Page 1


The Thronateeska Heritage Foundation and the publisher would like to express our gratitude to the following companies and organizations for their leadership in the development of this book to celebrate Albany’s first 175 years.

1836-2011

We would also like to express our gratitude to the following companies and organizations that took time to meet with us and tell us their individual stories. The stories of the companies and organizations in color type are included in Part Two.

Pre-World War II 1836 City of Albany • 1851 Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church • 1875 First Baptist Church of Leesburg • 1880 Kimbrell-Stern • 1881 The Albany Herald • 1890 Worth County School District • 1891 First United Methodist Church • 1900 Baker County School District • Terrell County Board of Education • 1901 Gerdau Ameristeel • 1903 Albany State University • 1909 YMCA • 1910 Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and The Albany Welcome Center • 1911 Bank of Dawson • Covington Planter Co. • Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital • 1912 The Water, Gas, and Light Commission • 1918 Mauldin & Jenkins • 1919 Fiat Products (Crane Plumbing) • 1924 Lincoln of Albany • 1927 Buffalo Rock Co. • 1930 Consolidated Loan Company • 1933 Credit Bureau of SWGA • 1937 Engineering and Equipment Company • 1941 Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 72 • Huggins Outboard, Inc.

World War II – 1969 1942 The State Theatre • 1945 B&B Rental Agency • Georgia Power Company • St. Teresa’s School • 1948 SASCO Chemical Group • Sunnyland Farms • Watson Spence • 1949 Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. • Mathews Funeral Home • Albany Air Conditioning and Heating Company • AAA Concrete Products/Roto Rooter • 1951 Dougherty County Schools • 1952 Marine Corps Logistics Base • Bishop Clean Care •


Darsey Oil Company • The Veranda • 1953 Merry Acres • HeritageBank of the South • 1954 Hambric Welding, Inc. • WALB-TV • 1955 Mertz, Inc. • Sherwood Baptist Church • 1957 Easter Seals Southern Georgia • 1958 All American Fun Park • 1959 DOCO Regional Federal Credit Union • Thronateeska Heritage Foundation • Walden & Kirkland, Inc. • 1960 Albany Auto Service, Inc. • Quail Country Plantation • 1961 Albany Tech • Gas Up, Inc. • 1962 F&W Forestry • Tanner-Deen Motors • 1963 Albany ARC • Brown, Milling & Peanut Co. • Albany Symphony Orchestra • 1964 Ed’s Truck Stop • Deerfield-Windsor School • 1965 Safe Aire Heating & Cooling Co., Inc. • 1966 Preferred EMS • Albany Elevator Service, Inc. • Darton College • Dr. Charles Gillespie • SOWEGA Council on Aging • 1967 Alithicon Lubricants • 1968 Columbus Home Furnishings • 1969 The Carriage Trade, Inc. • J.L Malone and Associates, Inc.

1970 – Today 1970 Terrell Academy • 1971 Adams Exterminators, Inc. • Palmyra Medical Center (now Phoebe North Hospital) • 1972 Security Bank & Trust Co. • 1973 DJ’s II Carwash and Quick Lube, Inc. • 1974 Bill Thompson Tire Service, Inc. • Girls Inc. of Albany • ChemNut • 1975 Dawson Motor Co. • Yielding, Wakeford, and McGee Architects, PC • 1976 Pressley’s Electric Service, Inc. • Draffin & Tucker CPA Firm • Albany Mall • 1977 TransPower • 1978 Albany Land Co., Inc. • LRA Constructors, Inc • 1979 Albany Auto Trim, Inc. • Albany Area Primary Health Care, Inc. • Englewood Health Systems, Inc. • MillerCoors • The Parks at Chehaw • 1982 Albany Winnelson Co. • Friedman’s Clothing • 1983 Albany Electric Company • Shellhaas Equipment Company, Inc. • 1984 Atlas Fence Co. • 1986 Flint River Habitat for Humanity • Sellers Tile Distributors, Inc. • SRJ Architects/ SRJ Engineering • 1987 Keep Albany Beautiful • Kosola & Associates • 1988 Artesian Contracting Co. • 1989 South Georgia Brick Co. • 1990 Medical Associates of Albany • 1991 Children’s Medical Services • 1992 Coats & Clarks • 1993 Perrine State Farm • 1994 Poultry Housekeeping Service, Inc. • 1995 Sun Trust Bank • 1996 Brooks Real Estate Management Co. • 1998 Alltech Service Co. • Frontier Wax Co. • 1999 Securitas Security • Albany Bank and Trust • 2000 Safe Security, Inc. • Trumpet of God Ministries & Training Center • 2001 Mars Snackfoods • 2002 Flint Equipment Holdings • 2005 Crown Networking Consultants, Inc. • 2006 Lily Pad • 2008 Murphy Auto Group of Albany, Inc. • Enco Material of Georgia • 2009 SB&T Bank • 2010 Albany-Dougherty EDC


4 ď ś ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow


Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow Edited by K.K. SNYDER with Introduction by O. VICTOR MILLER Featuring the photography of TODD STONE Corporate profiles by CRISTIN KIRBO Sponsored by THRONATEESKA HERITAGE FOUNDATION Ronald P. Beers, Publisher Editor: Jennifer S. Kornegay Designer: Scott Fuller Associate Designer: Kevin Criswell Managing Editor: Erin R. Mohajerin Marketing Coordinator: Catherine Goodwin

Ronald P. Beers, President Terry A. Beers, Vice President Beers and Associates, L.L.C. 8650 Minnie Brown Road, Suite 120 Montgomery, AL 36117 Š2012 Beers & Associates, L.L.C. All Rights Reserved Published 2012 First Edition ISBN: 978-0-9796601-6-0 Library of Congress Control Number 2011943652 Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information herein. However, the authors and Beers & Associates are not responsible for any errors or omissions that might have occurred. Printed in the USA


6 ď ś AL ALBANY LBA BANY NY - Ye NY Yesterday, Yest ster erda day, y, Today TTod oday ay & TTom Tomorrow omor orro roww

Albany’s historic Bridge House was first constructed in 1858. Engineered by Albany founder Nelson Tift and master bridge builder and ex-slave Horace King, its original function was to collect tolls as folks crossed the bridge, the first of its kind to span the Flint River in South Georgia. After it was no longer needed as a toll house, the building housed a theatre, a carriage house, and as seen in this photo ca. 1940, Keenan Auto Parts Co. and Albany Sheet Metal Works.

Table of Contents Part One . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

10

Yesterday and Today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

14

Tomorrow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

Part Two . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

106

Pre-World War II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

108

World War II to 1969 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

126

1970 to Today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

146


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  7

Today, the Bridge House is home to Albany’s Welcome Center, serving Southwest Georgia as the only regional welcome center. With an average of 20,000 visitors a year, the center is one of only four in the state to be Georgia Convention and Visitors Bureau Gold Certified. To read more, see the Albany Welcome Center story on page 121.

Acknowledgements Special thanks to the following individuals and organizations that provided information, materials, assistance, photos and encouragement to create this book. Thirty years ago this summer, my family moved to Albany from Germany, courtesy of Uncle Sam and my father’s military career. After moving every few years from base to base, finally being able to settle in and put down some roots was a welcome change. Today, I remain thankful for a community that accepted the newcomers, adopted our family and made us feel welcome. I wasn’t born in the South, but I got here as quickly as I could. And I can’t imagine being anywhere else. — K.K Snyder Many thanks to the business leaders of the Albany community who have dedicated years of service and sharp business minds to the economic development of this region. I enjoyed learning your stories, appreciating your sacrifices and inking your voice for generations to see. My deepest appreciation goes to mentor and friend, K.K. Snyder, for the opportunity to do what I have always loved. — Cristin Kirbo After 30 years as a professional photographer and after having my work featured in countless publications, I find myself writing my very first acknowledgment. I guess it’s about time. I’d like to thank: Herb Pilcher, who gave me many photography lessons without knowing it. His work still inspires me, and I still want to be like him when I grow up.

The incredibly talented graphic designers who have made my photos look their best in print. Marilyn Nobles, Cathy Cowdrey, Lynn Rowe, Jenny Bode and Adrienne Leigh among many others have made my work shine. My wife Cindy who has blessed me with Jason and Sarah and has extended to me much more love and grace than I could ever deserve. Cindy, you are the very best part of these 30 years. Jason and Sarah, you have added so much to our lives. Mark, Troy, Michael, Ray and Mike who have helped keep me grounded and reminded me that it’s really not about me. Ron Beers, Erin Mohajerin and the kind folks at Thronateeska who gave me the opportunity to be a small part of this great project. My loving and merciful Savior, Jesus Christ, who has blessed me with an incredibly abundant life. I am blessed indeed. — Todd Stone Beers & Associates would like to give special thanks to the writers O. Victor Miller, Cristin Kirbo and K.K. Snyder for collaborating with us on this project; to Todd Stone for his unique vision; to our participants for allowing us to share their stories; and to the Thronateeska Heritage Foundation for giving us the opportunity. Thanks in particular goes to Tommy Gregors, Cheryl Jones, Cathy Flohre, Jahleseya Goodhall, Nicolas Carter and the rest of the staff at The Thronateeska Heritage Foundation. — Beers & Associates


8 ď ś ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

The Hall family, including (left to right) Robert, Joe Hill, Hattie and Thomas Hall; Susan Tift Hall and Nelson F. Tift; Glen and Sam Owens.


Foreword History needs distance, perspective. Facts and events which are too well attested cease, in some sort, to be malleable. — Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)

I

n the South, roots run deep. My family has been in this area for at least seven generations, probably more. I was in my mid-20s before I boarded an airplane and saw something outside of Southwest Georgia. I gained a new perspective and saw there was something bigger than home. And the more I traveled the more I recognized upon my return the unique characteristics of home that I could see drifting beneath me as the plane got closer to Albany. There was a difference in the air, the trees, the landscape. Pines, oaks, fields and swamps — all were markers welcoming me back home. As we get older, certain things become more precious to us, like our history and our heritage and our family ties. Newer generations don’t know old Albany. We’ve experienced things our children will never experience, and they in return will have experiences we could never imagine. Much of our connection to history, especially when we have a first-person connection, is often not talked about enough. Painful aspects of it become so personal and real that we’re often unwilling to initiate conversations that dredge up the past. Some of us were protected, for good or bad, from certain eras of our local history. Our history and heritage don’t always form who we are; sometimes we choose to take another path. Folks aren’t as easily stereotyped these days as in years past. Our history must be shared with younger generations lest they become lost forever. We talk about World War I in purely historical terms because there is no one left who experienced it first hand to talk to about it. World War II is quickly following suit. I can remember D-Day celebrations and Armistice Day parades when I was younger, events that brought people together with the common interest of celebrating and preserving pieces of our history. We’re missing much of that these days. Napoleon Bonaparte said, “A historian ought to be exact, sincere, and impartial; free from passion, unbiased by interest, fear, resentment, or affection; and faithful to the truth, which is the mother of history, the preserver of great actions, the enemy of oblivion, the witness of the past, the director of the future.” That’s why it’s so important for us to keep our local history real and maintain objectivity about defining events. At Thronateeska, we’ve tried to record that history and present those stories in an unbiased way, allowing individuals to interpret the historical facts as they will. Many of us share similar experiences. Some of our stories intersect with those of others in the community and some do not. We hope this book will allow you to pause and reflect on the people, places and events that have made Dougherty County and Albany what they are today. One perspective of home is presented in the upcoming introduction to this book by native son, O. Victor Miller, 70. Much like Albany itself, Miller grew up on the banks of the Flint River. His vast memories of Radium Springs and family and friends are what have kept him returning to Albany from all corners of the earth. We imagine most of you will find some connection to his story and perhaps remember a piece of your own tale long forgotten. Tommy Gregors Gregors, Executive Director Thronateeska Heritage Center


10 ď ś ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow


Part One

1955


12 ď ś ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow ď ś 13


14  ALBA ALBANY BANY NYY - Ye Yesterday, Yest ster erda er day, day da y, Today Tod oday ay & TTom Tomorrow om mor orro row

Yesterday& Today A RIVER LEGACY

here can be no settlement until nomadic women like a place enough to bear and nourish offspring. Thus we reckon through Paleolithic litter that Clovis nomads paused on our riverbank 12,000 years ago. There was no better place to stop — no better place on earth for pure and living water, for aquifers, plentiful and pure, artesian springs recharged by verdant wetlands. These river banks reveal that the Flint is where our ancient history is. Tribes were matriarchal as was the South that nurtured me, where black and white monarchs were known to trump Jim Crow’s unequal

T

laws with love to keep a young man honest who would kiss the girls. The clearest words I recollect from my Albany childhood home on the Flint riverbank one bend upstream from Radium Springs are Tillie’s, the black saint responsible for my and Sister’s care. She’d usher us into the yard and say, “And don’t y’all go nowhere near that river.” I don’t remember Tillie having much trouble with Sister — about the river. But the fetch of it for me became obsession. I lived to wonder what lay beneath


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow ď ś 15

ABOVE: This

photo of the Broad Street Bridge was taken around the turn of the 20th century and features a warning to all who crossed over the bridge.

LEFT: This iron bridge on Broad immediately preceded the current bridge. Note the dirt road leading up to the iron bridge with wooden sides, pedestrian walkways and planks for crossing over with horse and buggy. The Flint River is visible in the bottom right corner.

BELOW : Today, the Broad Street Bridge remains closed following an inspection that deemed it unsafe. The bridge is flanked by Turtle Grove Park on the north side and the Ray Charles Plaza to the south.


16 ď ś ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Taken in the 1930s, this postcard image of the Memorial Bridge that crosses the Flint River on Broad includes a shot of the railroad trestle in the background. Constructed in 1920, the Memorial Bridge was dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives in WWI. Today, the Memorial Bridge is scheduled for demolition. The City of Albany plans to reconstruct the multi-million dollar bridge in the near future.


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  17

its moody progress from south Atlanta down to the Apalachicola River and the Gulf of Mexico. In 1958, mother shelled out $50 for a new U.S. Divers SCUBA tank, a rare gadget this far inland. “I told y’all you gon’ end up on the bottom of that river,” Tillie said. “That’s where the devil stay you always looking for.” One afternoon in 1960, my senior year of high school, Jerry Lindsey, “Moose” Fountain and I, conscripted by the fire department, recovered two dead skin-divers from Radium Cave. The body I found lay in a domed anteroom to larger caverns, just past the narrow fissure later named Fat Man’s Misery. The corpse, doubled over his waning lantern, was illuminated eerily from below against the outer dark. He rocked gently as in weightless prayer, lime-lighting the disturbing fact that writhing green eels about a yard long covered him comprehensively, as if weaving him into a roiling cocoon. One gigantic eel skirted the edge of artificial twilight alone. It was longer than a Cadillac, fat as a telephone pole. The pulsing current I’d crawled hand and knee against to get inside the labyrinthine cave propelled me awkwardly back into the sunlit boil with my grim baggage. I ascended the 30-foot crater from the

mouth of the cave through the expanding bubbles of compressed air into the vacillating reflection of the grand, white- columned Radium Casino my dear Great Uncle Thad, beloved scallywag, built in 1927 to lure Florida-bound tourists to these sacred springs. Nothing in my little span of seven decades would ever haunt me more than that assent from the black bowels of Radium Cave back into the upper world. (continued on page 22) ABOVE: Henry

Gortatowsky and John Joe West are among the gentlemen in front of A. W. Muse and Company, a cotton warehouse located at the corner of Broad and Front streets.

BELOW : Just across from Turtle Park, the building at Broad and Front is now utilized by the owner of Riverfront Bar-B-Q.


18 8 ď ś AL AALBANY BAANYY - Ye Yesterday, Yest sstter e da day, y, Today y, Tod o ay a & TTom Tomorrow om mor orro roow

ABOVE: Always a bustling business section of downtown, the 100 block of Broad Avenue was home to J&J Furniture, Holman Mule Barn, Crest Stores, Albany Lincoln Mercury and U-Save-It among others.

BELOW : Today, some of the smaller buildings remain in this block of Broad (facing east). Riverfront Bar-B-Q is at the end of this block.


ALBANY ALBA AL BANY NYY - Ye Yesterday, Yest ster erda day, y, Today TTod oday ay & TTom Tomorrow omor orro roww ď ś 19 9

ABOVE: Crowds gather to watch the Albany Fire Department in action on the corner of Broad and Washington in this 1930s era photo.

BELOW : Today, some of the building facades have changed, but the corner of Broad and Washington remains a hub of activity in downtown Albany.


2 0 ď ś AAL 20 ALBANY LBANY BAANY NY - Ye YYesterday, est stter erda erda er day, y, Today Tod oday ay & TTomorrow om omor mor orro rw


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow ď ś 21

PROFILE IN LEADERSHIP

The Veranda Celebrating their 60 year anniversary in 2012, the medical practices at The Veranda have been at the forefront of serving the health needs of Albany and surrounding communities. What began as a single-physician obstetrics and gynecology practice has grown into a multi-specialty medical facility serving not only women but their families as well. FULL STORY PAGE 130

LEFT: Albany residents turned out in droves for the Armed Forces Day Parade each year, shown here proceeding east on Broad Avenue.

BELOW : This stretch of Broad Avenue is still the popular gathering spot for downtown festivities and parades.


22 2  AL ALBANY LBA BANYY - Ye YYesterday, Yest est steerrda day, day, y, Today Tod oday ay & TTom Tomorrow o oorrroow om

The cavern eels were born of their parents’ fatal spawn in the winding currents of the Sargasso Sea, kith and kin to those we’d gigged at night from stolen rowboats paddled with brooms, eels we sometimes coaxed Tillie to fry and serve with grits. The giant I’d seen in Fat Man’s Misery was a female aberration that never migrated around the cape of Florida to spawn and die. She just stayed home in Radium Cave and grew large enough to terrify me through the other side of puberty. Landlocked between Jim Woodruff Dam at Bainbridge and Albany’s Georgia Power Dam, were mullet, shad and other migratory fish. Striped bass of 50 pounds circled the spring behind my home, finding refuge from summer heat and winter cold. With my new “aqua lung,” we weighted ourselves with lead and sat on the river bottom watching while they circled like pale ghosts until the chill drove us shivering up the riverbank.

ABOVE:

Located at the corner of Broad and Washington, the three-story building housing Albany Drug Co. was a gathering place for many.

RIGHT: The

original buildings are long gone, replaced by lower profile structures.

On other days, we glided flumes and runs and channels where geologic history had etched its murals into the limestone bedrock from an ancient shallow sea that lapped against the Piedmont foothills. In sepia shadow we found ribs of ancient whales and blackened teeth of sharks that cruised above our county 150 million years ago. We discovered tools and blades of Paleolithic hunters that stalked the ancient pachyderms, dire wolves, gigantic sloth and armadillo. We scavenged artifacts of empires that rose and fell 2,000 years on either side of Christ. We sounded catfish holes for banner stones, flint tools, projectile points and the drowned remains of lost fishermen. Beneath the Bridge House pilings and from rushing channels dredged for paddleboat and barge, we catalogued the artifacts of written history. Stirred into the sand and silt of timeless rubble were Spanish beads


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow ď ś 23

ABOVE: This view west along Broad Street shows the trolley car system that used to operate on dirt street rails downtown. The 200 block of Broad was home to many memorable businesses such as the Geiger and Breitenbach store, Lonsberg’s Book and Music House, and C.M. Shivers Drug Co.

BELOW : The trolley cars along Broad Avenue are long gone; a median of planted palm trees stands where the rails used to run.


24 ď ś ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

LEFT: These

images show the same intersection of Broad and Washington from the previous page. Shown here in an image from the turn of the last century is a bustling stretch of businesses along Broad.

BELOW : Workers balance on the lines while others raise a telephone pole in front of Sale Drug Co. on the corner of Broad and Washington in downtown Albany in this photo from around 1910.


ALBANY ALBA AL BANYY - Ye BANY BA YYesterday, stter erda day, da y Today y, TTod oday od dayy & TTomorrow om omor mor orroow ď ś 25 5

and musket balls, glazed earthenware and antique bottles. We found rings tossed from bridges by forsaken brides, revolvers thickened red with rust, and knives crusted with murder. Among the historic jetsam of Albany were dolls, knickknacks, stoneware dishes, fire tools from locomotives, stolen bicycles thrown off railroad trestles and brass tokens from saving banks the Depression sucked under. We meandered through channels dredged by Nelson Tift to float his cotton from the Bridge House to the port of Apalachicola and up the Mississippi to the nation and around the cape of Florida above the trackless path of migratory eels into the Atlantic and across the world. We entered steamboat ribs and plundered cotton barges. We found a Model T that had tumbled off a ferry south of town. I love this place enough to leave it every chance I get. I’ve run away from home, abandoned wives and

ABOVE:

Located on Broad Avenue, the First National Bank building served as the location for a number of other businesses following the relocation of the bank. Prisant Brothers Department Store was located next to the bank.

BELOW : The previous bank and department store buildings were demolished, and today the space is part of the C.B. King U.S. Federal Courthouse property on Broad.


26 ď ś ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

ABOVE: Citizens First National Bank ranked prominently in this early photo of Broad Street, looking east.

BELOW : Broad Street remains a viable section of downtown Albany, with the prominent Citizens First National Bank building now home to the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.


ALBANYY - Ye YYesterday, ster st erda er d y, Todayy & Tomorrow  27 27

ABOVE:

Automobiles are lined up along the busy 200 block of Broad Street in downtown Albany in this 1942 image. The block was home to Mayfair Jewelers, the Jo-Ellen Shop and Owens Sporting Goods.

LEFT: This stretch of Broad is still home to a number of businesses. Today, a median with planted palm trees divides the street.

friends and children, rushed off to idiotic wars, gone to jail in some exotic places, but I’ve never stammered when asked where I’m from, and I’ve returned enough to know exactly where home is and how to get me there. Home’s where they have to take me in from shipwreck, deportation and release from third-world jails. It’s where we run away from and return alive or dead from war. It’s where we’d raise our children if we could and where town drunks and village idiots are next of kin. Where everybody knows what all you’ve done, still keeping up the hope you’ll someday come to good. What an epic gloom enveloped me last June, a native son of 70 years whose pores, cells and sinews had been nourished in the artesian sky blue waters

of Radium Springs, to see the soul and center of my youth gone dry. I walked the desiccated creek from the dam my uncle built from fossil rock, where no turquoise water splashed its lace into the whiskey colored Flint. Where wild turkeys roosted my whole life, now sooty buzzards hunkered down on naked limbs as crows pecked skeletons of carp. Where bright wood ducks once exploded into morning air trailing diamonds, I found a creek bed baked and littered with scaly carcasses and turtle shells. Parched clam and river mussel shells open and poised as if for flight on iridescent wings into a fetid desultory breeze that sizzled up a cracked creek bed and moaned a dirge to childhood and renewal.


28  AL ALBANY ALBA BANY BA NYY - Ye Yesterday, Yest sterday, st y Today Tod oday & Tom Tomorrow mor orroow

ABOVE: Built in 1886, the Sale Davis Opera House — later called Rollins Opera House — was located in the 200 block of Broad Avenue. It was replaced by the Liberty Theater building in 1919.

BELOW : The corner remains a vacant lot today, the space often utilized during big events and festivals in downtown Albany.

I walked the dry gulch of creek to the stagnant boil. The sacred fountainhead that gushed a thousand gallons of pure water every second of my youth was transformed into a foul crater of green water opaque as motor oil. This was our city’s swimming hole before there was a city. This was where we dove like otters for silver dollars Shriners chunked and foraged dimes from deep sand tinted blue. This was the wellspring of our scavenged treasures recovered from hurried swimmers crossing hypothermic canyons. We found the teeth of mastodons wounded by Paleolithic forebears milinea ago and hoarded shards of pottery fired before the birth of Christ. The pool where we gathered daily with ghosts of prehistoric peers to measure dregs of fleeting summer had become a stew of bloated fishes. The fountain of my generation’s youth, where pristine water promised hope and tempered adolescent blood and cooled us through hottest nights before conditioned air. I felt for the first time since emerging from the inky dark with my cadaverous twin the apocalyptic and official dead end of childhood. No other place defined our youth in Albany like Radium, the turf where we rivaled Turner airmen for the local girls, the


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow ď ś 29

LEFT: This old postcard features a view of the Flint River and Oglethorpe Bridge, as well as a shot of downtown Albany on Broad, including the Liberty Theatre on the right.

Today, the bridge on Oglethorpe (BOTTOM) is the only passageway over the Flint River in downtown, as the Memorial Bridge was

closed for safety reasons. The landscape on Oglethorpe (TOP) looks much the same today.


30  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

ABOVE:

Members of this military marching band pass in front of Liberty Theater in the 200 block of Broad in this 1950s photo.

LEFT: Today, the intersection of Broad and Jackson looks quite different. Although the Liberty Theatre was demolished many years ago, the space continues to be used for outdoor events in downtown Albany.

place we learned to dance and swim and spawn and kiss and love beneath the dance pavilion. Never would another generation see this vanished lake alive again with pretty girls in yellow bathing suits or hear the bass thump carried down the creek from the pavilion jukebox or feel the grand casino sway beneath the wild kinetics of a Cotton Ball or Junior-Senior Prom. There’s no history of my town for me aside from water. Our best kept legacy is our reverence for place, the longing to return from foxhole, foreign jail or storms

at sea. Home’s where our people are, the graves, bone shards and ashes of our parents. The place we run away from, bless and curse, return alive or dead from war, or get too broke for any other town to take us in. Where will our children find the unspoiled hallowed places? Where will they listen to the holy hush and breath of summer breezes through lacy leaves of bone white sycamores? Or behold the calico of cypress in darkest evergreen? What will they think of us who squandered to desiccation the living pulse of Georgia’s largest artesian spring? What can they even guess of harmony and balance in microcosm of the holy heritage we ignored and lost before they had a chance to see it? They who loved the river have belonged in the Good Life City and will beyond those who’d waste


ALBANYY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow ď ś 31

and squander it past revival. Our precious water has fetched humans to these banks for as long as there were humans on this continent, long before the history sung around ancient campfires was corrupted by the written word with all its loopholes, lies and empty promises. These banks have known epic deluge, drought, disease and famine. They have seen catastrophic storms, wars, skirmishes, massacres and native people banished to the Everglades and driven west to live on lizards. These banks have seen human misery imposed by slavery, have suffered greed of scallywags and carpetbaggers and the tyranny of Jim Crow. Few pilgrims came to Albany for the common good and most were better served by gallows than statuary, but the precious few who

ABOVE:

Located at 416 Broad Avenue, the grand two-story Dave Brown House featured a mansard roof and was built around 1900.

BELOW : The

same home today remains in the Farkas family.


32 ď ś ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

LEFT: This

federal building, at the corner of Jefferson and Broad, was completed in 1911 for use as the post office.

BELOW : Today, the building is still used as a post office, though the federal court moved in 2000 from the upper floor of the building to the C.B. King U.S. Federal Courthouse built at Broad and Washington.


ALBANY AL LBA BANY NYY - Ye Yesterday, Yester erda day, Today Tod oday ay & TTom Tomorrow omor orro or roww  33 ro

ABOVE: This

photo of the 400 block of Broad (looking west) portrays the stately R.L. Jones home, later demolished to make way for the construction of National Bank of Albany. LEFT: The former location of the R.L. Jones home is today a parking lot for Suntrust Bank on Broad Avenue.

stayed to feed the cow they milked became our city fathers, who learned to love this frontier town beyond the reasons that they came. We haven’t altogether lost the spirit of this river town. These sacred fountains can be coaxed alive again by thoughtful stewardship and brought back to the bounty that first matriarch found and what the tribal chiefs and holy men and city fathers knew: That on these banks there will always underlie a common love of place beyond immoral law and selfish exploitation. The river fetched us to its banks and keeps our better angels here. The town will prosper only when artesian water surges mightily again from subterranean labyrinths and lightless lakes

beneath a mighty river flowing clear and free. Our human souls are woven warp and woof into the continuous tapestry of Creation. There’ll always be the sacred and historic Flint for youthful progeny to feel the hiss and tug of whirlpools, eddies, rapids, runs and choppy riffles and to learn their sinuous harmony in the ironic spawn of eels. Where humans sang an oral history older than the Bible, our young must hear the vespers whispered through autumn leaves and suck pure and living river water up their noses, secure in the faith that their children’s grandchildren may still wonder what mysteries tumble yet along the bedrock bottom. By O. Victor Miller


34 ď ś ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

ABOVE AND BELOW : Located at the corner of Pine and Washington, the Woolfolk Building was heavily damaged in the 1940 tornado that struck downtown Albany. The

building housed the Freeman Business School and was one of few structures not rebuilt. Today, it remains a parking lot for Albany Herald employees. (BELOW)


ALBANY AAL LBBAANYY - Ye YYesterday, estteerrda day, y, Today Tod odaayy & TTomorrow omor omor om orrroow ď ś 3 35 5

ABOVE: This

view from the 100 block of Pine Avenue shows heavy damage from the tornado.

LEFT: The 100 block of Pine Avenue today


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LEFT: The Albany Herald staff in 1911, featuring one lone female and a member on a motorbike.

the Albany Herald is located at 126 North Washington Street in the old Rosenberg Brothers Department Store building. The building above now serves as annexes for the Herald.

ABOVE: Today,


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ABOVE: This

1950s-era photo shows a parade of soldiers proceeding down Pine Avenue. Military parades for Armed Forces Day and various other holidays were once a common sight along Pine Avenue and Washington Street. RIGHT: While there are fewer parades on the streets of Albany these days, Pine Avenue is still a bustling street in the downtown area. This location is now home to the Albany Herald and the Dougherty Count School System administration building.


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LEFT: This 1930s postcard depicts Hotel Gordon, a six-story brick structure with a gas station alongside. The hotel was located in the 200 block of Pine Avenue.

BELOW : Still standing today, the building now houses Albany’s Water, Gas & Light.


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The old Lockett Stable was originally located near the courthouse, where Albany’s Water, Gas & Light now stands.


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LEFT: Dougherty County court was first held in rented rooms until the first courthouse was completed, by slave labor, in 1856. This courthouse was replaced in 1903 with a two-story neoclassical style building. In 1940 the courthouse suffered considerable damage in the February 10th tornado. After being rebuilt the courthouse was in service until 1966 when it was destroyed by fire while waiting to be demolished.

BELOW : In 1968, the City of Albany and Dougherty County built a shared government building and courthouse. By 1990, city and county governments had outgrown the courthouse building. This building became the Albany-Dougherty County Judicial Building and continues to serve as the Dougherty County courthouse.


ALBANY ALBA AL BAANY NY - Ye YYesterday, est s er st e da d y, Today Tod Tod o ayy & Tom TTomorrow omor om o roow  43 or 3

ABOVE:

Circa 1904, the City Hall and Fire Department Headquarters building was constructed on the south side of the 200 block of Pine Avenue. This building and others were razed to make way for the redevelopment of downtown Albany’s central square.

LEFT:

Circa 1930, Albany’s award-winning fire department on display at the Pine Avenue station.

BELOW : In 1993, a new five-story brick AlbanyDougherty County Government Center was built across the street from the 1968 building to house the non-judicial agencies of city and county governments.


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ABOVE: The New Albany Hotel, shown here at the intersection of Jackson and Pine, was an Albany landmark for decades.

BELOW : The street scene certainly has changed, but the New Albany Hotel building is still located on the corner of Jackson and Pine. It is now home to Albany Heights Senior Apartments.


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ABOVE: Once paved with wooden blocks that were later replaced with brick, Pine Street was home to the Confederate Memorial, which stood in the intersection of Pine and Jackson for years.

BELOW : Today, this block of Pine Street is lined with city and county government buildings, Albany Bank & Trust, Albany Heights Apartments and Water, Gas & Light. The Confederate Memorial now resides in Confederate Memorial Park in Lee County.


46 ď ś AL ALBANY ALBA BANY NYY - Ye Yesterday, est s er erda day, da y, Today y, Tod Tod oday ayy & TTomorrow om mor o ro roww

ABOVE:

Located at the corner of Pine and Jackson streets, the three-story New Albany Hotel, with its tower and Empire style annex, was an impressive structure. The Confederate Memorial, which at one time stood in that intersection, is also visible.

LEFT: The

former New Albany Hotel, now named Albany Heights, was renovated in 1998 and transformed into apartments for seniors. (RIGHT)

OPPOSITE, TOP: This stone monument to Albany’s Confederate veterans stood in the intersection of Pine and Jackson for years before being moved to the grounds of the Albany Municipal Auditorium and Oakview Cemetery.

OPPOSITE, BOTTOM: Confederate Memorial Park on Philema Road in Lee County is now home to the monument, which was removed from the intersection of Pine and Jackson many decades ago.


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48 4 8 ď ś AAL ALBANY LBANY BBAANY NY - Ye YYesterday, Yest est ster erday, er day, da y, Today Todday a & TTomorrow om moorrrroow


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  49

PROFILE IN LEADERSHIP

Albany ARC In 1963, one of the largest and most successful private provider agencies in the state of Georgia was founded in Albany with a purpose of advocating on the behalf of persons with disabilities. Albany’s Advocacy Resource Center (ARC) is recognized as Georgia’s standard of consumer-driven, cost-effective services promoting the general welfare of people with disabilities, wherever they may be. FULL STORY PAGE 138

LEFT: Albany was home to the largest Chautauqua auditorium in the state, providing a venue for many cultural events. The Chautauqua Society in Albany was part of a national Chautauqua movement mania in the 1890s. The wooden Chautauqua was demolished in 1916 to make room for the construction of the Albany Municipal Auditorium, which featured such performers as the John Phillip Sousa Band among others. OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM: Built in 1916 to replace the Chatauqua building, the Albany Municipal Auditorium hosted some of the biggest names of the era, including appearances by Sarah Bernhardt and William Jennings Bryan. BELOW : Today, the Albany Municipal Auditorium is home to numerous performances throughout the year, including those by the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Theatre South, and Deerfield-Windsors’ annual spring musical. The auditorium was restored and reopened in the 80s and featured Ray Charles on opening night.


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ABOVE:

S.R. Bolton Sr. transports a massive eight-ton log through downtown Albany on the back of a Red Cypress Lumber Company Truck in this 1927 image.

LEFT: Lumber trucks bearing big loads are gone from this intersection at Pine and Jackson, replaced by modern day cars and the main branch of the Dougherty County Public Library.


AALBANY AL BANY BA NYY - Ye Yesterday, Yest ster st erda er daay, y Today TTod oday od ayy & TTomorrow om morro orroow ď ś 5 or 51 1

ABOVE: This

1920s photo depicts the Southern Bell office, also known as the Stephenson Building, on Pine Avenue.

LEFT: The Stephenson Building now houses the Albany offices of telecommunications company AT&T, which bought Bell South, a later name for Southern Bell telephone company.


5 2  AL 52 AALBANY LBBAANNYY - Ye YYesterday, ester est ster st erddaay, y Today Toodday & TTomorrow om mor orrroow orro

ABOVE: Located at Pine and Jefferson, Albany’s first YMCA facility was a two-story masonry structure and was demolished in 1965.

BELOW : The property was most recently occupied by SB&T. The Albany YMCA is now located on Gillionville Road, having recently celebrated a century in the Albany community.


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LEFT: The original First United Methodist Church, at the corner of Flint and Jackson, is pictured here as it looked in 1904.

BELOW : The former building having been torn down to construct a new chapel, First United Methodist Church has grown to encompass a full city block.


5 4 ď ś AL 54 AALBANY LBA BANY BANY NY - YYe Yesterday, estterda erda er day, ay, y, Today TTod odayy & TTomorrow od oday om moorrroow

ABOVE: The

first brick home constructed in Albany, the Smith House at 521 Flint Avenue, was the residence of Capt. William E. Smith and family. It was built in 1859.

BELOW : Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Smith House serves today as law offices of Joseph Vaknin.


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ABOVE:

Located at the corner of Broad and Washington, the threestory building housing Albany Drug Co. was a gathering place for many.

LEFT: The original buildings are long gone, replaced by lower profile structures. The law enforcement building is visible in the background.


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ABOVE:

Located at the corner of Broad and Washington streets, the four-story Davis Exchange Bank Building was the tallest building in town and once housed the Exchange National Bank. The original building burned in 1919 and was replaced.

LEFT: The current Exchange Building remains one of downtown Albany’s most prominent structures and currently serves as office space.


ALBANY AAL LBA B NYY - Ye Yesterday, est ster erda er day, da y, Today TTod oday od day & TTom Tomorrow om mor orro row ď ś 5 57 7

ABOVE:

Washington Street in downtown Albany has always been a bustling thoroughfare for citizens coming to shop, socialize and conduct business. Here a streetcar can be seen traversing the rails in the dirt road.

LEFT: This old postcard depicts a view north up Washington Street. BELOW : The trolley car rails have long since been paved over, many of the building facades have changed and the prominent steeple of the Mayer and Crine building was removed years ago.


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BELOW : This image shows the 100 block of North Washington, including the Sears building, which was later damaged by the tornado of 1940. Built in 1891, the building originally housed the Hofmayer and Jones wholesale dry goods store. The popular Diana Shops was next to Sears.

Efforts continue to be made to make this section of downtown Albany an active retail, dining and entertainment district. A number of stores, arts venues and other businesses have recently opened in this stretch.

ABOVE:

Located at 117 North Washington, the building that housed the Hofmayer and Jones wholesale dry goods store was built in 1891.

BELOW : Today, the space is occupied by a public parking deck to accommodate employees and visitors in downtown Albany.


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LEFT: This image from around the turn of the 20th century is a view of the Mayer and Crine Building in the 100 block of Washington Street. BELOW : This postcard from 1900 features the Mayer and Crine building with its prominent steeple. The steeple was later damaged and removed after a tornado in the 1940s.

ABOVE: Today,

this block of Washington has changed only slightly in the past 100 years.


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ABOVE: Area residents turned out in droves for parades through downtown Albany throughout the years. Here, riders on horseback turn off Washington onto Pine, clomping across the then-brick streets.

BELOW : This corner of Washington and Pine is now home to offices of the Albany Herald.


ALBANY ALBA AL BANY BA NY - Ye NY Yesterday, Yest ster erda day, y Today y, Tod oday ay & TTomorrow omor om orrro roww ď ś 61

ABOVE: Located at Flint and Washington, St. Nicholas Hotel was later damaged during the 1940 tornado. The parents of trumpeter Harry James were staying here on a stopover in Albany with the circus when he was born.

BELOW : The St. Nicholas was later re-named the Lee Hotel, home of the infamous Joe’s Cellar, where folks could go for drinks, gambling and entertainment. Today, it serves as the Albany Transitional Center.


62  AL ALBANY ALBA B NYY - Ye BA Yesterday, Yest s errdaay, st y Today Tod oday a & TTomorrow ay omor om orro roow

ABOVE: This busy corner of Broad Avenue and Jackson Street was home to a number of local businesses, including Albany Battery Company, W.H. Browne’s Auto Electrician shop and Southwest Maytag Company.

BELOW : Today, the intersection of Broad and Jackson remains a busy downtown thoroughfare.


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  63

ABOVE: The grandeur of the Albany Theatre was a source of pride among residents. Locally filmed movies “The Biscuit Eater” and “Goodbye My Lady” premiered at this facility, built by the Sam Farkas Estate in 1927. Fond memories of dime movies and nickel treats at the Albany Theatre rank highly in the childhoods of many who grew up in Dougherty County and beyond. A bright marquee marked the Jackson Street location of this once-popular hangout.

RIGHT AND FOLLOWING PAGES: The once-grand theatre has fallen into disrepair. However, a new proposal to create residential and business spaces in the Albany Theatre location is currently being considered by the city. Images show the elaborately decorated interior and the Albany Theatre’s prominent marquee.


6 4 ď ś AL 64 ALBANY ALBA LBAANY NY - Yest YYesterday, Ye est ster eerrddaay, y Today Toddayy & TTomorrow omoor om orrroow orro


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6 6  AAL 66 ALBANY LBBAANYY - Ye LBA YYesterday, est est stter erday er day, da y, Today Tooddaayy & TTomorrow omoorrroow om

ABOVE: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Albany’s Carnegie Library is a one-story Greek Revival masonry structure built in 1905 on Jackson Street in downtown. The Carnegie was one of 2,509 libraries funded by Andrew Carnegie between 1883 and 1929.

BELOW : Originally a public library, the Carnegie Library today is home to the Albany Area Arts Council. The library frequently houses art exhibits, art classes, book signings and other community events.


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow ď ś 67

ABOVE: Women

gaze from the front porch of the Sarah Hall house in this 1893 photo. The one-story bungalow was located at the northwest corner of Third and Jackson.

LEFT: This property is today owned by Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and is part of the walking track behind the hospital’s employee fitness center.


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ABOVE: Recognizable by its trademark neon rotating polar bear sign, Arctic Bear was a popular Albany hangout from the 1950s until it closed in the 90s.

BELOW : Although the Arctic Bear closed many years ago, this location still houses a popular eatery. The Arctic Bear sign was donated to the Thronateeska Heritage Center.


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  69

LEFT: Established in Albany in 1851 with 88 communicants, St. Paul’s current home is at Jefferson and Flint in downtown Albany.

BELOW : Over the years, St. Paul’s has been known as a place where all people are welcome to worship or unite with the congregation. St. Paul’s community outreach includes the region’s only AIDS/HIV support ministry.


70  AL ALBANY ALBA BANY NYY - Ye Yesterday, Yest ster erda day, y Today Tod oday ay & TTom Tomorrow omor orro roww

ABOVE: Once the location of Albany’s first public school, The Albany Academy, this site on the corner of Flint and Monroe became the Flint Street Grammar School in 1919.

The land, which was purchased from Col. Nelson Tift, was later used for the school system’s administration building.


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  71

OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM: Located at Society and Monroe, this was Albany’s first high school building and was constructed in 1908. The high school was moved to North Jefferson Street in 1925, and this building became the McIntosh School. It was later demolished and the property used as a school playground.

ABOVE:

Built in 1925 on North Jefferson Street, Albany High School gained recognition in the following decades when its athletes won state championships in baseball and football. AHS moved to its current location on Residence Avenue in 1955. The building is now owned by Phoebe Putney.

LEFT: This intersection is vacant today and serves as a small community park for area residents.

BELOW : Albany High School moved to Residence Avenue in 1955. It now houses the school system’s High Honors Magnet program.


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ALBANY AAL LBA BANY NY - Ye YYesterday, Yest est ster ster erddaay, ayy,, Today Todday ay & TTomorrow oom mor orrroow  73 orro 73

ABOVE: Water

flowed freely beneath the Radium Springs Bridge in this 1930s-era photo. Today, drought has caused this once-prolific spring to suffer, with little or no water passing beneath this bridge for much of the year. LEFT: One of Georgia’s Seven Natural Wonders, Radium Springs was the jewel in Albany’s crown. This photo is a view of the rear of the Radium Springs Casino, which was later demolished following fire and floods.

BELOW : Today, the Radium Gardens open-air structure sits in the exact footprint of the former casino building. The gardens are open to the public and offer a view of the once-bubbling spring.


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ABOVE: Visitors to Radium Springs beat the South Georgia heat by taking a swim in the pool behind the casino. Today, the property is owned by the county, which operates it as Radium Gardens. Swimming is not allowed and ongoing drought has dried up much of the water here.

OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP: This early photo of Radium Springs includes a view of the rustic diving board and outdoor furnishings. Divers had great fun diving from the board into the cold spring water.

OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM: Though the beautiful rock work remains, there is no diving board and no diving or swimming allowed at Radium Springs today. The spring pumps a small fraction of the water it once generated.


AALBANY AL LBA BANNYY - Ye YYesterday, Yest esstteerrda dayy,, Today day Tod odayy & TTomorrow omor omor om orrroow ow ď ś 7 75 5


76  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

THIS PAGE AND FOLLOWING PAGES: The black and white aerial photos were taken by the U.S. Air Force in 1955. They have been paired with aerial photos from 2011 by Todd Stone to show how much Albany has changed through the years. The 1955 aerials were discovered

by Harold T. “Huddy” Hudgens, Jr. who gifted them to the The City of Albany Planning & Development Services, who in turn provided them to the publisher for the purpose of being included in this book. Our sincere thanks to all.


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Tomorrow

The groundbreaking for the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport on Newton Road took place in early 2012 and the project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2013. The demolition of the existing terminal building and the landslide improvements and landscaping should be completed by the end of 2013. The master planning of the airport and the design and construction of the three phases of these improvements for traveler safety and convenience were made possible through the collaborative efforts of the City of Albany, the Albany-Dougherty Aviation Commission, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Georgia Department of Transportation and the special local option sales tax program approved by the citizens of Albany.


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ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow ď ś 103

ABOVE: After being deemed unsafe for use, the historic Memorial Bridge was closed. Despite attempts to rehabilitate and preserve the bridge, the city intends to demolish and replace it with a new structure. Proposals for the project are being reviewed by the city.

LEFT: SOWEGA Council on Aging plans to build a new Senior Center on the old Byne property off Jefferson Street to serve more people and aid in the redevelopment of downtown.


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ABOVE:

Elevation of the new Archives Building and Thronateeska Heritage Center. Construction is planned for 2012.

OPPOSITE PAGE:

Darton College’s new 34,000-square-foot building houses student support services and administrative functions. The B.R. Tilley Academic Services Building was completed in early 2012.

ABOVE AND RIGHT:

Albany State University unveiled its new student center and student housing facilities in 2011.


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow ď ś 105


1 0 6 ď ś AL 106 10 AALBANY LBA BANY NNYY - Ye Yesterday, est ster erdda day, y, Today Tod Tod oday ay & TTomorrow om omor mor orro roow


AALBANY AL LBA BANY NYY - Ye Yesterday, est ster erda d y, da y Today TTood odayy & TTom oday Tomorrow om morrro r w  10 107 07

Part Two

Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company store on North Monroe in the late 1920’s. Mr. McCornell and Melvin Dismukes from left to right.


108 1 10 08 8 ď ś AL ALBANY LBA B NY NY - Yest YYesterday, Ye est ster eerrday, daay, y, Today Tod oday dayy & TTomorrow omorrro om omor roww

Pre-World War II


AALBANY AL BAANYY - Ye Yesterday, Yest ster st erda er day, da y Today y, Tod oday ayy & Tom TTomorrow o or om orro r w  10 ro 109 9

“No hill too steep, no sand too deep” was the slogan of Jackson Automobile Co.


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T H E CIT Y OF A LB A N Y

A

lbany was established 175 years ago as a center for the selling and exporting of cotton. When a group of investors from Hawkinsville came up with a plan to help local farmers market the cotton that would become the South’s principal cash crop, they chose to build a community on the west bank of the Flint River, whose waters eventually reach the Gulf of Mexico. To make their plan a reality, the investors employed Nelson Tift, then a young man of 25 years. The Connecticut native arrived in the soon-to-be town on October 13, 1836, and sketched out a “checkerboard” town plan. He named the city Albany because the geography reminded him of the Hudson River Valley, home to the city of Albany, New York. From its earliest days, Albany’s economy was diverse and included agriculture, commerce, manufacturing and shipping. That diversity holds true even today and has helped the city remain the primary hub of Southwest Georgia. Now, Albany’s economy has expanded even wider, as the per capita retail sales in the city rank second only to those of Atlanta. In the mid-90s, Albany led the state in announced expansions of some of its largest industries. Albany offers a number of higher education options, including Albany State University, Albany Technical College and Darton College. Home to a major medical center and the Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany also serves as the medical, military and

ABOVE:

Albany Welcome Center

RIGHT:

Flint River

recreation focal point of the region. With everything it offers, the city has more than earned its moniker the “Good Life City.” But all of this was nearly lost in 1994 when the mighty river that led investors to create a town here spilled its banks and flooded much of the city. At the height of the Flood of the Century, as it would come to be known, the river crested at 43 feet — 23 feet above flood stage — causing 18,000 families to be evacuated, damaging more than 5,000 homes and buildings, and leaving entire sections of the city underwater, submerged in as much as 12 feet of the murky flow. As that water receded, and the full impact of the devastation became known, things looked grim. But through that disaster rose the spirit of a community that came together as never before to recover and even improve. Volunteers came from all corners of the country, and strangers reached out to one another to rebuild homes and lives. Water would once again devastate the city, though on a smaller


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scale, when the Flint River flooded in 1998, reaching areas of the city not flooded in 1994. Today, Albany has recovered, and it has much to offer both residents and visitors. Attractions vary greatly thanks to a private-public partnership dedicated to redeveloping downtown by highlighting the area’s premier natural resource — the Flint River. The centerpiece of the downtown redevelopment plan is the Flint RiverQuarium, an educational facility that is part aquarium, part children’s museum, part natural history museum, part botanical garden and part science museum. The facility was designed by internationally known architect Antoine Predock and draws school groups and families from around the state. Other completed projects include Turtle Park on the banks of the river, featuring a fabulous playground for children of all ages. One of the most recent projects is the nearby Ray Charles Plaza, fronting a major hotel and conference center. Also

planned are a retail and entertainment district and a system of nature trails that will link Chehaw, Thronteeska Heritage Center, the Albany Civil Rights Movement Museum at Old Mt. Zion Church, Albany State University and Radium Springs. Albany is also home to a number of quality arts and cultural facilities and venues, from the Albany Museum of Art and Theatre Albany to the Carnegie Library and the Albany Municipal Auditorium. Full seasons of performances by the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Albany Concert Association and The Albany Chorale offer endless entertainment. With the many changes and its impressive growth, it is unlikely that Nelson Tift would recognize his Albany today. But, for those who live, work and play here, it truly is the Good Life City. 


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A LB A N Y S TAT E U N IV ER S IT Y

A

lbany State University was founded in 1903 as the Albany Bible and Manual Training Institution by Dr. Joseph Winthrop Holley. Over 100 years later, the primary mission of Albany State University, a historically black institution in Southwest Georgia, is to educate students to become outstanding contributors to society. Offering bachelor’s, master’s and education specialist degrees and a variety of non-degree educational programs, the university emphasizes the liberal arts as the foundation for all learning by exposing students to the humanities, fine arts, social sciences and the sciences. Global learning is fostered through a broad-based curriculum, diverse university activities and the expanding use of technology. When it first began, the institution provided religious and industrial education for African Americans. In 1917, the institution became a state-supported, two-year college with a board of trustees. The school was known at that time as Georgia Normal and Agricultural College and offered programs in agriculture, industrial education and teacher training. By 1932, the college was part of the University System of Georgia, under the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents, and in 1943, it became a four-year, teacher-training institution and assumed the name Albany State College.

Ever evolving, Albany State grew tremendously from 1943 to 1996, when it became Albany State University. Five presidents served during this period: Dr. Aaron Brown (1943-1954); Dr. William H. Dennis (1954-1965); Dr. Thomas Miller Jenkins (1965-1969); Dr. Charles L. Hayes (1969-1980); and Dr. Billy C. Black (1980-1996). Dr. Portia Holmes Shields became the first female president in 1996, and she was followed by the university’s eighth and current president, Dr. Everette J. Freeman, who took on the role on September 7, 2005. Albany State University continues to be a catalyst for change. The university proudly continues to fulfill its historic mission while also serving the educational needs of an increasingly diverse student population. As a progressive institution, Albany State University seeks to foster the growth and development of the region, state and nation through teaching, research, creative expression and public service. A leader in teacher education, nursing, criminal justice, business, public administration and the sciences, Albany State provides a comprehensive educational experience with quality instruction as the hallmark of all its academic programs. The university embraces the concept of “students first” as a core institutional value and advocates the total development of


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students, especially the underserved, while providing a wholesome academic environment in which they can study, learn and develop through their interaction with fellow students, faculty, staff, administrators, visiting scholars and community leaders. Consistent with the mission of the University System of Georgia, Albany State University offers a supportive campus climate and necessary services as well as leadership and development opportunities, all to educate the whole person and meet the needs of students, faculty and staff. Cultural, ethnic, racial and gender diversity in the faculty, staff and student body is supported by practices and programs that embody the ideals of an open, democratic and global society. Albany State recognizes the importance of technology to advance its educational principles, including instructional technology, student support services and distance education. It nurtures collaborative relationships with other system institutions, state agencies, local schools, technical institutes, business and industry, and shares physical, human, information

and other resources to expand and enhance programs and services to the citizens of Georgia. Currently, Albany State University offers over 40 undergraduate and 15 graduate degree programs, and its commitment to excellence can be seen in these outstanding programs. The university is dedicated to a teaching/learning environment, both inside and outside the classroom, that sustains this instructional excellence, serves a diverse student body, promotes high levels of student achievement and offers academic assistance. This unwavering approach, combined with technologically advanced academic programs, undergraduate research, studies abroad, internships, service learning and developmental preprofessional experiences, ensures that Albany State consistently and proudly graduates marketable students. Under the leadership of Dr. Freeman, the university continues to educate individuals who are striving to have a positive impact on their world. ď ś


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PHOE B E PU T N EY MEMOR IA L H OS PITA L

F

rom its founding, Albany has been a city on the grow. By the mid-1900s, this growth resulted in the establishment of schools, businesses, churches, homes, a drug store, a weekly newspaper and even a YMCA. The budding city also attracted as many as 10 doctors who together formed a Medical Society. While Albany had the start of a growing medical community, it lacked one important thing: a hospital. That is, until 1911. In that year, two Albany doctors recognized the need for a place to treat patients and raised the first $4,000 toward building a hospital in Dougherty County. They got help from the Ladies Hospital Aid Association. But Judge Francis F. Putney truly made

ABOVE: While a patient in the iron lung, Sarah Fuller Barham gave birth to daughter, Anagene, in 1954. The baby was delivered by Dr. John Inman, Jr.

the dream a reality with an establishing donation of $25,000. It came with three stipulations: that the hospital be named after his mother, “Phebe” Putney; that the building be of brick to be fireproof; and that Phoebe serve all patients regardless of race or ability to pay. Fast-forward to 2012, and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital’s Board of Directors, administrators, physicians, healthcare professionals and supporting staff continue to carry out Putney’s original vision of health care. Today, this not-for-profit, 443bed, tertiary care hospital provides all of Albany and Southwest Georgia with advanced medical treatments and experts in virtually all specialties and subspecialties. Among Phoebe’s comprehensive healthcare programs are oncology, cardiac and neonatal services. As late as 1990, Phoebe was in one location, yet it has expanded to now operate four hospitals and five rural clinics. In 2009, Phoebe built its second medical tower, which now houses the hospital’s premier Cancer Treatment Center. Phoebe’s Cancer Center, accredited by the Commission on Cancer, is one of the busiest in the Southeast, treating more than 1,200 new cases each year. Phoebe cardiac patients also receive the best available treatment through a continuum of care, from emergency treatment to complex cardiac surgery, that all starts with community prevention. Phoebe is utilizing the latest technology too. In 2008, the hospital purchased 12-LEAD EKG machines for EMS stations throughout the region, which allows responders


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LEFT:

For the past century, Phoebe’s presence in Southwest Georgia has grown leaps and bounds and now includes a number of hospitals and clinics throughout the region.

BELOW : Phoebe is home to the first TomoTherapy unit in Georgia. The unit is a radiation machine that can treat malignant tumors with more precision.

to send information to the hospital ahead of their arrival with the patient. In just one year, these EKGs and the cardiac team helped reduce the average time it took to treat a heart attack — from door to catheterization — falling well below the national average of 90 minutes. In Phoebe’s new Endovascular Suite, cardiovascular surgeons perform specialized cardiac care, including carotid artery stenting. And Phoebe is one of the few hospitals in the state that offers electrophysiology. Mothers and their babies also benefit from cutting-edge equipment, that when combined with Phoebe’s experienced professionals, ensures the safest delivery of newborns into the world. Phoebe provides quality care for Southwest Georgia’s tiniest patients with its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit — one of the state’s six Regional Perinatal Centers, where premature and critically ill newborns receive the advanced medical care they need to thrive. In addition, Phoebe’s arsenal of technology includes the first da Vinci Robotics Surgical System in South Georgia, the first TomoTherapy unit in Georgia (a radiation machine that can treat malignant tumors with more precision), Southwest Georgia’s first fixed PET/CT unit, digital mammography and Albany’s first open, high-field MRI machines. Several years ago, Phoebe began preparing for a predicted future need: a shortage of physicians in Georgia. Phoebe reinvests more than $2 million annually in the training of future physicians through the Southwest Georgia Family Medicine Residency Program. The Medical College of Georgia also

established the first off-site clinical campus at Phoebe, and the first class of 17 third- and fourth-year medical students was selected in 2010. To consistently carry out its mission, Phoebe goes outside the walls of the hospital to increase access to care by removing barriers. Phoebe funds school nurses in 27 schools, providing the only access for many students. Community health fairs also draw hundreds of area citizens to health education and disease prevention programs. Its dedication was honored when Phoebe won the 2003 Foster McGaw Award. It is also the only hospital to win four VHA Leadership Awards. Over the years, Phoebe has grown and evolved to meet the needs of a growing Southwest Georgia. But its mission has remained the same — to provide access to quality health care. Today, Phoebe continues its quest to build healthier communities. It’s an unwavering commitment to care that’s already lasted 100 years and reaches into the next century. 


116  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

MA U LD IN & JEN K IN S

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ouis B. Poole began the original practice that was to become the regional firm Mauldin & Jenkins in Albany in 1918. With revenues of less than $10,000, Mauldin & Jenkins survived The Depression thanks to leadership, geography and clientele such as Bank of Warwick, U-Save-It Drug Store, Slappey Farm & Dairy and the YMCA of Albany. Mount & Carter, an established national firm, entered Albany and acquired Poole’s firm, opening an office at the corner of Washington and Oglethorpe. The office moved several times before settling in its current location on Dawson Road.

Charlie Jenkins (far right) was awarded the Georgia Society of CPAs’ Meritorious Service Award for his contributions to the accounting profession.

After attending Georgia Tech, Ted S. Mauldin accepted an accounting position with Mount & Carter in Atlanta. In 1941, Mauldin and his wife Mary moved to Albany where he assumed leadership and management responsibilities of the Albany office of Mount & Carter. In 1949, Charles W. Jenkins, a former Deloitte, Haskins & Sells employee, and his wife E.K. moved to Albany where Jenkins joined Mount & Carter. Mauldin and Gene McAlpine were the local partners. Mauldin owned a percentage of the Albany firm, but the majority was controlled by the Atlanta office. When it was acquired by Coopers & Lybrand in 1956, the Albany office split to become T.S. Mauldin & Associates. The partners were Mauldin, Jenkins and Bob Merchant, who soon left to start his own local accounting firm. The firm then took on its current name, Mauldin & Jenkins. Due to a lack of structure in the Firm, Jenkins’ first two years as a partner resulted in negative capital. He recognized the need for a written partnership agreement that would detail how partners would participate in ownership and profitability. Jenkins so effectively developed the agreement that few changes have been necessary, and the basic agreement still serves as the binding element of the partnership today. Many other firms have used it as the basis of their partnerships.


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  117

Mauldin & Jenkins partners in 1982, front row, left to right: Bob Gore, Charlie Jenkins, Elton Wolf, Jimmy Neves, Will Kidd. Back row: Monty Rogers, Frank Henderson, Barry Cohen, Mike Houston, Elmer Levie and Milton Sterling

Jenkins developed a successful accounting practice management style, with an emphasis on the importance of professional affiliations, earning the Firm an excellent reputation with bankers, attorneys and business professionals by exceeding industry standards. After serving the maximum nine-year term as the first managing partner, Jenkins retired, and William W. Kidd was elected managing partner in 1982. Upon graduation from UGA and after serving two years in the Army, Kidd began his accounting career at Mauldin & Jenkins, focusing on growing the firm’s long-term health care practice. During Kidd’s time as managing partner, the Firm had a period of growth and expansion with the addition of an office in Atlanta and an increase in the number of partners from eight to 23. Following Kidd’s term, Monty W. Rogers was elected managing partner. After graduation from UGA and service in the Air Force, Rogers joined Mauldin & Jenkins in Albany in 1971. He transferred to Macon in 1975 and focused on developing long-term client relationships. Rogers served as partner-in-charge of the Macon office from 1982 until his election as managing partner. Rogers’ approach included a “re-dedication to individual commitment,” which generated notable but controlled growth. After graduating from Auburn University and spending his career at Mauldin & Jenkins, Elton Wolf became managing partner in 2000, focusing on core competencies. During Wolf ’s term, the Firm opened a Birmingham office in 2004, and revenues more than doubled, passing $30 million in 2008. The growth was all internal, and the Firm added a significant number of new partners to better serve present and future clients. Donny Luker began his career in Albany at Mauldin & Jenkins in 1981 and has spent 30 years providing tax, audit and consulting services to clients, with an emphasis on services to financial institutions. Becoming a partner in 1988, he transferred to Atlanta. Luker was Atlanta’s partner-in-charge from 2000 until 2008, when he was elected the Firm’s managing partner. During Luker’s term,

the Firm has established a presence in central Florida by opening an office in Bradenton. Today, Mauldin & Jenkins employs 225 people with offices in Albany, Macon, Atlanta, Birmingham and Bradenton, Florida, and is in the top 100 firms in the United States, as ranked by Accounting Today and Inside Public Accounting. Mauldin & Jenkins proudly serves the Southeast by providing auditing and tax services to financial institutions, governmental entities, not for profits, health care organizations, other closely held businesses and individuals. For over 90 years, the Firm’s core values have been quality work, ownership culture, integrity, firm focus, fairness, stewardship, community service, high performance, risk management and its people. During the Firm’s history, the mission statement has not changed: It is in the business of providing professional services to help its clients achieve their objectives while fulfilling its obligation to the public. Luker outlined the Firm’s philosophy, one that has kept it successful for almost a century. “Our day-today management procedures are driven by one of the Firm’s core values, which states that we, as partners, will leave the Firm better for the next generation. Our predecessors did that for us, and now we are doing that for the future generation. This focus has kept our Firm strong and growing for over 90 years,” says Luker. 

Retired partners, Charlie Jenkins and Fran Brown (2011)


118  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

CO NS OLI DATE D LOAN C OMPA N Y

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lbany’s oldest finance company, Consolidated Loan Co., was opened in 1930. In the 81 years since, there’s been a man named Charles M. Jones at the helm: first Charlie (he started it), then Charles (his son) and now Chuck (the third generation). The company’s longevity is a testament to its founder’s strong leadership and the son and grandson who carried his torch well. Charles “Charlie” Jones Sr. was born and raised in Berryville, Virginia. He married Anna Hiller, an Army nurse, in El Paso, where she was stationed. Their son, Charles Jr., was born there and began school. Charlie completed his CPA requirements, and in 1930, moved with his wife and son to Tampa where he worked in a loan company. He liked the business and wanted to open his own office but did not want to compete with his boss. So Charlie decided to find a suitable spot for his young family and his new venture and make another move. Charles Marks Jones Sr.

The offices at 425 Pine Avenue are in a beautifully restored historical Albany residence.

He discovered that Albany had no local loan office, and when he made his first visit to the city, it was spring, when Albany’s abundant azaleas were in full, colorful bloom. Their beauty made an easy decision even easier, and he chose Albany as the home for his company. Charlie created General Loan and Finance Co. on April 30, 1930. His first office was a second-floor room facing Pine Avenue that had once been used for coal. He often said he began his business in “Taxi Smith’s coal bin with a notebook for a ledger and a cigar box for a cash drawer.” From those humble beginnings, his company prospered, and in 1932, he purchased Industrial Loan and Finance, headed by W. F. Jefferson, and renamed the combined companies Consolidated Loan Co. The newly created company opened at Pine and Court Avenue in a building that was later Albany First Federal Savings and then Robinson-Humphrey, Inc. The original Board of Directors included Jim Bush, Clerk of Court; Daniel L. Gibson, Postmaster; H. B. “Buck” Stovall, Merchant; and C. L. Neuman, President of Albany Trust and Banking Co. As the company continued to grow, in 1936, Charlie moved Consolidated to 126-128 Court Avenue and opened a branch in Thomasville, with J. Albert Curry as manager. In 1944, Curry became a partner and opened the Cairo branch. As were many


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  119

such offices in those days, both of these were on second floors above Five and Ten Cent Stores. After Charles Marks Jones Jr. completed his studies at the University of Georgia and returned from World War II, he married Jo Elliot of Savannah and entered his father’s buisness in 1946. Charles Mark Jones Jr. He helped open the fourth office in Fitzgerald in 1959. In 1960, the Albany office moved to 118 N. Jackson, and the first American Finance Company was opened on Court Avenue. Each of the offices had two departments, one making small loans and one making real estate loans. In 1971, Charlie Jones died, Charles Jones became president, and Charles “Chuck” Jones III joined the family business. Like his father, Chuck was raised in Albany, graduated from Albany High, and while growing up, worked in his spare time at Consolidated. Chuck attended the University of the South. In 1979, 118 N. Jackson was razed in the formation of the central square. Consolidated Loan Co. moved to Pine Avenue and American Finance to Broad Avenue. The latter is now located on Dawson Road. Curry’s interests in the company were

The historical building at 430 Tift Avenue that the Jones family once called home now houses the business’s home office.

purchased at his retirement in 1982, and in 1995, a home office for all the branches was opened on W. Tift Avenue. Charles retired in 1992, Charles M. Jones III although he continued to do some consulting until his death in 2001. Chuck continues as president and oversees a total of nine branches: American Finance-Albany, Consolidated Loan Co.-Albany, American Finance-Cairo, Consolidated Loan CoColumbus, Consolidated Loan Co.-Dublin, Consolidated Loan Co.-Fitzgerald, American Finance-Macon, American FinanceThomasville and American Finance-Warner Robins. Following the example of its founder, Consolidated has consistently practiced and encouraged good citizenship. Members of the Consolidated team are urged to vote, to serve on juries, to work in churches and in civic clubs. Along with Consolidated Loan Co.’s commitment to quality and integrity, this philosophy of giving back has allowed the company to better every community it serves. 


120  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

ALBANY A R EA CH A MB ER OF COMMER CE

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y 1909, Albany was clearly established as the retail, finance and business center of Southwest Georgia. During this time, citizens found that cooperative efforts, coupled with competent leadership, had a positive impact on the local economy. Albany’s founder Nelson Tift and a succession of community leaders and citizens aggressively promoted Albany’s economic and cultural virtues as a normal part of the city’s evolution from a backwoods trading post to a modern municipality. In 1910, the Albany Chamber of Commerce formally opened with H.T. McIntosh, the publisher of the local newspaper, serving as the area’s first Chamber President. Since its beginning, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce has been the voice of the business and professional community

in Southwest Georgia as the only membership organization that is completely involved in the growth and development of the community with an emphasis on progressive and proactive programs. Serving as a unifying organization in the community and composed of private individuals, businesses and organizations dedicated to the economic well-being of the community at large, the Chamber is led by a membership-selected executive committee of 12 community leaders, a 27-member board of directors and a full-time staffed office of community-minded professionals. The success of the Chamber is the result of constant reinvention as the organization works to stay relevant for local businesses in the ever-changing economic and technological climate. As local citizens, businesses and organizations adjust, so does the Chamber, giving all its members the opportunity to thrive with events, networking opportunities, group discount offerings, an award-winning bi-monthly publication, BUSINESS, and dedicated advocacy — especially for small businesses. The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce is 1,200 businesses strong, with more than 80 percent of those being small businesses, and is tasked with the responsibility of an interactive and informative website receiving more than two million hits annually. The Chamber is also responsible for Strive2Thrive, an initiative bringing community support and resources to people who desire to break the cycle of poverty, and through this program is utilizing every available resource to move AlbanyDougherty County families into self-sufficiency. The Chamber ranks among an elite group nationwide as a 5-star accredited chamber from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In 2010, Albany’s Chamber was one of only 75 out of nearly 7,000 chambers in the country to receive this prestigious designation. As the Chamber looks to the future, the business community can rest assured that this award-winning organization will continue to thrive and to tirelessly support area businesses for years to come. 

Built in 1917, this stately marble building was originally home to the Citizens First National Bank. In 1990, the building was renovated and entrusted to the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. The building also houses the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission.


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  121

The Albany Welcome Center and Convention and Visitors Bureau

THE A LB A N Y WELCOME CEN T ER

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he Albany Welcome Center resides in Albany’s Historic Bridge House, a location that has served many purposes since it was first constructed in 1858. Engineered by Albany founder Nelson Tift and master bridge builder Horace King, its original function was to collect tolls as folks crossed the bridge, the first one of its kind to span the Flint River in South Georgia. Throughout the years, the building has housed a toll house, a theatre, a carriage shop, a garage and a riverside outlook before the completion of a renovation made it home to Albany’s Welcome Center in 2008, where it serves Southwest Georgia as the only regional welcome center. With an average of 20,000 visitors a year and a program fully funded by the hotel and motel tax in Albany (a tax the city collects from overnight hotel stays and splits with the Convention and Visitors Bureau), the center is one of only four in the state to be Georgia Convention and Visitors Bureau Gold Certified. The center provides visitors with both local and statewide information on the region’s food and flavors, the history of the Sherwood movie franchise and Albany natives like music legend Ray Charles and Food Network star Paula Deen as well as tours highlighting the area’s Civil Rights heritage.

Other services offered to visitors include accommodations for meetings at the facility, specialty tours and welcome bags and personal greetings. The Albany Welcome Center is also home to one-of-a-kind Albany souvenirs, brochures and maps. Centrally located near the Flint RiverQuarium (a rare freshwater aquarium and one of a select few nationwide), Chehaw Wild Animal Park (one of only two fully accredited zoos in the state of Georgia), Thronateeska Heritage Center, Riverfront Plaza, the Albany Civil Rights Institute, Turtle Grove Play Park and the Ray Charles Plaza, the center is in the middle of all the must-see spots in downtown Albany. Mr. Tift would be pleased to know that his original structure is the welcome center for the region, a region he dreamt would become known for its agricultural resources. With $184 million dollars credited towards its economic impact in 2010, tourism is now Georgia’s second-most profitable resource. It continues to grow, and Albany is playing a key role, drawing visitors who appreciate the city’s many attractions, as well as the region’s rich history. 


122  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

E NGINEE R IN G A N D EQU IPMEN T COMPA N Y

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he first plumbing and heating supply house in Southwest Georgia, Engineering and Equipment Company was founded in 1937 by John C. Edmondson and A.C. Knight Sr. Though it had humble beginnings, originally operating in less than 2,000 square feet of space, within a year, E&E moved to a building twice as large and by 1945, required 16,000 square feet to house the growing business. Incorporated in 1948, E&E met with much success throughout the area. Edmondson served as general manager and active operating head from the start. In 1951, an automobile accident claimed the lives of Edmondson and his son-in-law James Newman, who was on the company’s sales staff. The tragedy propelled E&E into its darkest period, and for a while there was some thought of selling the business. Instead, plans were made to remain in business and develop it even further. The necessary leadership was found in Al Holloway, another of Edmondson’s sons-in-law, and A.C. Knight Jr., son of the co- founder. Since that time, the company has enjoyed continued growth, opening branches in Waycross in 1954, Panama City in 1956, Tallahassee in 1965 and Columbus in 1990. Through the challenge of a slowing economy, Engineering and Equipment is still going strong. Today, more than 70 years since first opening its doors, E&E houses five buildings and employs 100 people. E&E is a full-service wholesale distributor serving the plumbing, PVF, irrigation, waterworks and HVAC markets, servicing the residential, commercial and institutional sectors with a broad variety of more than 25,000 quality items from brand-name manufacturers. The company also includes a wholly owned subsidiary operation, Georgia Industrial Supply Division in Albany. GIS also offers an array of products, including safety equipment, power tools and industrial supplies. Each of E&E’s locations features updated showrooms offering full kitchen and bath supplies. Open to the general public as well

as industry personnel, the showrooms highlight the latest trends in bath and kitchen design. The Idea Center offers one-on-one consultation with an experienced sales staff. E&E is proud to have a large number of tenured employees, including several that have retired and returned to work for the company full time. The company puts strong emphasis on being a supportive member of the community and routinely contributes to United Way, Albany ARC, Women in Construction, the American Heart Association, area schools and the Albany Area YMCA. Through all the years and all the changes, the Knight and Newman families’ incredible ability to foster teamwork as well as sticking to their principles of honesty and forthrightness has built Engineering and Equipment Company into the success story it is today.  FAR LEFT: Collins Knight, Sanford Knight and John Knight LEFT:

John Newman


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  123

HUGG IN S OU T B OA R D , IN C.

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hen he wasn’t guiding his students, Albany High School shop teacher Frank Huggins used his backyard and his mechanical knowledge to help neighbors and friends repair their outboard motors and boats. By 1941, he had outgrown his home-based business and acquired a small dirt-floor garage on Second Avenue (a location that is now near the entrance of the Phoebe Putney Towers) and Huggins Outboard was born. The shop moved downtown in 1947, occupying a former fish market on Front Street. Business boomed, and it was necessary for the shop to be open during normal working hours. While Frank was in the classroom teaching school, his wife Elizabeth ran the store as the bookkeeper, salesperson and secretary. After the school-bell rang, Frank arrived and tended to the shop.

Huggins Outboard, Inc., established in 1941

Their son Bill was brought up in the family business and shared his parents’ entrepreneurial genes. In 1954, after earning his degree from Mercer University and serving two years in the army, he left Ft. Benning for Albany one day at 10 a.m. He was hard at work at Huggins Outboard by 2 p.m. that same day. In October 1956, the family moved their business to its current location on 922 Radium Springs Road. Together, father, son and grandsons grew the business from one lot to five and worked day in and day out repairing, rigging and selling boats. Frank retired in 1975, leaving the business to Bill and his wife Nancy, who picked up right where Frank and Elizabeth left off. During the Flood of ’94, Huggins Outboard was spared thanks to its slightly higher elevation and immediately stepped up to the plate to aid in the rescue mission by providing boats, new propellers, replacement parts and servicing rescue boats. Richard and Robert, Bill and Nancy’s sons, started working with the family and learning the value of hard work as youngsters as they assembled boat trailers and helped with various other boat shop projects. Richard graduated from the University of Georgia and is now the owner of Huggins Outboard, where he and his wife Ginny are following the family tradition and overseeing the work of 17 long-term employees. His brother Robert graduated from Georgia Tech where he learned to write the computer programs and software used by Huggins Outboard and is now a leading marine software provider with more than 1,000 marine dealers worldwide using his software products. Today, Huggins Outboard is a prominent community mainstay, a business whose customers know they can depend on the honest, hard work of the Huggins family and the company’s long-time, dedicated employees to keep their motors running. 


124  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

The Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 72 is responsible for 3,200 members and 106 counties statewide. They pledge to maintain a “Standard for

PLUM BERS

O

AND

Excellence” that ensures job performance, worker accountability and dedication to be the best in the business.

PIPEF IT T ER S LOCA L U N ION 72

n September 20, 1941, 20 local workers joined together to form Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 368 in Albany. The chartered members met twice a month at The Woodsman of the World Lodge in Albany, pledging to protect the working members with fair compensation, benefits and working conditions. In 1951, the Valdosta Local Union 790 merged into Albany, and the two unions forged ahead as Local Union 368, protecting workers and their rights in Southwest Georgia. As the union grew from the original 20 members to 280 members, so did the need for larger meeting space. A building was purchased at 1900 Clark Avenue on November 7, 1966, where the local office still operates today. As the state’s local unions continued to grow, it became apparent that a larger union covering more territory would benefit both employees and employers. On July 1, 1997, Albany’s Local Union 368 merged with Atlanta’s Local Union 72. Today, Local Union 72 is responsible for 106 counties statewide and is 3,200 members strong, with offices in Albany, Macon, Rome and Atlanta. Business meetings are held monthly in Atlanta for members, where the original mission is still the primary business purpose: representing plumbers, pipefitters and service technicians for fair wages, working conditions and benefits, including self-funded health insurance and strong pension plans. The union is run as a democracy with a slate of elected officers who serve three-year terms and are responsible for running the union and the monthly meetings. The officers are supported by a Business Manager and eight full-time employed

and salaried Business Agents and Special Representatives as well as a slate of volunteer officers. With an implemented “Standard for Excellence” that ensures job performance, worker accountability and dedication to be the best in the business, as well as multiple pay scales to keep members competitive, no job is too large or too small for Local Union 72 members. The members of Local Union 72 have been responsible for building hospitals, civic centers, schools, hotels, government facilities, factories and more in communities across the state while protecting workers’ rights and JOBS FOR GEORGIANS. Local Union 72 helps its members achieve the industry’s highest levels by sponsoring The Mechanical Trades Institute, where inexperienced members train in its Apprenticeship program, learning the trade with 1,000 hours of classroom training and up to 10,000 hours of on-the-job training. Experienced members utilize the Institute for continued education in a changing world. Valuable time, money and energy are spent on safety training, which lowers worker’s compensation insurance rates and saves substantial costs on the job. All training programs are supported with the membership’s money at no cost to the contractors or tax payers. The future looks to bring even more growth for Local Union 72, providing a better livelihood for employees and excellent quality work for employers and their clients, as the strong partnership between management and labor keeps open the lines of communication that lead to continued success. 


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  125

L INCOLN OF ALBANY

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rothers William (W.B.) and Joel Thomas (J.T.) Haley came to Albany in 1905 to bring Coca-Cola to Southwest Georgia. With the money they made in that venture, they started several other enterprises, including Haley Motors Ford. In 1924, the Haleys acquired the Lincoln franchise and added the Mercury nameplate in 1939. After World War II, Ford recommended separating the three brands, and thus Albany Lincoln-Mercury was born in 1946. The Ford facility moved and was also controlled by the Haleys until the late 1980s. In the late 1950s, W.B. Haley’s eldest son Herbert designed and built a new facility for Albany Lincoln-Mercury that boasted the latest technology, including a radiant heating system. Herbert ran the business until his younger brother Joel Thomas II bought a majority position in 1994 and led the successful dealership until his death in 2008. His son J. Banks Haley took over and now runs the 20-employee dealership with the help of General Manager Bill Chaffin. In 2010, the dealership changed its name to Lincoln of Albany to reflect the repositioning of Lincoln as Ford’s luxury brand.

Downtown Albany 1924

ABOVE:

Lincoln of Albany is one of the oldest and most respected dealerships in the country.

LEFT: J. Banks Haley continues the family’s long legacy of success.

As it has since its founding, Lincoln of Albany continues to give back to its community, supporting several organizations with emphasis on Albany ARC and the Special Olympics. Today, it is one of the oldest and most respected dealerships in the country, and J. Banks Haley and his team are looking forward to another 60 years of success. 


126 ď ś ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  127

World War II – 1969


128  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

S U N N Y LA N D FA R MS

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hen Harry and Jane Willson ran a tiny ad promoting their pecans in the New York Times in 1948, they could not have imagined the results it would produce. More than 60 years later, Sunnyland Farms is one of the biggest names in mail-order pecans in the country. Prompted by a request in the late ‘40s from an Atlanta Wellesley Alumnae group to package pecans for a fundraiser, the Willsons wondered if others might also be interested in purchasing pecans through the mail, so they ran their ad. They soon found out that people certainly were. The Willsons met on a train in 1941 coming home for Christmas holidays — he from Harvard Business School and she from Wellesley College. They began their married life in Atlanta and worked to get the business off the ground. By 1951, the Willsons relocated with their two young sons to manage the Albany orchard and continued to look for outlets to sell their pecans. Sunnyland Farms began with pecans grown on the Willson’s Dougherty County family farm purchased in 1926 by Harry’s father, William (Will) Harry Willson. Today, the farm includes some 20,000 pecan trees. But pecans weren’t the first order of business for the younger Willson couple, as Harry fenced the property and populated it with cattle, only later returning solely to pecans. Though they were a major grower of pecans, the Willsons used nothing but the best of their harvest for the mail-order business.

Jane and Harry Willson circa 1974

The Sunnyland/Willson Farms offices and plant are located in the middle of its pecan orchard.

To meet the additional need for the nuts, Harry traveled throughout Georgia searching for pecans of equal quality to fill orders. But the going was tough for many years, with Harry spending a great deal of time on the road purchasing pecans and company profits only reaching a disappointing minimum. By the late ‘60s, Willson decided they had to do something. “He said, ‘Either we get in and make it go or get out,’” recalls Mrs. Willson, who today leads as company president following the death of her husband on Thanksgiving Day 2004. “So we got in.” The Willsons consulted with an advertising agency on how to best position themselves with regard to marketing and branding Sunnyland Farms. One of the first tasks was the creation of the mail-order catalog that customers now look forward to receiving every year. Before his death, Harry did the copywriting and Jane created the layout. Today, she oversees both aspects of the publication. Building on a customer base of about 5,000 at the time, the Willsons doubled their business over the next five years and have enjoyed modest growth ever since. Maintaining its original philosophy of providing the very best products available, the company increased its mail-order offerings through the years to include other nuts, nut mixes, dried fruits, cakes and candies.


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  129

Today, Mrs. Willson is joined by her son, Larry Willson, CFO, in the day-to-day operation of the business. His three siblings have achieved success as executives and professionals in careers in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Fresno, California. Updated information on members of the Willson family — as well as employees — is included each year in the Sunnyland Farms catalogue, a feature customers always enjoy reading. Sunnyland Farms’ mail-order business includes many facets, from the farming operation, shelling plant, candy kitchen and toasting room to the packing and shipping departments and the office staff that deals directly with customers. The company counts among its many assets the relationships with valued employees, the majority of which have been with the company 25 years or longer. While many things about the business have remained the same through the years, such as the commitment to sell only the freshest and tastiest nuts, fruits and candies, Sunnyland Farms is well prepared to move into the future. With a mind toward energy efficiency, the company recently installed a new “green” boiler system to replace its old propane one. Featuring the latest technology, the new system uses pecan hulls fed into the boiler to produce steam, which in turn heats water for sanitizing pecans and heat for the drying stages of pecans. The system also can be used to produce heat to work areas, keeping employees comfortable during the colder months in Southwest Georgia. Sunnyland has also increased efficiency in its shelling and cracking plants in recent years with new crackers and shellers.

Employees packing the ever-popular “Holly-Day” gifts.

Larry Willson

While the business operates year round, about 80 percent of sales are conducted in the last four months of each year. Longtime customers can’t imagine the holidays without Sunnyland Farms products to enjoy in their home and to send as gifts. The Willson family continues to enjoy a loyal clientele from across the United States. That loyalty is built on the company’s quality products and an unwavering commitment to customer service. And it all began in 1948 with a tiny ad in the New York Times. 


130  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

THE V ERANDA

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elebrating their 60 Year Anniversary in 2012, the medical practices at The Veranda have been at the forefront of serving the health needs of Albany and surrounding communities. What began as a single-physician obstetrics and gynecology practice has grown into a multi-specialty medical facility serving not only women but their families as well. Dr. John Inman Jr., a native Albanian, pioneered the practice. He felt the call to enter medicine at the early age of 8 and chose to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology because he wanted to be a part of a happy and life-changing event. “It’s uplifting — The patients are young, healthy and happy during pregnancy, and they recover fairly quickly,” Dr. Inman says. In 1952, Dr. Inman began his practice on Monroe Street with just one nurse and was the only formally trained OB/GYN in the region. Throughout his career he has delivered more than 10,000 babies, with more than 9,300 of them delivered at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. The hospital’s state-of-the-art labor, delivery and recovery facility was very appropriately named in his honor. The Inman Pavilion for Women bears his name “for his dedication and compassionate service in ‘delivering great expectations’ to this community.” The practice changed and grew through the years. As the number of patients treated increased, more space was needed to treat them, and more doctors were needed to assist. For 20 years, Dr. Inman ran his practice alone, with a supportive team of nurses, until Dr. William M. George joined him in 1970. The

ABOVE:

Dr. John S. Inman Jr., founder of OB-GYN Associates, has delivered more than 10,000 babies during his medical career.

BELOW : The Veranda, which opened in 2002 on Meredyth Drive, is a multi-specialty medical practice and the home of OB-GYN Associates, Family Medical Associates, Children’s Medical Associates, Endocrinology Associates, The Center for Medical Weight Loss and The Mint Julep.

office was moved to a location on Jefferson (now the Phoebe Parking lot), then to a 5th Avenue location, which currently houses the Phoebe Foundation, and finally to the present site, The Veranda, which opened its doors in April 2002 on Meredyth Drive.


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  131

The Veranda’s team of physicians: first row, Dr. John Inman Jr., Dr. Lesley Gaydos, Dr. William Aultman, second row, Dr. Christina Kile, Dr. J. P. Gleason,

Dr. David Wahbeh, third row, Dr. William George, Dr. Joe Jackson, Dr. John Inman III, fourth row, Dr. William Sewell III, Dr. Charity Wilson, Dr. Paul Payne

Where there was once was just one, there are now seven OB/ GYNs in the practice: Drs. William M. George Jr., William A. Aultman, William M. Sewell III, Lesley Gaydos, Paul Payne and John S. Inman III, who joined his father’s practice in 1987 and now serves as the CEO. Opened in 2003 on the top floor of The Veranda, The Mint Julep Day Spa provides a lovely, relaxing retreat where women can unwind and recharge with luxury spa treatments and enjoy an array of salon services offered by a team of professionals. Now, The Mint Julep Boutique is also available offering the latest in fashions and accessories along with spa products. After the spacious facility at The Veranda opened, the choice was made to include a family practice, a logical extension for existing patients. Now the families of the moms cared for by OB-GYN Associates could see their own healthcare professionals under the same roof. Family Medical Associates was first led by Dr. Joseph M. Jackson III. Later, due to the phenomenal patient response, a hometown “girl,” Dr. Charity G. Wilson, joined the practice. Extension of medical care continued with the opening of Children’s Medical Associates, with Dr. A. David Wahbeh at the helm. Dr. J.P. Gleason joined the group in 2011. This practice offers the best in children’s health care. The offices of Children’s Medical Associates are tailored to the needs of little ones — from the décor to an abundance of other conveniences, including both sick and well-child waiting “gardens.” All amenities are designed to make the visit to the doctor a pleasant one.

Endocrinology Associates was added as a result of needs within the Veranda’s patient population and the community as a whole. Dr. Christina Kile heads this practice where she cares for patients suffering from diabetes and thyroid disorders. Also introduced at The Veranda in 2010 was The Center for Medical Weight Loss, a national program focusing on proper diet and exercise. This practice was a natural extension to complete the overall mission of wellness and preventative care. Widely recognized and well known throughout the region, The Veranda is an all-encompassing, caring environment for the whole family, offering a continuity of care beginning in childhood and extending throughout the years beyond. Patients have come to know The Veranda’s doctors as professional and pro-active and have found a place where patient care and comfort are top priorities. As for future plans, the medical team at The Veranda will continue utilizing the very best medicine and technology available, while continuing to support the community they care for by staying active in local organizations that promote education, health, economic development and community unity. One man’s childhood dream of becoming a doctor has bettered the community to which he has dedicated his life and is responsible for continually shaping the community’s standards of medicine. 


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WALB-TV

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s the dominant television station in the Albany market, WALB-TV has come in second place only once in its 58 years. When it first went on air in 1954, it was the second television station to do so in the state of Georgia. Ever since, it has been in first place as Albany’s No. 1 name in news and locally focused content. Founded by James H. Gray Sr., one of Albany’s most influential citizens and mayors, WALB Channel 10 has been the NBC affiliate for South Georgia for over 50 years. It became an NBC affiliate in 1957 and remained the only station licensed in the Albany market until 1982. With a focus on local news, popular programming and stateof-the-art technology, WALB-TV has built a solid reputation as an active, responsible and reliable member of the Albany business community. One testament to the station’s pioneering ways is a color studio camera once used at the station and now housed in the Smithsonian’s Science & Technology Museum in Washington, D.C. It was one of the first ever made by RCA. “That camera was originally purchased to tape a First Baptist Church program, which had been filmed in black and white,” station General Manager Jim Wilcox says. “Local programming was very big in the early days because there were so few networks

and a shortage of network programming. The resulting gaps in programming meant the station had to come up with local content of its own.” In the late 1950s and early 1960s, “The Captain Mercury Show,” which was locally produced, was a favorite of Albany residents. “A lot of Albany residents’ fondest memories are of ‘The Captain Mercury Show,’” Wilcox says. “Members of ‘The

The WALB News 10 Evening News Team L-R: Yolanda Amadeo, Ben Roberts, Robert Hydrick and Dawn Hobby (seated)

Captain Mercury’ studio audience are today presidents of some of Albany’s largest companies.” Now, WALB’s “Today in Georgia” show is one of the country’s most successful programs, receiving an amazing 99 percent in-market share of viewing as reported by the Nielsen Ratings Service. Due to its popularity, “Today in Georgia” has grown from an hour-long show to a two-hour show, airing every weekday from 5 to 7 a.m. WALB is committed to highlighting the best aspects of its community. The station’s Noon News program often leaves the studio and travels live to at least 20 towns in the Albany area as part of a promotion called “My Home Town.” These special on-location events celebrate the annual festivals that make the communities unique and help bring in important tourism dollars. In 1992, the station took local programming a step further and created “Dialogue,” a show devoted solely to addressing minority issues. “When we started the show, there wasn’t a program in South Georgia like it,” Wilcox says. “I think it’s a misconception that the news reporting in the market is not fair and balanced, but the perception exists. The purpose of this program is to emphasize the need for information about the

This color studio camera once used at the station stands as a monument to WALB’s pionoeering ways. Today, it is on display at the Smithsonian’s Science & Technology Museum in Washington, D.C.


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  133

minority community.” The program was started in conjunction with the Coalition for Diversity and The Criterion Club. Showcasing its leadership in the use of new technologies, in 2000, WALB launched two innovative operations called “Virtual Stations.” The two stations are provided to all cable subscribers in Valdosta as “WALB Valdosta” and in Thomasville as “WALB Thomasville.” The station customizes its programming, then transmits it via fiber optics, to each community. Local news, weather, sports, commercials and public service announcements are then delivered. Throughout its history, WALB has given back to the community through telethons and public service campaigns. The Georgia Association of Broadcasters has named WALB “Station of the Year” five of the last six years and “Community Service Station of the Year” for the 7th consecutive year. In 2006, the station faced its biggest challenge when its 1,000-foot broadcast tower collapsed due to the demolition of a neighboring tower. The following year, the station came back stronger than ever with a new 1,000-foot tower that features new digital antennas. Also in 2006, WALB was purchased by Alabama-based Raycom Media. In April 2009, a new 4,000-square-foot addition was completed, which features a new lobby, entrance and state-of-the-art newsroom. It’s from within that newsroom that award-winning newscasts are produced; WALB News 10 consistently earns news awards from The Associated Press and the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. In 2011, WALB was again ranked as the No.1 NBC affiliate

The late Grady Shadburn, an employee at WALB, played the memorable role of Captain Mercury during the station’s run of the local favorite, “The Captain Mercury Show.”

The Morning News Anchor Team L-R: Chris Zelman, Ruthie Garner and Karla Heath-Sands (seated)

in the country, and No. 3 among all network affiliates in TV Households sign-on-sign-off Share of Viewing. Also in 2011, WALB was awarded its first EMMY for best special newscast, “Coastal Crisis,” at Southeast National Academy of Arts and Sciences. WALB-TV also leads the way in technology with digital newsgathering, broadcasting and commercial production. The station is at the forefront of multi-platform news content delivery, evidenced by the growth and development of its website. “WALB.com” averages approximately 350,000 unique users each month and provides video streaming of all the station’s major news stories and special programs. Other website features offer valuable information and assistance with purchases in sections including: “Health Connections,” “Home Connections,” “JobLink” and “Deals of the Week.” The station continues to grow, both in size and commitment to South Georgians. On April 27, 2011, WALB added a new ABC channel to the existing NBC affiliation. Wilcox says, “We began broadcasting the ABC network on our 2nd digital channel. With ABC, we also added a new 7 p.m. newscast, which is the only local news, at that hour, in the market. As technology progresses, so will WALB. The station will continue to dominate the market, thanks to our dedication to providing local news, sports and weather and our pledge to always give our community what it wants and needs.” 


134 13 3 4  AL AALBANY LLBA BANYY - Ye BA BANY Yesterday, ester stterda day, Today day da Toodday & TTomorrow omorro omor om row ro ow

THRONAT EES K A H ER ITA G E F OU N D AT ION

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n 1974, a group of concerned and community-minded citizens, including Mrs. Harold B. Wetherbee, championed the cause for revitalization of the historic downtown railroad depot area by consolidating two existing organizations. Thronateeska Heritage Foundation, came about after the merger of the Southwest Georgia Historical Society, incorporated in 1973 to preserve the stories of Albany’s past and to educate others about the community’s rich history, and the Albany Area Junior Museum, founded in 1959 by the Junior League of Albany as a community history and natural science museum operating in the historic Smith House, Albany’s first brick house. On May 2, 1974 the boards of directors for both organizations unanimously approved the consolidation plan creating Thronateeska, the 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization that today operates with the mission to “inspire wonder and stimulate exploration of science and South Georgia’s history by providing a dynamic learning experience through an interactive science center and museum.”

Located at the 1913 Union Station Depot — now known as Heritage Plaza — in the 100 block of West Roosevelt Avenue (the only remaining brick street in the city), the Thronateeska campus encompasses a History Museum, Science Museum, rail car display and 40-foot, full-dome HD planetarium system, the first in the world of its kind. Event and meeting rental spaces are also part of the campus. All of the museums’ facilities are housed in historic structures and new construction designed to reflect and retain the railroad heritage of the area. The 1913 Union Station Depot was preserved as a legendary landmark, converted to the museums and listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1975. The Wetherbee Planetarium, originally in the old Railway Express Agency building, relocated in 2008 to a newly constructed facility located between its former location and the Fryer-Merrit House. In 1982 the Tift Warehouse — originally constructed in 1857 as the original passenger and freight depot — along with the Railway Express Agency building and Albany’s last remaining


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ABOVE: The Thronateeska

LEFT: The Thronateeska

brick street were added to the National Register and listed as Albany’s Railroad Depot Historic District. Other historic structures relocated to Heritage Plaza for continued preservation include the 1880s Freyer-Merrit House, formerly at 411 Pine Avenue, and The Hilsman kitchen, moved in 1977 from the home site of Dr. Palaemon L. Hilsman, one of Albany’s first doctors. The kitchen was disassembled and moved to make way for the new planetarium and reassembled inside the new structure. Today, the Freyer-Merrit House serves as Thronateeska’s administrative office and library. The newest addition to Thronateeska is the archives and collections department, which catalogues, stores and provides for meticulous care of each collection at the History Museum. For the first time the museum is able to staff a full-time archivist and collection manager devoted to its records. A 2010 sales tax referendum funded a new $2 million storage and processing facility, including 10,000 square feet dedicated to archives and collections. Once built, the facility will be open to the public for research purposes. Thonateeska’s collection boasts a wide variety of items, including a Native American artifact collection; natural science

Heritage Center in 2003

Heritage Center in 2012

displays; home furnishings and textiles; various tools and equipment; and a wide variety of other donated items. Traveling and temporary exhibits occupy the five History Museum galleries, and exhibits focus on Albany and regional history. The Wetherbee Planetarium features a 40-foot, full-dome high-definition projection system with surround sound. Presentations are designed to enhance the area school system’s science curriculum while also entertaining the general public. A variety of digital shows include tours of the night sky, while hands-on modules in the Science Museum entertain and educate visitors on topics such as weather and earth, physical and life sciences. Each year, more than 5,000 students and teachers visit the Wetherbee Planetarium, Science Museum and History Museum, in addition to the 14,000 visitors who visit the museums and utilize rental space. Since 1974, Thronateeska has had the privilege of celebrating and highlighting the culture and history of Southwest Georgia through the exhibits and programs it has so graciously provided the community. As a fixture in an ever-evolving cultural scene and changing region, Thronateeska looks forward to continuing to provide the community with historical and educational knowledge for years to come. 


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A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, Albany Technical College serves a seven-county service delivery area in Southwest Georgia,

including Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Dougherty, Lee, Randolph and Terrell counties.

A LB A N Y T ECH

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lbany Tech traces its roots back to 1961 when it was established as the Monroe Area Vocational-Technical School, enrolling 175 students. Soon after, the Albany Area Vocational-Technical School was built. In 1972, the two schools merged in the current south Albany location. In July 1988, the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE), now the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), was formed, and the newly named Albany Technical Institute came under its direction. Albany Tech was charged with providing technical education to the residents, businesses and industries within a seven-county service delivery area. These counties include Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Dougherty, Lee, Randolph and Terrell. From 1995-2005, Albany Tech also operated a satellite campus in Early County.

Albany Technical College opened its new Logistics Education Center in June of 2011.

The flood of 1994 severely damaged many buildings on the Albany campus, and equipment and resources were lost. Faculty and staff volunteered to help clean up. On the upside, many of the buildings were renovated, and new technology was installed to improve curriculum. With the passage of House Bill 1187, the Georgia Legislature approved the changing of DTAE technical institutes’ names to “college,” providing they offered associate degrees. Albany Technical Institute became Albany Technical College on July 6, 2000. More than 4,000 full-time students are enrolled in credit programs each semester. Another 2,100 are enrolled part time and in continuing education courses and customized business training. Albany Tech also operates adult learning centers in seven counties. More than 1,700 adult education students are served annually, with 500 students earning GEDs each year. Albany Tech also employs over 250 faculty and staff. Since 1961, Albany Tech has continued to offer new programs and courses. Now, the college offers more than 170 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate of credit programs. ATC is experiencing huge growth in online students, with more than 30 programs offered 100-percent online. The campus consists of nine buildings including, but not limited to, the Charles B. Gillespie Center for Emergency Responders, the Manufacturing Technology Center, The George Kirkland Administration Building and the Nathaniel Cross Health Care Technology Building, which is named after former ATC President Nathaniel Cross, and the Carlton Construction Academy. ATC also operates a Randolph County Learning Center. Dr. Anthony Parker has served as Albany Tech President since 1995.


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The new Logistics Education Center at Albany Technical College boasts a brand new, state-of-the-art Student Center and Auditorium, as well as an Executive Board Room and Library/Media Center.

Albany Technical College continues to work with the region’s major businesses and employers to ensure the programs that are offered are producing well-trained graduates who will succeed in the workforce. Enrollment is expected to continue rising as more students choose technical education. Albany Tech also places approximately 98 percent of graduates in jobs, with 91 percent finding careers within their field of study. Albany Tech is also growing in size, with a new, state-of-theart Logistics Education Center that opened in 2011. The facility serves many students who work at the Albany Marine Corps Logistics Base and Command, as well as other businesses. The facility has increased online studies and houses a new student center and Culinary Arts laboratory. In 2011, Albany Tech celebrated its 50th Anniversary. The theme for the anniversary celebration was “Strong Tradition. Proven Success.” 


138  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

In 2011, Albany ARC opened its 13th residential setting providing homes for people with disabilities.

A LB A N Y A R C

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n 1963, one of the largest and most successful private provider agencies in the state of Georgia was founded in Albany with a purpose of advocating on the behalf of persons with disabilities. Albany’s Advocacy Resource Center (ARC) is recognized as Georgia’s standard of consumer-driven, costeffective services promoting the general welfare of people with

In 1968, Linda Flake, the first full-time director of Albany ARC’s day school, holds the “school” sign used in acquainting students with traffic signs.

disabilities, wherever they may be. ARC strives to serve people with a wide range of disabilities as it works hard to foster the development of programs on their behalf because, “Everyone, regardless of one’s abilities or disabilities, should have the same opportunities and enjoy equal rights.” The mission of Albany ARC is to provide its consumers with the dignity, personal freedom and acceptance that are deserved by all people, and Albany ARC works diligently to continually identify new needs as they arise. A community icon and living legend in her own right, Executive Director Annette Bowling joined the organization in 1974 and has been a tireless advocate for her consumers ever since, including making regular trips to the State Capital to improve laws for persons with disabilities. “A community is diverse and should be made for all people,” Bowling says. “Our consumers have proven that they can be a part of this community, and this community has rallied around them.” Bowling has also led the organization to work to achieve three new important concepts — program accessibility, mainstreaming and independent living — helping consumers move beyond the “either/or” choice of living at home indefinitely or being institutionalized. Beginning in 1978, Albany ARC pushed for job opportunities for its consumers, and started in its own offices. Albany ARC now employs 146 consumers who have proven to be exceptional


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co-workers who improve the morale and mission of the organization as a whole. “People are so afraid of the unknown,” says Sandra Edge, Deputy Director. “Our consumers are asking for a hand-up, not a hand-out, and when given the opportunity, they thrive in this community.” One of the original victories of the Albany ARC was working with the school system to allow consumers their right to a fair and equal education. Children with disabilities are now utilizing this right and joining their peers in the classroom. From the beginning, the ARC staff knew they couldn’t fight for their consumers alone and so they train the parents of children with disabilities to work alongside them as advocates. Albany ARC also takes advantage of every chance to educate its consumers and the community and so has led the way by developing an incredibly diverse array of valuable resource offerings for the people they serve and the people around them. One of the resources the organization is most proud of is Residential Services, which currently aids 122 consumers in group homes, semi-independent living arrangements or in consumer home ownership-independent living arrangements imbedded throughout the community, all with the support of staff who are available for assistance 24 hours a day. Additionally, the organization utilizes its Independent Living Program to provide case management services to individuals with physical disabilities, allowing them to stay in the community and preventing placement in nursing homes and institutions. Through Project ARC, a community-based program supporting individuals to live and work independently in the community, consumers are provided assistance with money management, vocational rehabilitation, medical concerns, community and private resources, and transportation. As part of the education component of Albany ARC, the organization provides an inclusive program serving typical

The Masters Level Special Olympics program is a year-round program of physical fitness, sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Albany ARC Independent Living Program is designed to meet the needs of adults 21 years and older with developmental disabilities by teaching selfhelp skills, daily living skills, socialization, safety, exercise and functional skills for daily living.

and atypical children ages 0-3 at the Albany ARC pre-school, providing activities that stimulate growth mentally, socially, emotionally and physically. Children leave the pre-school prepared, excited about learning and equipped with skills to succeed at their next educational experience. The High School/High Tech Program is an educational enrichment program for high school students with disabilities who have an interest in pursuing careers in science, technology and engineering and provides opportunities in science exploration, paid summer internships and mentoring. The organization does not stop with education and residential services but also works with consumers to find job opportunities within the community through EmployAbility — a program designed to bring employment services to individuals with disabilities. To integrate primary care, specialty and home-based care and to reduce emergency room use, hospital and nursing home admission as well as stabilize social and lifestyle factors, the ARC utilizes S.O.U.R.C.E. (Service Options Using Resources in Community Environment) to coordinate all medical and social services through case managers. Albany ARC also offers a Center for the Blind; Juvenile Autism training with parent in-service workshops, consultations, advocacy and preschool programs; year-round sports training leading to individual empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy through Special Olympics participations; and the opportunity for leadership development through Dougherty Leadership Development Institute. “In the future, we will continue our tireless advocacy for our people,” says Bowling. “The community will continue to open doors, and our consumers will continue to break down barriers.” 


Sue Corbin

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SOWEG A COU N CIL ON A G IN G

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Sue Corbin

he Albany-Dougherty Council on Aging was incorporated in 1966 to meet the physical, mental and spiritual needs of older citizens in the area. Funded by the Older Americans Act, which passed in 1965, the organization began as a single office and was intended to provide information for the elderly. In 1968, Executive Director Kay Hind joined the organization with which she would end up spending her entire career. The

Advocacy at the capitol for “Be There 4 Seniors”

first order of business was conducting a survey with the senior citizen community to figure out how to better serve an oftenignored portion of society. Over the years, the Council has grown to an agency equipped with 150 dedicated employees responsible for more than 20 programs in 14 counties. With services available in Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas and Worth counties, the organization changed to an all-encompassing name in 1979 — SOWEGA Council on Aging. The Council is honored to meet the needs of the senior citizen community, with programs ranging from health care and wellness classes to educational computer courses and fun activities and trips. No stone is left unturned as the agency continues to fight for more funding and legal services, providing the elderly with the care, respect and dignity they deserve. Nursing home care and assisted living often become necessary as people age. Not only does the Council provide assistance to the elderly through programs that focus on elder abuse prevention, emergency response and Meals on Wheels, but it also supports and counsels primary caregivers. With continued growth and additional services needed, the Council fundraises annually so it can add to the government funding provided for operation of the Council. Hind has spent


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LEFT: Volunteer

RSVP volunteers building wheelchair ramps.

Sue Corbin

BELOW :

teaching computer class at local senior center.

Sue Corbin

Sue Corbin

Preparing Meals on Wheels.

the last 44 years dedicated to making Southwest Georgia a better place for senior citizens. Hind is on schedule to achieve one of her primary goals in 2013 — the opening of a senior citizen center on Jefferson Street, which will combine the five current offices and senior citizen centers in Albany. “It has been a dream of mine to bring all of the services together in an adequate space for our senior citizens. I look forward to providing the elderly community with a space as beautiful and great as the people we serve,” she said. The SOWEGA Council on Aging is built on a strong foundation of dignity and respect for the elderly community of Southwest Georgia, and today, thanks to its dedicated director, employees and other supporters, the Council’s future looks strong and sound. 


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ALBANY AIR C ONDITI ON IN G AND HEATING COM PANY

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n 1949, Edward C. Newsome left his job with Mingledorff’s to start his own company. He opened Albany Air Conditioning and Heating Company, Inc. on Roosevelt Avenue with his wife Wildred. As the company’s name became trusted, business rapidly grew, and Albany Air Conditioning and Heating Company earned a stellar reputation that has made it a community mainstay. The need for more space and additional employees was met with a new building on Broad Avenue, before the company moved to its current location on West Gordon Avenue in 1973. It is here where Mr. Newsome’s son, Edward C. Newsome Jr., came home from college to work for the family business. In 1990, he purchased the company from his father. Ed Jr. has continued to grow the company with the help of 50 employees who are responsible for installing and servicing thousands of systems across Southwest Georgia. Edward “Clint” Newsome III joined the company in 2008 as Vice

Albany Air Conditioning and Heating has been at its current West Gordon location for the last 40 years.

President, and he handles project management and business operations. This family company prides itself on putting customers first and being community minded. Ed and Clint are committed to continually educating themselves and their employees as technology in their industry changes. As the oldest mechanical contractor in Albany, one of the oldest Carrier dealers in the state and a respected threegeneration family business, Albany Air Conditioning and Heating Company boasts both a rich history and a bright future. 

BI S HOP CLEAN C ARE

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n 1946, Eustace Bishop founded Bishop Laundry and Cleaners in Dothan, Alabama, and now, this third-generation family business has come a long way from its humble beginnings. In 1952, Eustace purchased Albany Laundry Co. and was joined in 1954 by his brother and part-owner Lanier Bishop. Together they evolved the company into a successful business specializing in laundry, dry cleaning and uniform rentals, as well as carpet, rug and upholstery cleaning. The company was split into Lanier Bishop three divisions in 1970: uniform rental, managed by Eustace, carpet cleaning, managed by Lanier, and the laundry and dry cleaning portion, which was sold to Phillip Wiggins, who kept the Bishop name. Lanier’s daughter Patti ran the business from 1978 until 2010, growing the company to a larger location in Lee County with 60 part-time and 20 full-time employees.

Patti Savelle

Jenny and Jud Savelle

Thanks to the guidance provided by her brother Jeff Bishop, an industry expert who provided invaluable training, Patti led Bishop Clean Care in a massive clean-up and restoration effort throughout Albany following the flood devastation of the 1990s. Patti’s son Jud Savelle IV and his wife Jenny run the business today, providing the community with carpet, floor and fabric cleaning services; fire, water and mold damage restoration; and commercial janitorial services. Building upon the principles that have earned Bishop Clean Care its current level of success, the Savelles hope to expand the business in the future. They also are committed to staying on the forefront of the industry by implementing environmentally responsible practices throughout the company. 


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DARS EY OIL C O.

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n 1952, C. Herschel “Doc” Darsey started Darsey Oil Company by leasing a filling station on the corner of 8th and Jefferson with $400. The 1960s saw small, two-pump operations, while the 1970s brought with them first-time gasoline restrictions. But because Darsey had strong relationships with oil and gas companies, he thrived, serving 150 stations throughout Southwest Georgia. Darsey’s son Chuck appeared on the “Captain Mercury” show as a youngster and told viewers that he would run the company one day; he was already working there for a nickel a week. After graduating from Georgia Tech and four years after working with

Founder C. Herschel Darsey at 151 N. Slappey Drive near Gillionville Road, circa 1956.

his father, Chuck’s prediction came true when he bought the company in 1986. During the 1980s, the EPA became increasingly strict with all underground tanks. This led Chuck to move to oils and lubricants, the two products that the company still distributes today. Now, Darsey Oil Company sells to car dealerships, quick lubes, auto shops, factories and farmers within a 100-mile radius. The company maintains a community-minded reputation and is focused on selling quality products to the region. “We are embedded in South Georgia, and we very much appreciate South Georgia,” Chuck said. “My goal is to be the best at what I do.” 

H ERITA GEBANK OF THE S OUT H

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aking community banking to a new level, HeritageBank of the South proves that steady growth and commitment to service can produce reliable profits for its investors. While HeritageBank has expanded to include many new communities in Georgia and Florida, Albany continues to be its legacy market and a point of pride with the company, as it is the home of the Bank’s headquarters. Every great company can trace its roots back to a humble beginning. For HeritageBank of the South, the foundation was built on the Albany Marine Corps Logistics Base in 1953. Originally a credit union, HeritageBank of the South began serving civilians and enlisted personnel on base in 1955. From there, the credit union grew to serve Procter and Gamble employees as well. And, grow it did — in locations, employees and customers, faithfully serving the community for 47 years as a credit union. It wasn’t until 2002 that it converted to a bank, officially becoming the HeritageBank of the South we know today.

Originally AGE Credit Union, HeritageBank of the South’s first location opened in 1955 on the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia. Today, HeritageBank of the South is a community bank with 22 full-service branch locations and 10 loan production offices across South Georgia and North Florida.

Jumping forward to 2012, the former military base credit union is now a major billion dollar bank with more than 30 locations, nearly 80,000 customers and more than 300 employees. 


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DO CO REGIONAL FEDE RAL CRED IT U N ION

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hen DOCO Regional Federal Credit Union was founded in Albany over five decades ago, it had some truly humble beginnings, initially operating out of a mechanical closet in a school administration building. Today, DOCO operates nine sophisticated branch locations, serves over 36,000 members in all 50 states and abroad, and is proud to offer a full array of affordable financial services including lower interest rates on loans and higher returns on deposits. Originally chartered in 1959 as an employee benefit for the Dougherty County School System, DOCO now serves a much broader membership base with membership eligibility privileges extending to many other business entities and even

The front façade of DOCO’s main office was updated in 2003. To accommodate rapid growth trends, a two-story addition was added in 2006, doubling the credit union’s administrative office space.

entire counties. DOCO is a not-for-profit, member-controlled financial cooperative that gives each member an equal voice in the direction and operation of the credit union. DOCO grew large enough to move from its original makeshift office to a stand-alone building on Flint Avenue in 1974. Outgrowing this space in 1982, the credit union relocated to its current location on North Westover Boulevard. DOCO now also operates additional Georgia branches in Tifton, Americus, East Albany, Lee County, Pelham, Toccoa and Eastanollee. After 50 years in business, DOCO remains committed to providing excellent financial benefits to its members and to building upon a plan that ensures further growth and a prosperous future. 

DOCO’s main office on Westover Boulevard was purchased in 1981. The building previously housed a hardware store.

F&W FORE S TRY

Eley C. Frazer III

Sarah Eldridge

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n 1962, Eley C. Frazer III and Frank Wetherbee founded F&W Forestry in Albany with a vision for the future of forestry. Thanks to a supportive community that laid a strong foundation, F&W has grown to national and international heights, operating in 17 states and four South American countries — Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile — with a team of graduate and advanced degree foresters, forest and data technicians, real estate professionals and support staff. Marshall Thomas, president since 1988, worked his way up the ladder at F&W, beginning in 1978 as a field and technician forester. “If not for our local support when the company first started, and the continued support we humbly receive today, our business would have closed its doors long ago. We owe a lot to this community,” says Thomas.

The main office of F&W Forestry in Albany, Georgia

Under his leadership, combined with the guidance of founder and Chairman Frazer and the support of 120 employees, 50 of whom are in Albany, Thomas has led F&W to manage two million acres for small and large landowners. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary for F&W, an international company with local roots that continues to believe in and operate by its mission: “Growth. Sustainability. Today. Tomorrow.” 


AL B ANY E LE VATOR S E RV I CE , IN C.

A

fter years of working for an elevator company in Atlanta, Jim Thomas decided to go into business for himself. Work trips to Southwest Georgia and the good people he met there left a lasting impression, so when the time came, Jim chose Albany as home for his business venture and his family. Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital signed on as a client, allowing Jim to open up shop with his wife, Nancy, in 1966. Jim’s son Gary came home from college in 1978 to work for the family business, where he trained under his father’s guidance for 10 years before Jim retired in 1988. Private investment partners bought the family business and owned it for six years, while Gary still ran the day-to-day operations. In 1998, Gary purchased the company, putting a Thomas in charge once again. Today, Albany Elevator Service, Inc. is a well-known name across the region, with small residential elevators, tall industrial elevators and services in universities and medical centers across the state — including Mercer University and Albany State University.

ABOVE: The Thomas

family in 1966

BELOW : The

Albany Elevator Service team poses with their trucks in front of their building which was built in 1985. From left to right are Chris Lee, Bob Butler, Dylan Weaver, Clay Thomas, Keith Evans, Mike Dees, Adam Thomas, Ted Holcombe, Barry Butler, Lea Burkart, Chad Grantham, Brook Davis, Jason Brown, Julie Thomas and Gary Thomas.

Gary works alongside his two sons, Adam and Clay, and his daughter, Julie, and together, they provide the company’s customers with three generations of experience as they continue to maintain and expand the trust and excellent reputation Albany Elevator has earned. 

D EERFIELD-WI NDS OR S C HOO L

D

eerfield-Windsor School is the area’s top college preparatory school serving over 800 students on two campuses — pre-kindergarten through 5th grade on Beattie Road and 6th through 12th at the corner of Nottingham and Stuart. Deerfield School and Windsor Academy came together in 1972 to form one institution committed “to inspire in its students a passion for learning, a commitment to personal integrity, and a sense of social responsibility.” Today’s school leaders continue to plan for the future and look for ways to best position students for academic and career success.  This forward thinking has enabled DWS to develop a solid college preparatory education for the children of Southwest Georgia.  Students have access to computer labs, a cutting-edge science and media center and an expanded world language program. A full-time college counselor provides students with individualized guidance throughout the college admission process.  Advanced Placement courses allow those students with additional drive to complete college level courses during ABOVE, RIGHT:

Middle/upper school campus

BELOW, RIGHT:

Lower school campus

their high school years. Deerfield-Windsor also recognizes the importance of a well-rounded education and provides enrichment through strong programs in athletics as well as the visual and performing arts.  Deerfield-Windsor School — where students are Learning Today . . . Leading Tomorrow. 


146  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

1970 – Today


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow ď ś 147


148 ď ś ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

PALM YRA M EDI CA L CEN T ER (N OW PH OEB E N ORT H H OS PITA L)

P

almyra Medical Center opened in Albany on February 1, 1971 and was Albany’s second hospital. The facility began operations as Palmyra Park Hospital, named for its pastureland location upon which the old settlement Palmyra had previously been located. At that time, the growing community was in need of an additional hospital due to the increase in demand for health care services in the area. Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) recognized the need and garnered the support of some local health care professionals and community leaders to make it happen. Two years later, the project was completed and built with $7 million of private investor capital. In 1986, the hospital became known as Palmyra Medical Center, thanks to the specialty care the hospital offered, including an emergency center and a physical rehabilitation center.

As its programs expanded, so did the hospital. The building space evolved and grew to accommodate all services and patients. Opening its doors in 1987, Palmyra Regional Rehabilitation Center (PRRC) offered comprehensive diagnostics and treatment to help patients overcome functional limitations brought on by injury or illness. It offered up-to-date treatments for all impairments, including but not limited to neurological, orthopedic and development. The PRRC team included physiatrists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech pathologists and case managers, all working together with each individual patient. A bariatric program was started at Palmyra in 2002, with the goal of improving the health of this particular segment of the population. It provided individualized patient care with monthly support groups covering a wide variety of topics and providing pre-operative and post-operative education.


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow ď ś 149

The hospital had a comprehensive program for orthopedics to help patients with bone and nerve problems, including total hip, knee and shoulder replacements; arthroscopic surgery; hand and wrist surgery; spine and back surgery; sports medicine; and pediatric orthopedic surgery. Another service provided was vascular and kidney care, including dialysis treatments for renal disease.

At the end of 2010, Palmyra opened a pediatrics unit equipped with a secured area and an advanced patient locater system, private patient rooms, a pediatrics-designed playroom and a family area. On December 16, 2011, Palmyra Medical Center was purchased by the Hospital Authority of Albany-Dougherty County, and the name was changed to Phoebe North. ď ś


150  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

A D A MS EXT ER MIN AT OR S

I

n the 40 years since it first opened, Adams Exterminators has been keeping Southwest Georgia pest-free with professional service and industry expertise. Founder J.D. Adams worked his way through college as a part-time pest control technician for Otto Orkin, who was regarded as the best in the business. Upon graduation, Mr. Adams was hired by Orkin, trained under his guidance, and ultimately held numerous leadership positions during his 27-year tenure. In 1971, Mr. Adams used this wealth of experience and knowledge to begin a new business, Adams Exterminators in Albany. His career continued to flourish as he grew to be one of the most highly regarded and respected people in the industry, while operating a successful business. He served in many leadership roles with the Georgia Pest Control Association and served on the Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission for 12 years. As Mr. Adams planned for retirement, an experienced businessman and local banker Jeff “Bodine” Sinyard was interested in owning his own business, and Adams Exterminators appeared to be a good fit. After months of negotiations over breakfast meetings, Mr. Adams sold his business to Sinyard in 1994. Mr. Adams stayed on full time for one year to teach and mentor Sinyard about the pest control business, making the transition as seamless as possible. He remained a consultant and dear friend until his death in the fall of 2001.

Sinyard focused his efforts on growing the business while maintaining the ideals Mr. Adams had instilled in his team, which consisted of quality work, superior customer service and strong business ethics. With this ideology and through an effective marketing campaign, Adams Exterminators has grown into a regional pest control company operating four offices in Southwest Georgia. This is attributed to a loyal customer base that has come to appreciate the value and service they receive as Adams’ technicians “do it right the first time” in keeping their homes and businesses pest and termite free. Adams Exterminators’ history of community support and philanthropy remains a top priority. Sinyard continues to be very involved in both local civic and charitable organizations. Whether it’s collecting canned goods for the needy or sponsoring local little league baseball teams, the Adams team recognizes the importance of giving back to improve the region and provide a quality place for future generations to live. Sinyards sons Bridges, Stuart and Beau grew up working during the summers and holiday breaks at Adams. Today, Beau is a student at the University of Georgia, while Stuart and Bridges have returned to Albany following college to join the family business. 


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  151

TRU MPE T OF GOD M I NIS TRIES & TRAINING CE NTE R

I

n 1996, Charlene Glover’s introduction to Albany, Georgia, was through an invitation to a spring revival service. While there, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to her and said, “Pray that the city receives you, for I am sending you back to this city to bring Truth and Light to my people.” Subsequently, Glover and her family relocated to Albany, and in April 2000, Trumpet of God Ministries & Training Center was established as a local Christian Church with 17 members in a 1,500-square-foot storefront on West Broad Avenue. Through practical Bible teaching and the demonstration of the power of God, Trumpet has experienced continual growth, with a current membership of over 500 and a growing national and international listening and viewing audience. Since the church’s humble beginnings, Pastor Glover has been ordained as an apostolic leader and is recognized in the Body of Christ as a Leader’s Leader. With her leadership, Trumpet of God Ministries has emerged as a vibrant spiritual ministry for “all people” where faith, love and unity are foundational; the Truth of God’s word is uncompromised; the worship is authentic; and the Kingdom of God is demonstrated. In 2003, while looking for a new home for her growing congregation, Glover again encountered the voice of the Lord saying, “You have to start here (an old paint and body shop, formerly the Wallace Chevrolet dealership) because the restoration of this building will be the symbol of my power to restore the ruined lives of those who will come and submit to my presence in this place.” Since 2000, Trumpet has acquired over

Apostle Charlene Glover, Founder and Visionary Leader

20 acres of property, along with other real estate, and currently occupies a 30,000-square-foot building at 600 Pine Avenue. In addition, Glover is regarded as a community leader, awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Dream Award in 2008 for outstanding leadership and community involvement. In 2009, Trumpet piloted and sponsored the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce community initiative, Strive2Thrive, a program to eradicate poverty. Trumpet continues to be actively engaged in various community initiatives to empower families to become self-sustained. Thus, in keeping with its divine mission “to be a repairer of the breach and a rebuilder of the ruins in our community and beyond (Isaiah 58:12),” Trumpet has emerged as a pioneering ministry recognized for making Disciples of Christ — mending hearts and transforming lives. 

Corporate Worship


152  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

ALBANY M ALL

The Albany Mall opened for business in 1976. Today, it has grown to include over 85 stores including Belk, Dillard’s, JCPenney and Sears.

O

n August 4, 1976, Albany Mall celebrated its grand opening as the largest shopping center in South Georgia. The mall boasted 76 great stores and three anchor department stores, Belk, Sears and Gayfers, all underneath one roof in one convenient location. Aronov Realty Company of Alabama, in partnership with Monumental Properties of Maryland, developed the mall as the area’s premier shopping center development and as a community focal point where people could meet and shop. “A shopping mall becomes so many things to so many people. It benefits a community with cultural, educational and charitable

events sponsored by local organizations. It serves a real need. And we take a great deal of pride in what we are able to do,” Aaron Aronov said in 1982. Albany Mall presently serves an average of 140,000 visitors a week from 17 counties in Southwest Georgia with 85 popular stores and four anchor department stores, Belk, Dillard’s, JCPenney and Sears. The Mall is proud to offer a wide selection of favorite shops, all in “the great indoors.” In the future, Albany Mall looks forward to continuing to serve the shopping needs of Southwest Georgia and the surrounding areas. 

ART ES IA N CON T R A CT IN G CO.

I

n 1988, Artesian Contracting Co. opened up shop with the intention of serving the community as a local general contractor and design builder. Since that time, and with 108 commercial and 148 federal government projects under its belt, the company has become a key component in the success of the community it serves. Glenn Singfield purchased the company in 1999 and shortly afterward joined forces with Jake Barrow in 2003 in a partnership that has garnered respect throughout Southwest Georgia. The duo credits its success to professionalism, competitiveness, timeliness and the ability to provide the best value for the dollar. While Artesian works in the health care, industrial, institutional, military, religious, residential and retail markets

frequently, there are two local projects that Artesian is especially proud to have been a part of due to the historic tribute of each — the restoration and completion of the Civil Rights Museum and the Historic Bridge House, known today as The Albany Welcome Center. Artesian also takes pride in its people and is looking forward to building on its success. “We are proud to hire the most talented, positive people we can find,” Singfield says. “By combining our talents with our passion for building lasting relationships within the community, we are confident that Artesian will serve this region for years to come.” 

BELOW :

Albany Welcome Center and Convention and Visitors Bureau yesterday (LEFT) and today (RIGHT).


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  153

C ROWN NETWOR K IN G CON S U LTA N T S , IN C.

A

n Albany native, Crown Networking Consultants, Inc. CEO Kyle Boyd began working in the field of information technology while still in high school. He quickly learned that he had a natural talent that could open many doors for him in the IT industry, so studying computer science in college was an easy decision. While enrolled as a student at Darton College, Boyd soon found himself on the college’s payroll, gaining even more realworld career experience. Upon graduation, Boyd continued his employment at Darton College. By 2005, he was a part-time entrepreneur, building a list of IT clients he worked for at night and on weekends. In early 2009, Boyd made the decision to launch Crown Networking Consultants, Inc. full time. The business venture had a clear vision: create a company that assists its client base by being proactive rather than reactive. A full-service information technology company, Crown Networking specializes in IT support, off-site data storage and

back-up systems. Many clients are businesses in fields like health care, non-profit organizations and government entities. While some clients prefer that Crown Networking help them as they set-up shop, others employ Crown with annual contracts and treat Crown IT support professionals as they would their own IT department. In order to meet each client’s needs, Boyd has expanded the Crown Networking team to include his mother Becky Boyd, Vice President of Operations, as well as five IT support professionals and an administrative assistant. Boyd and his team believe in actively supporting the community in which they live and carefully choose causes and organizations to support through service and fundraising. The future looks bright for Crown Networking Consultants, Inc. As its number of clients continues to increase, client expectations also inch upward. All the while, the company’s focus never strays from its core mission — to be proactive for its clients.


154  ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

For over 38 years D.J.’s II Car Wash has been Albany’s premier car care facility, doing business in this location since 1985.

DJ’S II CA R WA S H A N D QU ICK LU B E, IN C.

I

n 1973, David Wiggins founded DJ’s Car Wash at its original location on East Oglethorpe before expanding its facilities and scope and moving to its current location on Stuart Avenue in 1985. Today, the business is known as DJ’s II Car Wash and Quick Lube. David’s oldest son Jeff graduated from college in 1996 and moved home to Albany where he began working for the family business. Four years later, Jeff’s brother Colby returned home after his graduation and partnered with Jeff to purchase the business from their father in 2003.

The brothers agree that the reward for the hard work they put into their family owned and operated and nearly 40-year-old business is caring for the generations who continue to trust DJ’s II with their car maintenance. DJ’s II looks forward to future growth and expansion, and the Wiggins are committed to upholding the reputation the business has earned as Southwest Georgia’s premier car wash. 

M ILLERCOORS

M

iller Brewing Company began in 1855 when German brewer Frederick J. Miller brought his passion and treasured yeast with him overseas to America and opened his brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company grew over the years and opened a brewery in Albany in 1979, shortly after the well-known introduction of Miller Lite to the beer market.  Prussian-born Adolph Coors created Coors Brewing Company in 1873 and tapped his first American-made barrel of beer the same year in Golden, Colorado.   These breweries, two of the oldest and most respected in the world, joined together to become MillerCoors in 2008. Today, the Albany brewery can produce 10 million barrels a year, and is ranked among the largest employers in Southwest Georgia with approximately 600 employees. 

Future plans include a continued commitment to brewing quality beer and educating the consumers on drinking responsibly because “with great beer comes great responsibility.”


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  155

L RA C ONS TRUC TORS , INC.

L

RA Constructors, Inc. has been building on a firm foundation of quality work and strong community involvement since it was established in 1978 by J. Lamar Reese and Murray M. Webb. From its beginnings over 30 years ago, the company has grown. Ben B. Barrow Jr. was hired as General Manager in 1979 and was joined by John L. Reese III in 1982. In 1983, Barrow was elected the company’s President. Today, Barrow and Reese own and operate the business, and have played active roles leading to the successful completion of more than 1,500 commercial and industrial projects in the church, health care, industrial, government/military, institutional, office/bank, retail and transportation dealership markets — most within a 50-mile radius of Albany. Through the years, the company has solidified its business by building relationships based on customer trust, having faith in the Lord, training and depending on its 70 field construction technicians, and constructing high-quality facilities that are costefficient and built in a timely manner.

TOP ROW, L-R:

John Reese III, Jake Reese, Ben Barrow Jr., Dan Kemp III Mike Williford, Glenn Pinkston, Greg Freeman.

BOTTOM ROW, L-R:

At the end of each year, 10 percent of the company’s profit is invested back into the community that LRA Constructors, Inc. helped build. LRA Constructors’ blueprints for the future include being receptive to change and adapting to new technology as well as the new generation, who will build upon the company’s founding principle: providing beautiful, well-constructed facilities for neighbors and friends.


156 1 56  ALBANYY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Corporate Sponsor Index Adams Exterminators, Inc. 1702 West Town Road Albany, GA 31707 Phone: 229-435-6257 Fax: 229-435-5377 www.adams-exterminators.com p. 150

Albany State University 504 College Drive Albany, GA 31705 Phone: 229-430-4600 Fax: 229-430-1613 www.asurams.edu pp. 112-113

Consolidated Loan Company 430 W. Tift Ave. Albany, GA 31702 Phone: 229-436-2157 Fax: 229-435-4405 www.consolidated-loan.com pp. 118-119

Albany Air Conditioning and Heating Company 2500 W. Gordon Ave. Albany, GA 31707 Phone: 229-436-0341 Fax: 229-436-6252 www.albanyair.com p. 142

Albany Tech 1704 S. Slappey Blvd. Albany, GA 31701 Phone: 229-430-3500 Fax: 229-430-6180 www.albanytech.edu pp. 136-137

Crown Networking Consultants, Inc. 531 W. Broad Ave. Albany, GA 31701 Phone: 229-317-7940 Fax: 229-317-7941 www.crownnetworking.com p. 153

Albany Welcome Center 112 N. Front St. Albany, GA 31701 Phone: 229-317-4760 www.visitalbanyga.com p. 121

Darsey Oil Co. 307 E. Oglethorpe Blvd. Albany, GA 31702 Phone: 229-455-7765 Fax: 229-435-5189 www.darseyoil.com p. 143

Albany ARC 1319 W. Broad Ave. Albany, GA 31707 Phone: 229-888-6852 Fax: 229-883-6875 www.albanyarc.org pp. 138-139 Albany Area Chamber of Commerce 225 W. Broad Ave. Albany, GA 31701 Phone: 229-434-8700 Fax: 229-434-8716 www.albanyga.com p. 120 Albany Elevator Service, Inc. 1432 U.S. Highway 19 S. Leesburg, GA 31763 Phone: 229-436-7131 Fax: 229-436-1188 www.albanyelevator.com p. 145 Albany Mall 2601 Dawson Road Albany, GA 31707 Phone: 229-883-7983 Fax: 229-436-6096 www.shopmalls.com p. 152

Artesian Contracting Co. 413 Flint Ave. Albany, GA 31701 Phone: 229-878-0099 Fax: 229-434-1673 www.artesiancontracting.com p. 152 Bishop Clean Care 234 Cedric St. Leesburg, GA 31763 Phone: 229-883-1202 Fax: 229-438-7512 www.bishopcleancare.com p. 142 City of Albany 222 Pine Ave. Albany, GA 31701 Phone: 229-431-3234 Fax: 229-431-3223 www.albany.ga.us pp. 110-111

Deerfield-Windsor School 2500 Nottingham Way Albany, GA 31707 Phone: 229-435-1301 Fax: 229-888-6085 www.deerfieldwindsor.com p. 145 DJ’s II Car Wash and Quik Lube, Inc. 2535 Stuart Ave. Albany, GA 31709 Phone: 229-344-2626 Fax: 229-438-5200 www.djs2carwash.com p. 154 DOCO Regional Federal Credit Union 107 N. Westover Blvd. Albany, GA 31707 Phone: 229-435-1715 Fax: 229-420-8264 www.docofcu.com p. 144


ALBANYY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow ď ś 15 157 7

Corporate Sponsor Index Engineering and Equipment Co. 910 N. Washington St. Albany, GA 31701 Phone: 229-435-5601 Fax: 229-435-1502 p. 122 F&W Forestry 1310 W. Oakridge Dr. Albany, GA 31707 Phone: 229-883-0505 Fax: 229-883-0515 www.fwforestry.com p. 144 HertiageBank of the South 721 N. Westover Blvd. Albany, GA 31707 Phone: 229-420-0000 Fax: 229-878-2054 www.eheritagebank.com p. 143 Huggins Outboard, Inc. 922 Radium Springs Road Albany, GA 31705 Phone: 229-432-6831 Fax: 229-435-1760 www.hugginsoutboard.com p. 123 Lincoln of Albany 632 W. Broad Ave. Albany, GA 31701 Phone: 229-432-7464 Fax: 229-435-3133 www.albanylincolnmercury.com p. 125 LRA Constructors, Inc. 2727 Upland Court Albany, GA 31721 Phone: 229-883-8473 Fax: 229-883-7009 www.lraconstructors.com p. 155

Mauldin & Jenkins 2303 Dawson Road Albany, GA 31707 Phone: 229-446-3600 Fax: 229-446-3664 www.mjcpa.com pp. 116-117

Sunnyland Farms 2314 Willson Road Albany, GA 31705 Phone: 1-800-999-2488 Fax: 229-317-4979 www.sunnylandfarms.com pp. 128-129

MillerCoors 405 Cordele Road Albany, GA 31705 Phone: 229-420-5000 Fax: 229-420-5250 www.millercoors.com p. 154

The Veranda 2701 Meredyth Drive Albany, GA 31707 Phone: 229-883-7010 Fax: 229-435-4022 www.obgalbany.com pp. 130-131

Phoebe North Hospital 2000 Palmyra Road Albany, GA 31701 Phone: 229-434-2000 www.phoebeputney.com pp. 148-149

Thronateeska Heritage Foundation 100 West Roosevelt Ave. Albany, GA 31701 Phone: 229-432-6955 Fax: 229-435-1572 www.heritagecenter.org pp. 134-135

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital 417 W. Third Ave. Albany, GA 31701 Phone: 229-312-1000 www.phoebeputney.com pp. 114-115 Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 72 1900 Clark Ave. Albany, GA 31705 Phone: 229-436-3929 Fax: 229-439-4803 www.site.ua72.org p. 124 SOWEGA Council on Aging 1105 Palmyra Road Albany, GA 31701 Phone: 229-432-1124 Fax: 229-483-0995 www.sowegacoa.org pp. 140-141

Trumpet of God Ministries & Training Center 600 Pine Ave. Albany, GA 31701 Phone: 229-432-1877 Fax: 229-432-1807 www.trumpetofgod.org p. 151 WALB-TV 1709 Stuart Ave. Albany, GA 31706 Phone: 229-446-1010 Fax: 229-446-4000 www.walb.com pp. 132-133


158 1 15 5 8 ď ś AL AALBANY BANY BA NY - Ye YYesterday, est ster e da day, y, Today y, Tod odayy & TTomorrow om omor morro oorrroow

John R. Pattison, Thomas L. Pattison, Thomas Pattison and unidentified worker

Corporate Profile Credits The following profiles were written by Cristin Kirbo:

The following profiles were written by K.K. Snyder:

Adams Exterminators, Inc. Albany Air Conditioning and Heating Co., Inc. Albany ARC Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Albany Elevator Service, Inc. Albany Lincoln, Inc. Albany Mall Albany Welcome Center Artesian Contracting Company, Inc. Bishop Clean Care Crown Networking Consultants, Inc. Darsey Oil Company, Inc. DJ’s II Car Wash and Quik Lube DOCO Regional Federal Credit Union F&W Forestry, Inc. Huggins Outboard LRA Constructors, Inc. Mauldin and Jenkins MillerCoors OB-GYN Associates at The Veranda Palmyra Medical Center Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 72 SOWEGA Council on Aging Thronateeska Heritage Foundation

Albany State University City of Albany Deerfield-Windsor School Engineering and Equipment Company Sunnyland Farms All profiles were printed exactly as approved and/or requested by the company or organization profiled. The following profiles were submitted by the company or organization: Albany Technical College Consolidated Loan Co. Engineering and Equipment Company HeritageBank of the South Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Trumpet of God Ministries and Training Center WALB-TV

Bibliography Davis, Liner Clive. Glancing Backward: Albany, Georgia 1836-1986. Tallahassee: Rose Publishing Company, 1986. Kitchens, Joseph. Generations: The Story of Albany. Montgomery: Community Communications, Inc., 1998


ALBANY - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  159

Publisher’s Dedication The publisher proudly dedicates this book with grateful appreciation, love and respect to Coach Frank Orgel, a man who personifies strength, courage and optimism in the face of adversity, the same traits that Albany’s city and business leaders have needed to carry them through the floods and tornadoes of “yesterday” to the prosperity of “today” and into the bright future of “tomorrow.”

ABOVE: This image shows Orgel as a

YMCA swim coach in the 1950s. As a student at Albany High in the mid-1950s, Orgel worked under director B.B. Rhodes, who today works diligently with Orgel in the “Y” pool, helping him rehabilitate from nerve damage that has impaired his mobility. It is an amazing example of how treasured friendships of “yesterday” still carry us through “today.”

ABOVE: Orgel played end at the University of Georgia

on Wallace Butt’s last SEC championship team in 1958. Teammates included Pat Dye and Fran Tarkenton. After Orgel’s playing days at Georgia, he spent two years with the Buffalo Bills, then began coaching, first as an assistant at Thomasville H.S., then as an assistant and later head coach, at Warner Robins H.S., where this book’s publisher first had the privilege of playing for him. Orgel’s college coaching career began at the University of North Alabama, before moving on to East Carolina, Clemson, Auburn, South Carolina and Georgia. Orgel returned to Albany in 1996 serving as athletic director of Dougherty County Schools from 1996 until his retirement in 2001.

LEFT: Orgel coached inside linebackers at the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995. During his college coaching career he recruited players from throughout Georgia, including numerous players from Albany, many of whom went on to NFL careers.


160 16 0 ď ś AL ALBANY ALBA BANY BA NYY - Ye Yesterday, Yest ster st erda er day, da y, Today TTod oday od ayy & TTomorrow om mor orro roww


$39.95

K.K. SNYDER has lived in Albany for three decades and counts a number of local publications among the many outlets for her writing over the years. Currently she is editor-in-chief of Southwest Georgia Living magazine and the author of “Frommer’s Atlanta” travel guidebook. She is a graduate of Darton College and Georgia Southwestern State University. The mother of two and grandmother of one, K.K. spends most of her free time traveling and nurturing her appreciation of the world around her and the people and cultures that tie it all together.

T

his truly extraordinary new book showcases nearly 100 pairs of “yesterday and today” photographs from the Albany. These period photos of timeless scenes and historic architecture were personally selected by the Thronateeska Heritage Center and painstakingly reproduced in full breathtaking color by award-winning Albany photojournalist Todd Stone. Accompanying these photos are fascinating and informative captions penned by Southwest Georgia Living magazine’s editor-in-chief K.K. Snyder. Albany native and veteran writer O. Vic Miller’s expressive narrative gives readers a glimpse into life growing up on the river banks of Albany. Miller’s eloquent reminiscence is mesmerizing and dynamic — much like the Flint River itself, and gives the reader a deeper sense of Albany’s past.

O.VIC MILLER is a native Albanian, having grown up at Radium Springs on the banks of his beloved Flint River. An accomplished writer, he taught at Darton College for more than 25 years and is the author of two short story collections — “The Tenderest Touch” and “One Man’s Junk.” He co-authored a novel, “Where Remedies Lie,” with local physician James Hotz, M.D. Having penned dozens of magazine articles for Gray’s Sporting Journal, Southwest Georgia Living, Georgia Sportsman and others, O.Vic continues to wander his beloved South and beyond in a retro Airstream camper, his thoughts never far from home. At the ripe old age of 20, TODD STONE showed up at the newsroom of the Albany Herald in April 1982 with a loose-leaf notebook containing a few black and white 8 x 10s, got hired on the spot and began a career in photography that has spanned almost 30 years. A freelancer since 1994, his work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, USA Today, Southwest Georgia Living and many other publications. He was the on-set still photographer for Sherwood Pictures’ two latest films, “Fireproof ” and “Courageous.” Todd and Cindy, his wife of 29 years, enjoy hunting together and are active in their church. Visit www.toddstonephoto.com. CRISTIN KIMBRELL KIRBO is a local freelance writer whose work can be found in publications throughout the region including Southwest Georgia Living magazine and the Albany Herald. Born in Roswell, Georgia, Cristin earned her bachelors in Communications from Mercer University, where she began her career as a journalist writing for Mercer University’s award-winning campus newspaper, The Cluster. Following graduation, Cristin worked in fundraising, marketing and event planning for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Mercer University. Cristin launched her writing career shortly after moving to Albany, Georgia, where she now resides with her husband, John Hall Kirbo.  

CELEBRATE ALBANY’S 175th ANNIVERSARY WITH A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY THROUGH Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow “It’s so important for us to keep our local history real and maintain objectivity about defining events. At Thronateeska, I’ve tried to record that history and present those stories in an unbiased way, allowing individuals to interpret the historical facts as they will. Many of us share similar experiences. Some of our stories intersect with those of others in the community and some do not. We hope this book will allow you to pause and reflect on the people, places and events that have made Dougherty County and Albany what they are today.” — Tommy Gregors Executive Director, Thronateeska Heritage Center

Historians say a photograph and a brief caption can often convey more history than an extended narrative—and leave a much more indelible impression on the mind. These photos are truly timeless treasures, providing a unique window into yesterday and a new appreciation for today. They are a perfect touchstone for family discussion and contribute to a better understanding of what life was like “back in the day.” Flip though the pages with those of an earlier generation, and you will soon hear stories you have never heard before as they dig up memories long buried. Accompanying the yesterday and today photos are architectural renderings of “tomorrow” that depict plans for future buildings and projects in the Albany area such as the renovations to the Thronateeska Heritage Center and the additions to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Fitting companions to this remarkable collection of photographs from yesterday, today and tomorrow are the compelling and inspiring stories of Albany businesses and organizations, stories of struggle and success from their early beginnings through today and their vision for tomorrow. We hope you will enjoy your experience within the pages of this book as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you.

Albany: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  

This truly extraordinary new book showcases more than 100 pairs of “yesterday and today” photographs … period photographs of historical scen...

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