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Georgia Natural Wonder #240 - General Coffee State Park - Coffee County (Part 1).
Georgia Natural Wonder #240 - General Coffee State Park - Coffee County (Part 1)

We did a Tangent on this State Park back on Georgia Natural Wonder #120 about the Satilla River. We were going back and forth between Mountain Waterfalls and Swamps just after we passed 100 Wonders. I was looking for one last good swamp area of South Georgia and I found the Satilla River with several descriptions of floats along 17 Mile Creek and several boardwalks in two separate State Parks. General Coffee State Park was closer to where the Satilla started in Fitzgerald. I said I may have to break the State Parks down one day into separate GNW’s. Well this is that day. I want to be complete about featuring all the State Parks as Wonders so instead of just being a Tangent within a post, it will be a full separate Georgia Natural Wonder.

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I went into a great bit of detail on the history of General Coffee, so as a re-post, General Coffee State Park is known for it's interpretation of agricultural history. The park was donated to the state by a group of Coffee County citizens in 1970 and is named after General John Coffee, a planter, U.S. Congressman and military leader. He is sometimes confused by researchers with his first cousin John Coffee, who served as a general in the Tennessee militia with Andrew Jackson and was prominent in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend against the Creeks and the Battle of New Orleans against the British.

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Georgia John vs. Tennessee - Alabama John

John E. Coffee (December 3, 1782 – September 25, 1836) was a military leader and a Congressman for the state of Georgia.

Early life

John E. Coffee was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia in 1782. He was a grandson of Peter Coffee, Sr. and Susannah Mathews. Coffee was eighteen when he moved with his family to Hancock County, Georgia, in 1800. His parents developed a cotton plantation near Powelton. In 1807, the younger Coffee settled in Telfair County, Georgia, where he developed his own plantation.

Military career

John E. Coffee of Georgia, just as much a Jackson partisan as his cousin, named the town where he settled Jacksonville. He fought with Jackson in the Seminole wars in Florida and was also Agent for Indian Affairs for the State of Georgia.

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As a general in the Georgia state militia, Coffee supervised construction in the 1820s of a supply road through the state of Georgia. It was called "Coffee Road" and enabled the transportation of munitions to the Florida Territory to fight the Indians during the Creek Wars. The road was built from his home in Jacksonville, Georgia, to present-day Madison, Florida, and is still known as The Old Coffee Road.

Political career

John Coffee served as a member of the Georgia Senate from 1819 to 1827. He served in the US Congress during both terms of the Jackson administration. He was elected as a Jacksonian Democrat to the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth U.S. Congresses and served from March 4, 1833, until his death on September 25, 1836. He was re-elected to the Twenty-fifth United States Congress on October 3, 1836, after his death, the news of his death not having been received. Coffee died on his plantation near Jacksonville, Georgia, on September 25, 1836, and was buried there. In 1921 his remains were re-interred in McRae Cemetery, McRae, Georgia.

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In the 1920s some ignorant busybody DAR ladies, conflating the history of the two generals, had the remains dug up (he was buried on his Jacksonville plantation) and re-interred in McRae, 20 miles to the north, where they erected an elaborate marker which claims that Gen. John E. Coffee of Georgia was a member of the Tennessee Volunteers and took part in the Battle of New Orleans!

Legacy and Honors

In addition to Old Coffee Road, Coffee County, Georgia, and General Coffee State Park were named in honor of John E. Coffee.

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Back to Coffee State Park

I don't know how it took me 240 Wonders to think I can't mix my TRD Nuggets with each post, but play this, my favorite song about Coffee, as you scroll the rest of this post. A TRD Musical Nugget for you Coffee Drinking Rockers ....

From Georgia State Parks.Org: 

General Coffee State Park is one of southern Georgia’s “best kept secrets,” this park is known for agricultural history shown at Heritage Farm, with log cabins, a corn crib, tobacco barn, cane mill and other exhibits. 

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Vintage Coffee Pioneers.

Weekend Pioneers.

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A lot of Weekend Pioneers.

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Children enjoy feeding the park's farm animals, which usually include goats, sheep, chickens, pigs and donkeys.

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It's not a Baaaad place to visit.

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"General Coffee State Park is a place for quiet rejuvenation, where you can uncover footprints of the past as you explore south Georgia's wiregrass region."

Overnight accommodations include camping, cottages and the Burnham House, an elegantly decorated 19th-century cabin perfect for romantic getaways. 

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For horse lovers, the park offers 13.4 miles of equestrian trails. 

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Ride-in campsites are primitive, offering exceptional privacy surrounded by nature. 

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Drive-in campsites offer nearby water spigots, pit toilets, grills, fire rings and picnic tables. Stables are not provided.

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Seventeen-Mile River and a boardwalk wind through cypress swamp where rare and endangered plants grow. Pitcher plants, shy indigo snakes and gopher tortoises make their homes in this wiregrass community. Birding and nature photography are exceptional.

Reservations, Accommodations & Facilities
  • 1,511 Acres
  • 4 Acre Lake

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[Image: SCuE2iG.jpg] Always good to stay dry.
  • 1 Campground Shelter (Before making reservations, call park for capacity limits.)
  • 1 Group Lodge (sleeps 40. Before making reservations, call park for capacity limits.) — call park to reserve
  • 7 Picnic Shelters (Before making reservations, call park for capacity limits.)

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  • Outdoor Amphitheater — call park to reserve

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  • Farm Peninsula
  • Ball Field
  • Heritage Farm

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  • Playground
  • Wi-Fi — available in the park office

Things To Do & See

Biking - rentals available

Cycling is allowed on all paved surfaces of General Coffee State Park as well as along the 4+ miles of hiking and nature trails.

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Bike rentals (Road bikes) are available from 8:00 Am to 3:30 PM. All bikes must be returned by 4:45PM. Youth and Adult bikes are available for rent, as well as helmets.

Approximately 167 species of bird can be found throughout the year at General Coffee State Park which located in Georgia’s Coastal Plain. 

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Nature trails offer birders unique opportunities along wetlands, including the Sandhill Management Area, to catch a glimpse at a variety of bird species.
Boating is available in the 4-acre Farm Pond.

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Must sign waiver and review boating rules and regulations. Private boats allowed, electric motors only, no boat ramp.

Fishing is available at the 4-acre Farm Pond in the Heritage Farm portion of the park. 

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A hiking trail circling the pond provides access to largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish and crappie. No shiners are allowed; however, all other live and artificial lures are permitted. A pedestrian bridge across the pond has access for fishing, and a footbridge offers casting room where a small stream enters the lake. Another fishing dock is located on the south end. Kayaks and canoes are available for rent and can be used to fish the shore of a small island in the pond. 

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Shallow areas in the lake are good places to find bass and bream spawning beds in the springtime. (Information provided by

Heritage Farm Interpretive Walk

This half-mile walk loops around the pond located at the park’s award-winning Heritage Farm. The best place to begin and end your walk is at the farm’s parking lot. Located along the walk are interpretive stations were you can read about the habitats, plants and animals found at General Coffee State Park. 

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This walk is also a popular with birding enthusiasts as many species of water birds and songbirds can be spotted near the pond year-round.

East River Trail

The East River Trail begins on the west side of the Seventeen Mile River near picnic shelters #5 and #6. The trail starts with a half-mile-long boardwalk that crosses the river to the east side of the park. As you walk along the boardwalk, keep an eye open for wading birds and river otters during the wet season and for deer and raccoon during the dry season.

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Now this is what brought me to Coffee County State park the 1st time around, the swamp.

The Seventeen Mile River is an ephemeral river fed by runoff water from rainfall and fresh-water springs. Rivers such as this one are also called blackwater rivers due to their dark, tea-colored hue. During dry years, ephemeral rivers may completely dry up and the river bottom will be green with moss, ferns, grasses and wild flowers. During wetter years, the water level at this point in the river will reach to within a few feet of the bottom of the boardwalk. There are deeper areas of the river that are referred to as “lakes.” It is in these deeper areas that sh and other aquatic animals survive during the dry times to repopulate the river when the waters return. To judge the average water level in the river you just need to look for the point on the cypress trees were the trunk starts to sloop outward.

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As the trail leaves the river and you return to solid ground, you are climbing the side of a small hill. The change from river to upland happens within just a few feet of trail as you rapidly climb the few feet in elevation needed to go from a wet river bottom to a dry sand hill. Here it is easy to see how just a few feet of elevation can make a huge difference in the types of plants and animals that live in the area. Take note of the loose white sand that is common in these areas. The dry area you are now entering provides good growing conditions for trees such as hickory and oaks. The understory of the forest is full of different species of blueberry bushes.

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Stay on trail.

The trail will cross and re-cross the park road and continue back down to the edge of the river. As you approach the river you will see a change take place in the forest as you enter wetter areas. Magnolia trees dominate this section of the riverbank. There are several different types of magnolias that grow in this area, but the dominant one is the Southern Magnolia. The best time to see these trees in bloom are the months of April and May. If you look carefully in the branches you may be lucky enough to see the rare Green fly Orchid in bloom.

West River Trail

Beginning near picnic shelter #4, the West River Trail is the oldest trail on the park. This trail travels along the western edge of the Seventeen Mile River from the picnic area to campground #2. Along the route, the trail crosses several drainage areas where wet weather creeks feed the river. The trail bed is relatively compacted and easy to walk, but the trail can be narrow in places with exposed tree roots. As you travel along this trail you will experience two habitats: the river on one side and mostly upland pine forest along the other side. This occurs because this trail is situated in what is known as the ecotone, or boundary zone between these two distinct habitats.

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The upland pine forest in this area is dominated by Longleaf Pine and Wiregrass. This is one of the two types of longleaf habitats seen at General Coffee State Park. The other is the Longleaf-Turkey Oak forest found in the sand hill areas. These upland forests are home to many types of songbirds and small mammals. During the spring and fall, these woods are full of native wild flowers. Like the sand hill areas, the upland pine forest needs to burn periodically, every 2–5 years, to remain a pine forest. The park actively manages these areas by conducting controlled burns that prohibit the hardwood trees from taking over the pine forest and allow the young longleaf seedlings to germinate and grow.

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Looking in the river area along this trail you will see a mixture of Cypress, Black Gum and Red Maple trees. Scattered within the river are small islands that support pond pine and other species of trees and bushes. This variety of plant life leads to a variety of wildlife. As you walk along the trail you may see or hear songbirds, owls, hawks, raccoons, whitetail deer, snakes, and many other animals. If you stroll along the trail soon after sunset on a summer evening, you may be treated to a light show as lightening bugs rise from the riverbanks for their nightly mating flight.

Gopher Loop

Gopher Loop is a 1.5-mile loop trail that takes you into the sand hill management area of the park. You may access this trail at two points, the trailhead near the main park road (there is a small parking area) or the West River Trail as it joins into Gopher Loop behind campground #2. This is the driest area in the park, and during the summer it can be very hot, so be sure to take water and a hat. It is along this trail that you have the best chance of seeing the protected Gopher Tortoise and the threatened Indigo Snake.

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Scattered throughout the sand hill are many Gopher Tortoise colonies. Each colony usually contains 10–15 burrows and is home to 10 or more tortoises. This species is the only tortoise in the Southeast and is an important member of the sand hill community. The Gopher Tortoise is often referred to as a keystone species since upward of 300 other species of wildlife will utilize the Gopher Tortoise burrow to stay cool in the heat of the summer and to escape the res that are an important part of this ecosystem. These burrows can be over 30 feet in length and may be 6 or more feet below the surface of the ground. Located at the entrance to each burrow is an area of sand called the apron. This is the sand that the tortoise kicks out of the burrow as it is digging its tunnel. It is in this apron area that the female tortoise will lay her eggs. When walking around these burrows, be very careful to not step on the apron or near the tunnel entrance, as sometimes the beginning of the tunnel will collapse under your weight.

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A restoration project began in this sand hill area in 2005. Due to many years of suppressing fires, various oak tree species began to shade out the longleaf pines, wiregrass and many plants the Gopher Tortoises depends on for food. To bring balance back to the system and allow for future controlled burns, the oaks had to be thinned out and 25,000 Longleaf Pine seedlings were planted. To many this may look like a dry desolate area, but it is in fact teaming with life. If you look closely you may see Longleaf Pines in the grass stage, and if you visit during the summer you will see the wiregrass and many wild flowers in bloom. 

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These wild flowers and grasses attract many types of insects that in turn attract animals that eat insects. Due to the arid conditions, the best time to see wildlife in the sand hill is early in the morning and late in the evening.
Horseback Riding - trail fee

The park features 12 miles (one-way) of horse trails that loop through the eastern side of the property. Parking for horse trailers is available at picnic shelter #7. All riders must check in at the park of ce before proceeding to the trail area. A small fee is charged for use of horse trails. Proof of negative Coggins test is required on all horses.

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Riders will experience every type of habitat present at General Coffee State Park. The lower sand hill areas were clear-cut in the early 1970s and have re-grown as a mixed oak forest. Small sections of this area are being used as experimental areas to study various sand hill restoration techniques. The upper sand hill areas contain oaks and mature longleaf pine. The scrub area toward the back of the park is a rare glance at a unique ecosystem. The trail crosses several drainage areas and travels along the edge of the Seventeen Mile River and Otter Creek for several miles. The area abounds with wildlife such as whitetail deer, wild turkey, gopher tortoise, and many types of songbirds.
Paddling - rentals available

Paddling is available in the 4-acre Farm Pond. Rentals can be acquired at the Trading Post/Park Office from 8:00 AM to 3:45 PM daily. 

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Visitors have many options of venues including: Seven picnic shelters, the Group Shelter, and our Campground Shelter. 

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Please contact the park for availability of ranger-led programs for your group.

Picnic shelters are available for reservation. Also available are picnic tables, which are first come, first serve and free to use, other than a ParkPass for parking.

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The picnic shelters can be reserved for $35 a day.

Tangent Seventeen Mile River

Now this is a re-post from the first time I came to Coffee County State Park, a worthy re-post. The blackwater Seventeen Mile River can be hard to find, largely due to the fact that it’s considered an “ephemeral river”. This means that  it’s dry as often as it’s wet, often more so. Much of it is located on private property, as well. The best place to see this natural wonder is at General Coffee State Park.

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If you’re a fisherman, the best time to visit is after a good period of rain. As a navigable stream, the Seventeen Mile River is nearly impenetrable, but several open “lakes” provide good places to fish.

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Gar Lake, seen here, is one of the easiest to access.

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The park prides itself on being one of the best kept secrets in the state. Its protection has enabled rare plants with limited ranges like the Green-fly Orchid (Epidendrum magnoliae) and Narrow-leaf Barbara’s Buttons (Marshallia tenuifolia) to survive.

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Several long boardwalks provide easy access to the river and swamps and make for one of the most peaceful walks in South Georgia.

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Many would just call this a swamp. I think of it as a piece of paradise.

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Cypress is dominant here.

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The knees are visible everywhere, especially in the dry beds interspersed throughout the landscape.

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OK, Coffee County State park even better the 2nd time around. Let's do a Tangent on Coffee County now.

Coffee County

Coffee County is a county located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 43,092, up from 42,356 at the 2010 census. The county seat is Douglas.


Coffee County was created by an act of the Georgia General Assembly on February 9, 1854, from portions of Clinch, Irwin, Telfair, and Ware counties. These lands were originally ceded by the Creek in the Treaty of Fort Jackson in (1814) and the Treaty of the Creek Agency (1818) and apportioned to the above counties before becoming Coffee County.

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Map 1881 and 1911.

Berrien (1856), Jeff Davis (1905), and Atkinson (1917) counties were subsequently formed from sections of Coffee County.

The county is named for General John E. Coffee, a state legislator and a U.S. representative. Coffee was also a prominent frontiersman, renowned for his service in the region’s Indian wars as we noted above about the State Park being named for him.

Coffee County is in the wiregrass region of south central Georgia, so called because of the predominance of wiregrass,  which grows among the Georgia pines, especially in the Lower Coastal Plain. 

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During the early nineteenth century, the area attracted many whites to the region, because of its abundance of game, rivers, woods, and general wildlife. Only the most adventurous pioneers actually settled there, however.

Many of the early settlers of what is now Coffee County are buried in historic cemeteries across the region, including the cemetery at Lone Hill United Methodist Church—located at 6833 Broxton-West Green Highway, some 10 miles northeast of Douglas. The church and its cemetery date to the 1840s, with the earliest marked grave dated 1848.

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A majestic Eastern Redcedar has graced the cemetery for generations and is recognized as the nation's largest of this species through American Forests’ Champion Trees program. In July 2018 the tree was recognized as 2018's Great American Tree by American Grove. Having been nominated by Mark McClellan of the Georgia Forestry Commission, the tree has been featured in such publications as the Smithsonian Magazine and Janisse Ray's Wild Card Quilt. The circumference of the tree exceeds 20 feet.

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Before white immigration, Creek Indians were the original inhabitants of Coffee County. By 1827 local wars between the early settlers and the Indians, and various treaties resulting in the forced removal of the Creeks, led to their demise in the region. The Indian heritage of the area lives on only in the names of many of the lakes, creeks, streams, and rivers, including the Oconee River, Ocmulgee River, and the Okefenokee Swamp, which retain their original Indian names.

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The Indian removal, along with the development of roads, was an impetus for the rapid migration of larger family units to the area. Their arrival brought an era of social change and economic prosperity for whites. Churches, schools, and new roads were built, and farmland was fenced and cultivated into thriving plantations that grew cotton, among other crops. With the advent of tobacco cultivation, enslaved labor was introduced into the society, though only on a small scale.

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Coffee County is still mostly rural. Most of the residents in and around the county’s larger towns—Broxton, Ambrose, and Nicholls—are involved in agriculture. The tobacco market is still one of the strongest in the state. As a result of rapid growth in the manufacturing sector, the level of employment in the county is close to the state average and even surpasses employment levels in most other developing counties.

[Image: U3IbiCt.jpeg] Vintage Douglas.

In 1858 Douglas was established as the county seat. It was named after U.S. senator Stephen Arnold Douglas of Illinois, who became popular because of his rivalry with Abraham Lincoln for the U.S. presidency.

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Douglas is home to South Georgia College, the oldest two-year institution under the University System of Georgia and the host to one of the largest Elder hostel programs in Georgia. 

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Two National Register Districts are found in Douglas: the downtown historic district and Gaskin Avenue, a historic residential district. Both sites feature impressive turn-of-the-century architecture. Other prominent places of historical interest in Douglas include Heritage Station Museum, Douglas City Cemetery, and Martin Center, a restored 1950s movie theater.

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Located five miles east of Douglas is the General Coffee State Park, which showcases the county’s pioneer heritage and natural environment. One of the main features of this 1,511-acre park is Meeks Cabin (ca. 1830), a log structure that is one of the oldest buildings in south Georgia. The park also maintains an environmental reserve that houses various endangered species of animal and plant life. Endangered flora may also be found at Broxton Rocks Preserve, a unique sandstone outcrop that extends nearly four miles. The preserve is home to more than 500 species of plants native to the area, including rare and endangered species.

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Coffee County Correctional Facility is located in Nicholls, Georgia. It is privately owned and operated by CoreCivic, the largest prison company in the nation.

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National Register of Historic Places listings in Coffee County, Georgia

There are Six National Register of Historic Places listings in Coffee County, Georgia.

63rd Army Air Forces Contract Pilot School

The 63rd Army Air Forces Contract Pilot School is located at the Douglas Municipal Airport in Coffee County, Georgia. During World War II, it was part of the Civilian Pilot Training Act of 1939, to train civilian pilots to serve as contract labor in an auxiliary capacity for the military. At the Douglas facility, 9,000 pilots had been certified between its opening in 1941 and its closing in 1944. The buildings that remain intact were listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 14, 2013.

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The city of Douglas and Coffee County jointly purchased the land in 1941 and retained responsibility for clearing and maintaining the acreage. The first group of aviation cadets arrived at Douglas on Oct. 5, 1941 (before Pearl Harbor) and finished on Dec. 12, 1941, when they went on to further training. The Douglas 63rd AAF Flying Training Detachment helped in the rapid transformation of civilians to air corps personnel, in particular, pilots, navigators and bombardiers, who made a significant contribution to the war effort.

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The Contract Pilot School in Douglas, Georgia was constructed as a primary training school on a 700-ac tract in 1941–1943. In this case, "primary" training meant that the potential civilian pilots already had some measure of basic flight instructions before arriving. The Douglas school gave them 100 hours of classroom instruction that included basic instrument training with the Link Trainer. Following that, they were given lessons in flying the PT-17 biplane, and learned to solo. In order to graduate, the civilian pilots needed 60 hours of flying time and 175 landings.

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The military construction in the United States during World War II was usually intended for temporary usage, only built to last out the conflict. Speed, minimal expense and functionality dominated as prefabricated wooden buildings were erected to meet the immediate needs. By contrast, the school in Douglas was built with concrete and clay-like tiles, thereby ensuring that many of the structures have survived into the 21st Century.

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Construction began in August on the sod landing strip, with a second landing strip finished before the end of 1941. In October, the first classroom opened to 50 students. Seventeen more buildings would follow, including living quarters for the pilots and a mess hall. Both men and women students were accepted, and the school grounds eventually accommodated recreational activities. Within two years of its opening, the training facilities employed 1,000 people at expenses in excess of $1,000,000 annually. Graduations were celebrated, and social and athletic events were part of the lifestyle. 

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The government closed down the schools in 1944 to concentrate its forces in the war zones. 

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The 63rd Army Air Forces Contract Pilot School at Douglas had successfully trained 9,000 pilots by the time it closed on December 28, 1944.

Downtown Douglas Historic District

The Downtown Douglas Historic District is located in Douglas, Georgia and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. It is roughly bounded by Jackson Street, Pearl Avenue, Cherry Street, and the Georgia-Florida Railroad.

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The buildings include a variety of styles of architecture, including Italianate, Queen Anne, Classical Revival, Italian Renaissance, Moderne, and Art Deco. 

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The buildings have brick foundations whereas the walls are brick, stucco, stone, or weatherboard. 

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Most of the buildings are attached and are one, two, or three stories tall. The highest concentration is along Peterson Avenue (north-south) and Ward Street (east-west). 

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The Union Banking Company Building is itself on the National Register. The Martin Theater (now Martin Centre) was built in 1940 and is a good example of Moderne style. 

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The county courthouse and the old post office are two remaining historical governmental buildings. 

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The courthouse was built in 1940 in the Art Deco style to replace the courthouse which burned in 1938. A 1911 Confederate memorial stands at the courthouse. Some historic buildings related to the railroad remain.

Eleventh District A & M School–South Georgia College Historic District

The Eleventh District A & M School–South Georgia College Historic District is a part of South Georgia State College in Douglas, Georgia. 

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Ten of its buildings are listed as contributing properties in a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The Eleventh District A & M School was one of the original eleven regional high schools created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1906, in a system which became the Georgia State Agricultural and Mechanical School System. 

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Thrash hall - backside of Tiger Village.

The school evolved into a junior college - one of the first state-supported junior colleges in the state. It was named South Georgia State Junior College from 1927 to 1929, South Georgia State College from 1929 to 1936, South Georgia College from 1936 until sometime in the early 2010s, when it was named South Georgia State College again.
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There are ten campus buildings built between 1907 and 1958 which are listed as contributing buildings. Three are Peterson Hall (originally the Academic Building) (above), and original dormitories Davis Hall and Powell Hall. 

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These all date from 1907 and were designed by the Atlanta architect Haralson Bleckley.

Gaskin Avenue Historic District

The Gaskin Avenue Historic District, in Douglas in Coffee County, Georgia, is a 200 acres historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. 

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It contained 250 contributing buildings and 135 non-contributing ones.

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It is roughly bounded by Madison Ave., Wilson St., Pearl Ave., Gordon St., McDonald Ave., the former Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, and Coffee Ave. 

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Evans House - Baker/Peterson/Blackstone House - Dent House

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The district is mostly residential, including historic houses built from c.1890 into the 1940s. 

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Several large Queen Anne-style houses are included. 

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It also includes a Colonial Revival-style Catholic church, a one-story former hospital which in 1993 was in use by the Coffee County Board of Education, and a local women's clubhouse. 

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The district includes significant landscape architecture as well.

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The majority of landscaping within the district conforms to what has been identified as the 19th-century New South landscape form of the residential neighborhood.tree-lined streets, bordered by curbs and sidewalks, with uniformly set-back houses, and spacious front yards informally landscaped and blended together, all creating the appearance of a large landscaped park.

Lonnie A. Pope House

The Lonnie A. Pope House in Douglas, Georgia is a Barber & Kluttz-designed historic house built in 1910. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It is located at Jackson St. and Douglas Trail (which formerly was the Central of Georgia Railroad tracks).

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In 1982, it was deemed "an outstanding example of the Queen Anne style of architecture" and was asserted to be one of few houses designed in that style in Southeast Georgia. Its interior is also high-style Queen Anne.

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Built in 1910, the Pope House is an outstanding example of the Queen Anne style of architecture and is one of the few residences designed in that style in Southeast Georgia. Irregular massing, a variety of exterior finishing materials, tall molded chimneys, a prominent porch, a tower, bays, balconies, multiple steep gables, decorated gable ends and stained glass are all typical Queen Anne features used in the design of the Pope House. The interior room arrangement and finish materials also conform to high-style Queen Anne dictates. 

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Large, irregularly shaped rooms flow comfortably into one another. The living hall, a central living and circulation space with fireplace and stairway, is typical. Dark wood wall paneling and trim, stained and leaded glass transoms, and elaborate mantels are among the most prominent and typical interior features. The high quality pressed metal ceilings and cornices are an exception and represent an unusual residential application of this interior finish material. The fine craftsmanship evidence throughout the house is credited to Walter Stone, a prominent local early twentieth century contractor. Only minimal damage was incurred when the house was moved; it retains its architectural integrity. The house is interesting for having signed architectural plans in existence.

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The Pope House is thus one of two Georgia houses documented to date that were built according to mail order plans, and the only one associated with George Barber, a nationally prominent mail order architect. Mail order houses, which became increasingly popular during the first half of the twentieth century, represent an important theme in the history of American architecture. In 1979, the Pope House was moved to its present location to avoid demolition.The house was vacant in 1980.

Union Banking Company Building

The Union Banking Company Building (also known as the Coffee County Bank) is a historic three-story brick building in Douglas, Georgia. The building was built in 1910-11 and has two facades facing streets, which include ten distinctive terracotta gargoyles. 

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It is located at the intersection of Peterson Avenue (U.S. Route 441 southbound) and Ward Street (Georgia State Route 32 westbound).


The building was built by the Union Banking Company, but it closed in 1930, along with many other banks. The Coffee County Bank was started in 1931 and used the building, which it later bought. It is now a BB&T but they will vacate the property moving down the street to their other location in February 2016. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 10, 1982. It is also a contributing building to the 1993 National Register of Historic Places for Downtown Douglas Historic District.

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The Union Banking Company Building is historically significant in the areas of architecture and commerce. Architecturally, the bank is a fine example of an early-twentieth century commercial structure in Douglas.

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It combines typical commercial style design elements of the period with unique decorative features, in particular the unusual terracotta gargoyles. 

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The very early use of reinforced concrete for the building's framing system makes it technically innovative. In terms of commercial history, the building is significant as the home of two banks important to the development of Douglas and Coffee County. A bank has been located on this important corner across from the courthouse since 1899 when the Union Banking Company built its first structure on the site.

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Its concrete skeleton and poured concrete floors document a construction technique that first came into general use during the ten years before it was employed here. The bank was the first building so designed in the surrounding area, and it attracted widespread interest while under construction. The choice to use this new method of construction resulted from the burning of the previous bank building and the desire of the Union Banking Company's officers to replace it with a fireproof structure.

Wow, over 200 images, putting Historical Markers with second post on Coffee County. Found a cool spot cyber exploring, that you have to jump through hoops to explore. Our theme for Coffee County Georgia Natural Wonder Gals could be more girls from Columbia where they make all our Coffee, but I will just go with Girls drinking Coffee.

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