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May 17

Hartford Pryor- "I Remember When" -Paulk's Pharmacy & Vali-Jean Inn

Posted on May 17, 2018 at 1:57 PM by Jamesan Stuckey

If you’re a member of the Upson Historical Society, you may likely remember a column which frequently appeared in the monthly newsletter. Beginning in 1997 with Elizabeth Adams Storey, the “I Remember When” series would recollect Thomaston related history throughout the years. Then, in 1998, Mr. Hartford Pryor took over writing the column for the next 12 years. Living in Thomaston since he was five years old, Pryor would write stories about working in Thomaston Mills, all the stores that occupied Five Points, making snow ice cream in the 1930’s, and nearly anything else that came to mind. Here in the Archives, we’ve retained these stories.

Try visiting us sometime and read about the story of the “Blind Man’s Store” on the corner of Holston Dr. and Triune Mill Rd.

Here is one discussing the Vali-Jean Inn and Paulk’s Pharmacy.

I remember when the engineering department of Thomaston Mills, now known as “The Pink Palace”, and located on Barnesville Street across from the front gate of the Thomaston Division, was a picture show. East Thomaston Baptist Church, which was up the street on Avenue F, used that building for Sunday School in the morning and BYPU (Baptist Young Peoples Union) in the evening. The upstairs was used by “The Eastern Star Lodge” and “The Woodmen of the World”.

(In) later years, Doctor Elijah A. Paulk rented this building and opened Paulk’s Pharmacy. There was a large hotel across from the drug store that Dr. Paulk and his wife, Valery, opened. They rented out the rooms and served meals. The hotel was named “Florence Hotel”, but Mrs. Paulk changed it to the “Vali-Jean Hotel.” Dr. and Mrs. Paulk lived there 12 years. Sometimes Mrs. Paulk would let other people come in and eat. Mrs. Paulk had to hire a crew to help feed everybody. She had about the same number of carry-outs going to the mill as she had eat-ins. She was one good cook. Once you tried it out, there was no stopping. The meal was approx. $1.25…

(Hartford Pryor's "I Remember When Columns" no. 100-3)

Photos: Florence Hotel, 1925, Historical Photos Collection, Thomaston-Upson Archives and Mr. Hartford Pryor, ca 1990's


2018-05-17-FlorenceHotel-1920s-UPH 0184

May 03

Tips for Handling Your Family Photographs

Posted on May 3, 2018 at 4:31 PM by Jamesan Stuckey

An excellent quick guide for storing your family photographs.

*The following list is from Click link below for proper credit*

Look for products that state they are acid free and pvc free. (If using tissue paper or other paper products as dividers, look for the term “buffered” as well!)

If nothing else, always remember to identify everyone in your photos and include dates! Your future descendants will want to know who you are. Although make sure to use a photo safe marking pencil. Try General's Scribe Acid Free pencils at Walmart, Stabilo pencils from Amazon, or any trusted Archival supplier such as Gaylord. 

Click here to see full article. 

When it comes to your photographs, the single-most important thing you need to do is protect them from the “Big 3” hazards: acid, lignin and PVC.

10 Don’ts to Practice If You’re Serious about Saving Your Photos and Your Sanity 

  1. Don't keep your photos in magnetic albums, even if they claim to be archival safe! (Not sure whether you've got a magnetic album? Read our "5 Tell-tale signs" in the section on magnetic albums and find out.) 
  2. Don’t write on the back of your photos with a ballpoint pen or marker! (Unless of course, you'd like to see your writing emboss itself onto the front of your picture).
  3. Don’t store your photographs in the attic, garage or the basement! 
  4. Don’t relegate your precious photographs to an acid-filled shoebox (where they will die a slow, agonizing death)! 
  5. Don’t keep every picture! (Surprised you with that one, didn’t we?) Your photo collection will be much more meaningful if you keep only those photos that truly stir your emotions. And besides, if you learn to purge, then your process of organizing will be SO MUCH easier! 
  6. Don’t leave your future descendants wondering who you were and what was important to you. (I mean come on, they’re going to need some explanation of that hairstyle you wore in the 80’s!) 
  7. Don’t leave your one-of-a-kind photos in a frame where they may fade from the sun. (O.k. confession time....we learned this one the hard way.) 
  8. Don't do something crazy in your attempts to organize your photos...You know, like spreading your entire photo collection out on the kitchen table. The only thing more depressing than an out-of-control photo collection is an out-of- control photo collection that is spread out all over your kitchen table when it's time to eat dinner.
  9. Don’t forget to get yourself into the family photo album! As the self-appointed family historian, we tend to be the "family photographer". Demand that someone take your picture occasionally! After all you deserve to be in the family album, don't you think? 
  10. Don't beat yourself up about the state of your photo collection. When you start to feel guilty about what you haven't done, just remember the significance of what you already do each and every day - create joyful memories for your loved ones to cherish. 

And don't forget your cotton gloves! 

Photo Credit: 


Apr 19

Wilson's Raid- Train

Posted on April 19, 2018 at 4:05 PM by Jamesan Stuckey

On the penultimate day of Gen. James Wilson’s raid through Upson County, (April 18-20, 1865) Union troops added to their devastation of the area’s industrial resources by setting the Thomaston train on fire, then sending it full speed towards town. It was on this day, 153 years ago, that one of Thomaston’s most notorious events took place.  

Historian and author of several books about Upson County, David Paterson, said to have spent the better part of a year researching the topic of Wilson’s Raid. In the following excerpt from the Thomaston Times, April 15, 1992, Paterson details the intense events of that day.

“On the afternoon of April 19, the Thomaston train, pulled by the Upson County Railroad’s ancient red steam locomotive, “Monterey,” was making its leisurely return trip from Barnesville, as it did every day except Sundays. Traveling about 10-12 miles an hour, the train usually made the 16-mile trip in an hour and a half, including a stop at the Rock. Mr. Goree, the conductor, was unaware of the sensational goings-on in Thomaston. When the Union soldiers appeared in Thomaston, Mrs. J.H. Burton, wife of the railroad’s engineer, who lived in town, sent her maid servant hurrying on foot to Stamps Station – which was the Stamp’s Family Home, next to the railroad track near Moore’s crossing – to alert the family. Knowing that railroads were high on the list of targets that Federal troops aimed to destroy, the Stamps family flagged down the approaching train. When it stopped, they urged the passengers to abandon the cars. Their apprehensions were justified when, shortly, the Yankees came up to the station. After lighting the cars on fire, they set the locomotive throttle wide open, sending the flaming monster full speed toward Thomaston, where, in a spectacular display of fiery destruction, it came to the end of the track and jumped the embankment near the depot.” Paterson shares later in the article that regular rail service to Thomaston was not restored until Dec. 15, 1870.

For more on Wilson’s Raid, including several first-hand accounts, come visit us!

The following photo is of the Central of Georgia Railway Station, built 1892, between Hightower Street and the railroad tracks.

Photo Credit: Central of Georgia Railway Station, 1915. Courtesy of the Norfolk Southern Corporation.