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US 301 becomes 'The Highway of Southern Hospitality'
Bulloch History
highway 301

Note: The following is part of a series of columns looking at points of interest throughout the history of Bulloch County.


Old River Road

This road followed an old indian trail along the Ogeechee to a point west of Bartow. From Bartow, it went to what was called “Rock Landing” at the Oconee River, and then on to Milledgeville. 

There the trace intersected the main trail of the Lower Creek Trading Path from Augusta to the Creek indians of western Georgia and eastern Alabama. Opening of this part of the road was authorized by the state in 1777. 

In time the route became an important vehicular thoroughfare from Savannah to Milledgeville, and followed the eastern boundary of Bulloch County.


Old Two Chop Way

Old Two Chop way is a road (whose specific route is unknown) that traveled through the northern part of Bulloch County. It earned its name for the way the road was marked: trees along the route sported very large double chop marks at a height where the markings would be easily visible for the first travelers through the previously unmarked wilderness.


Rebel Road

An early road which began between Savannah and Augusta that split at the Ogeechee River: one fork followed the Ogeechee River down to the Atlantic Ocean; while the other fork headed west past the Canoochee River and over the Altamaha River past Fort Barrington and Burnt Fort on the Satilla River all the way to the Saint Mary's River area. 

The name “Rebel Road” was applied by the British troops who regularly found themselves in pursuit of rebel bands of fighters along this road after they had attacked the farms of prominent Tories (or British sympathizers). Georgia's troops used this route when they attacked the Spanish forces in Florida. This route followed what became the eastern and southern boundaries of Bulloch County.


Tobacco Trail

Originally designed to be both part of U.S. Highway 17, and a spur of U.S. Highway 1, construction on U.S. 301 began in 1926. The highway began in Baltimore, Maryland and ended in Tampa, Florida. 

It quickly earned the nickname of “The Highway of Southern Hospitality.” Statesboro mayor and grocer Alfred Dorman was elected vice-president of the National Highway 301 Association, which was headquartered in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Travelers going from Washington, D.C., to Florida would plan on stopping overnight in the Statesboro area, whose restaurants had developed a reputation for excellence. Two of the favorites were “Mrs. Bryan’s Kitchen,” which opened as a small one-room restaurant but soon opened additional rooms; and “Joe Franklin’s Drive-In Restaurant.” As segregation was still the way of things, “colored travelers” would eat at “Mrs. Odella Lee’s Restaurant” or at “Ella’s Diner.”


Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail Roger at rwasr1953@gmail.com.

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