Note: The following is one of a series of columns looking at the origins and growth of the agriculture industry in Southeast Georgia and Bulloch County.
The Statesboro News stated, “the Standard Creosote Manufacturing Company in Shearwood will be one of the most valuable pieces of property in the county. We understand that this company is backed by Northern Capitalists who are willing to put their money in the enterprise.”
The paper declared, “There are thousands of acres of this land in the lower edges of Bulloch and in Bryan and Effingham counties... (and we may see) those old flat woods blooming with fine fields of corn and cotton.
Next, in the Statesboro News issue of March 27, 1903, Broughton of the Standard Creosote Mfg. announced his plant in Shearwood is working creosote and wood alcohol out of the old Lightwood stumps and trees.
Broughton proclaimed they are doing a good business and will most likely erect another plant in the near future, which may end up getting built in the Statesboro area.
Then, the Statesboro News announced on May 6, 1904 that “Big Improvements” had been made, according to Mr. C.E. Broughton, who is at the head of the creosote factory.”
It sat “on the line of the Savannah & Statesboro Railway, 11 miles below Statesboro, intends draining all the low lands of that section of the county. His company is the owner of about 4,000 acres of land.”
Broughton revealed they “will run large canals through it, and such connecting ditches as may be necessary to properly drain the land (for) there are no better farming lands in the county than those low lands.”
The newspaper explained that “when properly drained, and when Mr. Broughton carries out his project, about 4,000 acres of good laud will be in a condition to raise cotton, corn, oats (and) sugar cane.”
It declared Broughton “a progressive citizen (who) will have probably the largest farm in the county (and using) emigrants to take up the land...what was once a pond of water will (become) fertile farms.”
Four months later, the Statesboro News declared on Nov. 29 that “The Statesboro Land and Improvement Company Buys Large Tract from the E.E. Foy Company.”
This was one of the biggest land deals recorded some time. A good deal of the E.E. Foy Company’s land in and around Portal was purchased by the Statesboro Land and Improvement Co.
The paper listed “the purchase price of which was #20,000.00 (for) 2,400 acres of some of the best land in Bulloch County.” The Statesboro Land and Improvement Co.’s owners were J.G. and J.D. Blitch and C.W. Porter.”
The owners’ plans were “to sell a number of homes...timber suitable for naval stores purchases...(and) clear a thousand-acre field (suggesting that the Standard) creosote factory will take this job.”
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.