Recently, my cousin Christa McWilliams set up a new group on Facebook called Subligna Community Members & Friends. Her idea was to bring people together to share old photos and memories about growing up in the tiny community nestled at the southern end of the East and West Armuchee valleys. It’s the same community where we both grew up–and where our ancestors go back (in a tangled web) for many generations!Read More
My latest publication, titled “The Scoggins Family and Subligna Go Way Back,” appears in the current Winter 2012 edition of Georgia Backroads. Georgia Backroads is a wonderful journal that features interesting writing and photos about Georgia’s history, nature, and travel. The first time I saw Georgia Backroads, I immediately knew I wanted to be part of it. I am very proud of my first story to appear in its pages.
The article explores the history of the Scoggins family in Subligna, including the store started by my great-grandfather, Lawrence Chapman Scoggins, and the gin operated by Lawrence’s father, James Harvey Scoggins. I’m including here a couple of photos from the store that were not able to be included in the printed article.Read More
Today I’ve another update in the School Days series. The last update was very specific, naming each student and the exact class and year. That image was from 1991. Most of the time, older school photos aren’t so well documented, and history leaves us to our own devices. Today’s photo is one such image.
I know virtually nothing about this photo except that it was taken at Subligna School. Since all the students look the same age, I’m assuming they’re all in the same class. That’s just a guess though. And since I don’t know any of their names, I can’t accurately judge the year.
The one clue is that the photo is from the collection of my cousin David Grigsby. David Grigsby graduated from Subligna in 1946. Later in life, David was a local historian, particularly of Subligna school, and it is thanks to him (and his wife Delores) that I have learned a lot of what I know about those days otherwise long forgotten. Unfortunately, just because this image is in his collection doesn’t necessarily mean it was his class. If only he were still around to fill us in on the details.Read More
Whenever I get the time, I love poring through old newspapers from Chattooga and Walker Counties, searching the bits of news for names of people in my family tree. The Summerville News and Walker County Messenger are littered with my ancestors far and wide. Most of the time when an ancestor is mentioned it seems inconsequential. The more I read through these things, the more I feel like I’m looking at a Twitter feed from over 100 years ago! Indeed, social media isn’t the phenomenon of the new millennium we think it to be. Sure, the bits and bytes shuffling back and forth between our smartphones and computer screens weren’t around in our ancestor’s time. But our ancestors were just as interested in everybody else’s “status updates” as we are today… only the medium for sharing those updates has changed.
This week I started combing my records for some of these “status updates” to assemble a selection for you here. Looking for a unifying theme, I noticed a lot of talk about rabid dogs and dangerous snakes. Yep, that’s what I said: dogs and snakes. Now I don’t mean dogs and snakes at the same time. But there seemed to be an awful lot of newspaper mentions about these two animals. I suppose for a rural country area you’re going to have a lot of dogs and, well, a lot of snakes. And I suppose it also makes a good news story to talk about the latest mad dog or venomous snake. Still, it gives me a chuckle to think that over a century later this is what I’m reading about. Like I said… inconsequential.
But apparently, to our ancestors, it was enough to make the newspaper.Read More
When I was growing up I always thought of the two sides of my family, mom’s side and dad’s side, as being completely segregated. Mom’s family was from Villanow, and Dad’s family was from Subligna. It seemed like two different places, and people from one place didn’t really know people from the other even though they were only 10 miles apart. It wasn’t until I started studying my genealogy that I realized the cross-pollination between these two rural areas–each located at opposite ends of East Armuchee Road–was much more extensive than I thought. I don’t mean today or even the years I was growing up, but going back generations before my parents or even grandparents were born.Read More
In the late 19th and early 20th century, numerous schools dotted the Armuchee and Dirt Town Valley regions. Today, not even one of them remains. Gradually, one by one, they were all consolidated, and now everyone travels to the larger towns for school.
I know little about the small schools that dotted the Armuchee Valley (and even less about Dirt Town Valley schools). But I intend to uncover as much as possible and share my findings here at Jordan’s Journey. Therefore, this post represents the first of an ongoing “School Days” series to showcase various photos and any other information I can rustle up. If you have anything to contribute, please get in touch. I am eager to document this almost-forgotten part of our past.
First is a class photo from Subligna School in Chattooga County, Georgia. My grandfather Harold Wallace Scoggins (1924-2000) is the boy in the lower left corner (first boy on the front row). The photo was taken in front of the school building. Judging by Harold’s approximate age here, this would have been taken in the mid-1930s. Harold later graduated high school from Subligna in 1941.
I do not know the other children’s identities in this photograph. They appear to be about the same age as Harold and, therefore, all probably in the same class. If you can identify anyone or have any other information to share about Subligna School, please leave a comment below to get in touch.
UPDATE 28 Jun 2012: This photo was posted to the Chattooga County Historical Society’s Facebook page.
UPDATE 25 Aug 2012: I included an update to this post here.
You can read more about Subligna School and the community in the chapter on Subligna in Jordan’s Journey.
The area of northwest Georgia where I grew up is part of the Valley and Ridge region. This region comprises “long northeast-southwest-trending valleys and ridges that give the region its name” (Geology). The area is not unique to Georgia and “extends continuously from New York to the edge of the Coastal Plain (fall line) in Alabama” (Chowns). This expansive area is undoubtedly filled with numerous communities and fascinating genealogies. Generations of my family are nestled deep in these valleys in Walker and Chattooga counties in northwest Georgia–and that is where the meat of Jordan’s Journey takes place.Read More