Small Town, Deep South | Hawkinsville Georgia

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My husband and I spent the better part of last week with my family in a small town about 2 hours south of Atlanta, Georgia.  The occasion for our trip was not a happy one; we were there to attend the memorial for my uncle who passed away suddenly and under tragic circumstances last Monday.

We spent our time there visiting with distant relatives, giving away lots of hugs, and eating ridiculous amounts of food brought over to my aunt’s by anybody and everybody in town.  We grieved our loss together, and spent time sharing memories of our father, brother, husband, son, and uncle.  It was very sad, but healing at the same time.


The little town where my family all lives is called Hawkinsville, and it is where I spent my summers and holidays.  My aunt and uncle have one son who is a year older than me, so we were playmates during my family’s visits.

He and I spent countless hours climbing the big magnolia tree in my grandmother’s side yard, making mud pies, and playing with the old circus toy set tucked away in my grandmother’s closet.

The Georgia of my childhood memories is a magical place, and my uncle was a big part of that magic.  He loved music and to play guitar, and he would always call me “Mel Mel”.  It feels like some of that childhood magic left with him; I don’t think visiting there will ever feel quite the same.


While there, I remarked to my husband that I didn’t have any memory of ever visiting in the springtime. The landscape was so much more beautiful than I knew it could be.

Everywhere I looked there were blooms–purple wisteria, pink azaleas, white bridal wreath bushes–all framed in soft lines by streams of moss hanging from the tall pines.  You know you’re in the deep south when you see moss like that!

My own little suburban world here north of Dallas is all new and really quite sterile.  It was refreshing while down in Georgia to be around so much that was old.


Hawkinsville has many beautiful historic homes, some restored to their former beauty and others turning into mere skeletons of their past.  But they all have something that I can’t find in my hometown, which is character.


The long, front porches where people do really still sit and talk,


stretches of land with plenty of room for kids to roam and flowers to grow,


and tall trees that frame the lots, offering that much-needed shade once summertime comes.

This one is right around the corner from my mom’s house, and has been fully restored.  It was falling apart when I was a kid though and my cousin always referred to it as “The Spook House”.


Imagine it with peeling paint, broken windows, and overgrown bushes and you may can see why it earned that name.



Here is another home not far from my mom’s.  It’s a work in progress that I think is just about finished.  The backyard is loaded with architectural salvage that appears to be living a new life as landscaping features.

Of all the houses I saw though, the junk lover in me was most intrigued by this one:


This is another site I would never see here in my town . . . My mom said this stuff has been out here for quite awhile!  There was so much there I could have taken off with me, and I’m pretty sure more treasures were buried in that dumpster.


I don’t think the airlines would have let me check boxes of junk on my flight back home though. It’s so hard to pass up good junk.

I am thankful for our few days in Georgia with all of my family, even under the circumstances.  The days we spent there were a reminder that a slower pace, more simple life does still exist.

There are still places where people drop in unannounced just to “visit,” and where you see families walking down the street to Dairy Queen on a Friday night.


There are still places where there is a deeper sense of place and history, where even the street signs have a unique character. I miss it, really, and long to spend more time there with my own children so that they can experience some of those things too.

I’m so very sad that they won’t get the opportunity to get to know my uncle.  I am so thankful though for the memories I have of time spent with him and his family.

And I am eternally thankful to know that he was a follower of Jesus and is now resting in Heaven with the Father. Thank you for letting me share a few of those memories with you, and for coming along on a brief tour of a small town in the deep south.


Linking up to:

What Have you Redone Friday?


Sunday 23rd of July 2023

I had an occasion to stay in a mansion in Hawkensville Ga which is close toEastman Georgia. I was attending a teachers training for lead teachers. I heard that they had a fire and that they had to close. The cook that worked there was previously employed in New Orleans so the dishes that were served were from that area. He told me that he had worked on a cruise ship. He spoke French and English with a French accent. I thought the mansion was called the Black Swan Inn but l haven’t heard what happened to it after the fire. Can you send me some information about what happened to it? I would like to stay there with my husband. [email protected]. Thankyou so much! Hope to hear from you soon. Charlene

Melanie Alexander

Sunday 23rd of July 2023

Hi Charlene! Unfortunately I don't know what happened to the Black Swan :( A quick google search didn't turn up any places to book with that name in the area. Sorry I can't be of more help! I am glad you have fond memories though of your visit :)

AnnTrimble Burnett

Sunday 13th of April 2014

Lina Arnold was my cousin and she was a dear wonderful person. I was the flower girl in her wedding. I use to love going to Hawkinsville and visiting Maurice, her and my 2nd cousins......Susan, Florence, Tom and Frank. The food was always TOO good.


Sunday 13th of April 2014

Thank you for sharing your memories Ann!

James McDaniel

Sunday 13th of April 2014

I 've lived here most of my life. the first house belongs to Cliff and Nancy Pritchett. Second house was Dr. Arnold's, his son lives there now. The 3rd was the Blount house, once owned by Mr. and Mrs. Cobb. now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Wall. We have some beautiful homes here in Hawkinsville. most take them for granted, I look at these homes and think how lucky we are to have people that want to restore them back to their original beauty. I feel blessed to live here. Thanks for the memories.


Sunday 13th of April 2014

Hi James. Thank you for all the additional information! That's another thing unique to small town life, that you know what family lives in each house :) I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, thank you so much for stopping by.

Lynn Taylor Ashley

Saturday 12th of April 2014

I am from Hawkinsville, graduated with your mom, Franky worked on all my mom's "problems" in her home & I also kept Chris from time he was born til he was 1. You look so much like Susan, same beautiful smile. Please know that I am praying for all the family.


Sunday 13th of April 2014

Hi Lynn. Thank you for your prayers and for your sweet comment. I'm so glad you saw the post, I'm hoping it is bringing just a little bit of healing to the town.


Saturday 12th of April 2014

I am so sorry for your loss. It's nice that during such a sad time you were able to see such beauty around you. I am a Georgia peach and love all of our wonderful small towns.


Saturday 12th of April 2014

Hi Virginia. Thank you for your sweet comment. I do love Georgia, and I can say I am ruined from ever eating a store-bought peach. Picking and eating them straight from the tree is the only way to go :)

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