Note: The following is part of a series of columns looking at the founding and general history of southeast Georgia and Bulloch County.
Bulloch County has been for most of its existence one of the most rural counties in Georgia. According to the 2010 U.S. census, 70,217 people inhabited its 682 square miles of land, Bulloch County' population density was 104.4 people per square mile in 2010, while the average for the entire state was 168.4 people per square mile.
According to the 2010 census, there are 10 cities and unincorporated towns: Adabelle, Brooklet, Denmark, Hopeulikit, Leefield, Nevils, Portal, Register, Statesboro and Stilson.
Since it was founded, there have been 147 populated places in Bulloch County. Towns and cities will be listed in alphabetical order, not population.
The first town listed, therefore, is Aaron, which is not Aaron Station. The Aaron community was located off to the west. Aaron is located northwest of Portal on Highway 80.
Aaron was not named after the brother of Moses, but was settled by Charles Aaron in 1909, and is thusly named. Aaron Station sat alongside the Savannah, Augusta and Northern Railway line.
The heart of the community was the Aaron Store, run by Charlie and then his son Herbert, who also ran the Aaron post office. Across the street from Aaron's store was Barry Gay's drug store, with its marble floor and soda fountain.
Then there was Ada Belle (or Adabelle), which had been first known as Turkey. It was renamed Ada Belle in 1738 after Miss Ada Williams, the daughter of John W. and Rebecca Williams.
Near Kennedy’s Bridge (formerly Tillman’s Bridge) on the Canoochee River, it sat on the tracks of the Perkins Lumber Railroad “Tram” line. Manassas Foy and J.W. Williams built a lumber empire here based around the Adabelle Trading Company, which was started in 1902.
Turpentiners Sion A. Alford and Graham McKinnon came here with crews of Lumbee (or Croatan) indians to work the forests of this area in 1890.
The Foy and Williams Company also operated, in addition to the Adabelle Trading Company General Store, a cotton gin, saw mill, grist mill, livestock pens, a small school and a post office.
Adabelle was placed in the new county of Evans when it was formed in 1914, but was returned to Bulloch County when the lines were readjusted in December 1916.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.