collect mail at their homes each day except Sundays and holidays for his food and clothing.  The postmaster at Norwood each morning arranged the mail in correct order and "Uncle Jerry" began his ten mile walk covering, in all, 3,110 miles.  Sen. Thomas E. Watson, then a boy clerking for Hon. T. E. Massengale, observed this perfect plan for Rural Free Delivery.  In February 1893, Sen. Watson, then in Congress, sponsored the bill creating Rural Free Delivery, copying "Uncle Jerry's" R.F.D. in Norwood.

Photo: Chris Beall  May 2003

Georgia Historical Marker 149-4, Shoals on the Ogeechee

First called Lexington, Shoals was the site of what was probably the first woolen mill and iron foundry in Georgia.  In 1794, Col. William Bird, Revolutionary soldier from Pennsylvania, and Benjamin A. Hamp bought several thousand acres of land including the shoals, a natural site for a dam, where they built the mill.  The race was made by alternately burning pine logs on the granite and pouring cold water over it so the stone would split off.  Hamp soon sold his share in "Bird & Hamp" to Col. Bird.  After Col. Bird's death in 1812, his heirs sold the property to Thomas Cheely, who built a grist mill for grinding wheat and corn.  This, with the woolen mill, was burned by Sherman's forces in 1864.  In later years there have been grist mills and ginneries at the site operated by the Coleman family who own most of the original Bird property.

"Aviary," the home of Col. Bird and his wife, Caroline Dalton Bird, with its family cemetery where both are buried, was on the hill overlooking the dam.  Amond their descendants were William Lowndes Yancey, "Orator of Secession," and Benjamin Yancey, Jr., minister to Argentina under President Buchanan.

Photo: Chris Beall  May 2003

A fifth historical marker, Cheely-Coleman House (GHM 149-3) at Shoals on GA 123, appears on some lists, however a field visit in 2003 did not uncover such a marker. The actual Cheely-Coleman house appears to be in neighboring Hancock County, on the west side of the Ogeechee river and on the north side of GA 123. It is possible that the house was once visible from the river bridge and that the marker was at the Warren County end of the bridge. Perhaps you can find it. Information on the Cheely-Coleman house can be found at the following link: 1976 entry into National Historic Register

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