Monday, April 24, 2006

Marching Thorugh Georgia

Well this past weekend, we went to just west of Newnan Ga (between Atlanta and the Alabama line) to hear a memorial service by the SAR and the DAR to honor a relutionary ancestor of my wife. We were of course the only folks there from SC - although the guy from New Jersey did drive further - much further!
On the long drive back, we stoped by various historic sites closed due to blue laws - and then we get the idea of driving to Hart County Ga to the cemetary where the ancestor's wife is presumbly burried. Apparently, they took 1-85 from one side of Georgia to the other. With that idea, I immediately checked the internet and saw that the Canon Ga UU church was not having a service that Sunday, but since we would be driving nearby, we opted to drive past - for photo ops (pics when i get them developed, which seems to be only a yearly occasion).
I knew Canon Ga was going to be small, but i didnt know it was going to be that small! Now, Outlaw's Bridge NC Universalist Church is 1/4 of the town, and Red Hill Universalist Church, NC is out in the country, so it shouldnt have been that surprising - but it was.
the town consists of 5 churches, two streetfulls of buildings behind them (one of the churches being a storefront in the block), most of the stores looking closed - hey, there are bluelaws in Georgia, otherwise i'd know if any were open. there is a seemingly empty church beside the U church from the same blueprint (no name on their sign - my wife thinks it might be the Baptist who moved next door). The UUs do have a fellowship hall on the otherside of the building, across a side street - and a nice granite table behind the church for the usual southern outdoor picnics....
My wife saw the setting and said "what a nice place for an Universalist Convocation" - of course with fancy hotels just a ways down on the lake, it could be.....
Back home, my wife does a quick check to see if she is related to any of the Universalist Bowers - and while she has Bowers in her family (from Bowersville!), she doesnt see any blood kinship - but the family names are familiar - even J. M. Bowers mother has a good former Quaker name, that my wife is related too.... but since she is related to virtually everybody in the three counties there, and up and down the river, I suspect we will discover it somewhere.....
So we can halfway claim kinship to the church there.
Just like Im related to most of the folks at Outlaw's Bridge....

Oh despite the southern tradition of "who's your daddy", neither of us are in the DAR, SAR, SCV, Colonial Dames, etc etc, we could join of course..... ;-)

4 comments:

boyinthebands said...

Yes, the white clapboard church building next to the Universalist church was the old Baptist church, now in bigger digs. What's now the Universalist fellowship hall was the ladies' garden club. When they disbanded, the club gave the Baptists, Methodists, and Universalists equal shares and the Universalists bought out the other two.

Canon is actually a hot bed of commercial liberalism: a "wet" city (pop. 810) in a very dry area. The (relative) liberalism has been attributed to the Universalists, one of who estabished the town on the railroad that runs behind the churches.

Note, the town was originally to be called West Bowersville, but I believe the name is from Cannon's Meeting House, a nearby early Methodist church

SC Universalist said...

Thanks Scott! These wet Universalists would be pre-Prohibition or post? A little different to be a southern wet universalist.
I note my 1855 SC map included Bowersville - with a road heading from there to Anderson, SC. So now i have to back up and re-read Kim's quotes to see if we can tell if Allen Fuller made it nearby....

boyinthebands said...

Bowersville (proper) still exists and is about three miles closer to South Carolina. Its United Methodist church and Canon's are (or were as late as 2000) two parts of the North Georgia Conference's only four part charge, to give you a sense of the area's remoteness.

Canon's Methodists -- across the street/Highway 17 -- would begin worship a half hour before us. I would toll the church bell to get the dears into the pews. As it happens, this would co-incide with the Methodist prayer time. One day I drove to Canon on one of our many not-meeting Sunday and worshipped with them, since I knew my parishoners sometimes went there. (Heck: they're all distantly related.) A lay-led service of hymns and "Our Daily Bread" if memory serves. In the chat afterwards, I was horrified to think I was disturbing them, but it turns out the low din filtering throught the Methodist's church was interpreted as heavenly and lovely.

SC Universalist said...

We drove through Bowersville, taking the loop around the tracks, as we knew the cemetary we were looking for was somewhere on Ga 77, and we wanted to start near Hartwell and work our way north toward I-85. I therefore assume we went to the 3rd of the 4 Methodist Churches, this being Providence - which my wife's ancestor was one of the founders, back in the early 1800s.
Apparently Cherokees in the Shoal Creek area attended there as well in those days.
We'll be back there (2-3 different family reunions held somewhere nearby), any other spot for tourists ? besides the lake that is....

(and folks, can you tell, i stop at churches and cemetaries?)