Sunday, January 24, 2010

Starrsville, GA

Starrsville, GA
[Newton County]
Population: unknown

Starrsville was settled in 1821 by the Starr and Epps families. By 1830, the farming community had a church and a general store followed by a post office in 1836 which was in operation until 1976. In the 1890s, the railroad arrived in Starrsville (in the above photo, the tracks are running just behind the photographer), and the area around the depot became known as New Starrsville. The old store building seen here was built with bricks made at the Anderson brick yard on the nearby Alcovy River.

Starrsville was named in honor of Silas H. Starr (November 7, 1782 - December 18, 1857), a popular state legislator. Silas H. Starr married Elizabeth Kain in 1802, and their daugther Mary's husband, George W. Leak operated the general store.

Talmo, GA

Talmo, GA
(Jackson County)
Population: 477

Founded in 1840, Talmo started as a small community located between Gainesville (Hall County) and Jefferson (Jackson County). It did not grow much in the first 25 yearsand consisted only of a few houses; during the Civil War, its small population was decimated by deaths leaving a lot of women as widows. After the war, Rev. W.H. Bridges arrived on the scene and built log school house which also functioned as a church. Talmo began to grow again in the early 1900’s with the arrival of the Gainesville Midland Railroad line; the Talmo residents built a depot at their own expense and labor, and as new stores were added, the railroad made Talmo a regular stop.

In the height of the cotton era, Talmo was recognized for its short staple cotton (curly fiber), said to be the finest in the world and known in the cotton industry as “Talmo Cotton” or “Gold Cotton”. Talmo cotton brought great prices on the cotton market until the region was hit in 1919 by the boll weevil which wreaked havoc all across the South and threw it into an economic crisis marked by unemployment and bankruptcies. While cotton tried to make a comeback in the mid-1920s, the Great Depression kept the profits low and poultry, cattle and other crops began gaining importance.

Talmo was incorporated on August 9, 1920. The origin of Talmo’s name is derived from the Creek Indian word Talomeco, which means “Home of the Chief Tallassee.”