Note: The following is the third in a series of columns that will describe towns and communities, past and present, that were settled after Bulloch County was first settled. Some have since been cut into other counties.
Another short-lived community settled in Bulloch County in the 1800s was Arlen. Located between Rufus and Proctor, Arlen had a population of 91 in 1900. It was located about two and a half miles north of Stilson, on what used to be the Savannah & Statesboro Railway line. Curtis Martin was the postmaster.
Then there was the long-lost town of Bassett. This town was located halfway between Leeland and the Ogeechee River crossing to the town of Egypt, along the line of the Shearwood Railway.
One of the very first real towns in Bulloch County was called Bay Gall. Located between Portal and Rocky Ford, the settlement was the only community in the entire Lockhart Militia District.
After Oliver Finch settled in Bay Gall, his son Dave C. Finch opened a general store, and the Mixons opened two more stores. The town was said to be named after the common Red Bay shrub. Part of this area later became known as Nevils Creek.
The community of Belknap was established around James G. Blitch’s general store on the banks of the Canoochee River, close to the tracks of the Seaboard Air Line Railway. The Belknap post office opened after the Euphaupee post office closed.
The community was named after Morris Belknap, the superintendent of the Central of Georgia Railway. However, some say it was named after the large nearby plantation of that name owned by John Harn Jr., the English colonial government's tax assessor and collector of St. Philip Parish.
Harn moved to America in 1764 with his young sons to land he was granted on the Canoochee River, where he established a large plantation he called Belknap. On the night of Jan. 27, 1779, he and his second wife, Margaret Bird, fled across the Ogeechee River to Sir James Wright's plantation in an attempt to escape capture during the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, he, his wife and the plantation overseer were killed by American patriots dressed as Indians.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. He provides a brief look at the area's historical past. Email Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.