Skip to main content

Lavonia, Georgia Walkabout


The Northeast Georgia City of Lavonia sits only a few miles from Lake Hartwell and the Savannah River.  In 1878, as the railroads continued to expand into the region, the Elberton Air Line Railroad had desired to build a new station near what was known as Aquilla.


A town was laid out; and in 1880, the town of Lavonia was incorporated.  The town is named after Lavnoia Jones, the wife of J.H. Jones who was the president of the Elberton Air Line.  The Elberton Air Line was absorbed into the Southern Railway System in 1908.


The former railroad depot serves as the town's welcome center.  The depot opened in 1912 after the local women's group successfully petitioned the town to rebuild the existing depot at a new location.


Downtown Lavonia's layout is dominated by the railroad.  The railroad runs through the center of the downtown splitting Main Street between Thomas and Burton Streets.  In the center of town, storefronts line both sides of the railroad.

Lavonia is also home to an original Carnegie Free Library.  The Women's Club asked Andrew Carnegie to help assist them in building a town library.  Carnegie donated $5,000 towards construction and in 1911 the library opened.  The library is now part of the Athens Regional Library System.

Lavonia is the birthplace of former Georgia Governor Ernest Vandiver.  Vandiver was a former mayor of the town and served as Governor of Georgia from 1959 to 1963.  Vandiver was instrumental in changing the routing of Interstate 85.  During the Interstate's planning stages - I-85 was to run further north.  The original plans for the highway would have 85 roughly parallel US 23 and 123 closer to Gainesville and Toccoa and into South Carolina.  Through political maneuvering, Vandiver changed the routing of I-85 further to the south and paralleling Georgia 59 running just north of Commerce and Lavonia.


Today, Lavonia is a small town of just over 2,100 residents. Lavonia's Chamber of Commerce hosts an annual spring and fall festival in town. In 2019, they held their first Boat Expo along Main Street.
  
All photos taken by post author - March 19, 2019

Further Reading:
  • Lavonia ---Vanishing North Georgia

How To Get There:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley

The original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh

Firebaugh is a city located on the San Joaquin River of western Fresno County.  Firebaugh is one of the oldest American communities in San Joaquin Valley having been settled as the location of Firebaugh's Ferry in 1854.  Traditionally Firebaugh has been served by California State Route 33 which was one of the original Sign State Routes announced during August 1934.  In modern times California State Route 33 is aligned through Firebaugh on N Street.  Originally California State Route 33 headed southbound passed through Firebaugh via; N Street, 8th Street, O Street, 12th Street, Nees Avenue and Washoe Avenue.  The blog cover depicts early California State Route 33 near Firebaugh crossing over a one-lane canal bridge.  The image below is from the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Fresno County which depicts the original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh. Part 1; the history of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh The community of Firebaugh is named in honor of Andr

Driving the Watkins Glen Historic Road Course - New York

  Situated at the south end of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, Watkins Glen is well known for wineries along Seneca Lake and waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park . But one thing that gives the town much renown is its connection to the world of auto racing. The raceway at Watkins Glen Internationa l holds a number of big races every year, such as Six Hours at the Glen and the NASCAR Cup Series . The history of auto racing at Watkins Glen starts during the 1940s when the race followed a course on local roads and also through the streets of downtown Watkins Glen. It's a course that you can follow today, preferably at a more moderate speed than the auto racers of yore raced at. Let's explore the history of the original course, how it came to by and why it is no more. Organized races through the village of Watkins Glen and surrounding roads were first proposed and started by Cameron R. Argetsinger in 1948, marking the beginning of post-war sports car