Note: The following is part of a series of articles looking at the origin of roads in southeast Georgia and Bulloch County.
The Bulloch Times issue of July 28, 1909 published an article entitled “That Automobile Highway.” The Times asked the public several questions. One was “What are the conditions of the roads in our community?”
Almost everyone expressed discontentment. One complaint was that “Rocky Ford road from Akins mill hasn’t been worked since 1908, and the bridges are in bad condition.”
Another was “Two-chop road from Lane’s store to Portal hasn’t ever been worked except a small section at Portal; holes in the road are 2 feet deep, (and) roads to both places need work.
The bridge near Metter is broken down, and the road there has become a sand bed which needs a layer of clay.” Next, “Lott’s Creek church road from Wilson’s store to Register (hasn’t) been worked in a year.
This road leads (to) the Sinkhole district (which) is one of the cotton-producing sections of the county. Not less than 1,500 bales of cotton are usually hauled over it.
Because of its bad condition (our) farmers (are going) to Claxton, where there is a clay road. Furthermore, “The public road leading from Statesboro to R.E. Brannen’s place, a distance of 7 miles, is in (really bad) condition.
Loaded wagons are said to frequently go by other routes to avoid it.” Then, “The Lake church road (was) abandoned by the county from Lake church to Mill Creek church” because it was impossible to repair existing roads.
That was the reason “a much-needed road from Enal to Daisy was commenced in the spring and was abandoned after opening 4 miles of it.” They next asked about fixing “the old Dublin road.”
Running “between Lott’s Creek and the J.B. Groover place, (it hadn’t) been worked in 5 years and is grown up with saplings so high that a 2-horse-wagon cannot pass (and the) bridges are said to be unsafe.”
Next, “The public road from Register to Statesboro by way of Riggs mill, a distance of 9 miles, hasn’t been worked in 2 years, (and) bridges across Lott’s creek are almost impossible (to) approach with a load.”
“Farmers (need to) unload part of their load at the bridge and make 2 trips to get across the bridges and up the hill, (as) sand is so deep (on) this side of the hill it almost runs into the buggy, says John Collins.”
Then, “People beyond Pulaski are clamoring for the opening of a much-needed road from Pulaski to Dutch Ford, 6 miles (and) a road is urgently demanded by the people in the vicinity (between) Excelsior (and) Pulaski.”
In addition, “The Burkhalter road from Lott’s Creek church to New Hope church, a distance of 15 miles, is badly out of repair, except (for) 4 ¼ miles of it.” Of course, what about “the road leading south from Statesboro?”
Running “by Mr. Mike Bland’s, (the road) is in impassable condition. The public road to the Alex Brannen is now being partially worked by the gang for the 1st time in 3 years.”
In the Briar Patch district, the old River Road from Hubert to the river hadn’t been worked in years. The paper revealed “An order was granted 4 years ago for a public road from Stapleton place to Groveland.”
“The line was surveyed and (not) a lick of work” was done. “The road from the Sinkhole bridge to J.C. Denmark’s (hasn’t) been worked (and) the people near Mr. J.W. Graham’s are pleading for a good road to Brooklet.”
Roger Allen is a local lover of history who provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.