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Samuel Washington McCallie.

A preliminary report on the roads and road-building materials of Georgia online

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cost to the county of maintaining the chain-gang aggregates about
65 cents per day for each individual.

The equipment for road-working owned by the county consists
of a three-ton roller, which can be increased to a weight of five
tons, one road-machine, six mules, wagons, etc. The principal
work, so far accomplished by the chain-gang, consists of draining
and crowning the roadways, and surfacing the sandy places with
clay, together with general repair work.

The rocks suitable for road-material, occurring in Dougherty
county, are limestones. These are to be seen, at various places
throughout the county, along the streams or about lime-sinks.
These limestones are generally comparatively soft, and contain
more or less flint, or siliceous matter. A good exposure of these
limestones is to be seen, outcropping at the water's edge, where
the county-bridge crosses the Flint river at Albany. They are
here quite fossiliferous, and contain much flint.

Dougherty county, in the last few years, has constructed three
iron bridges, at a total cost of $30,000, and has greatly improved
its highways, by its present system of road-working.



CALHOUN COUNTY

Area, 255 square miles ; approximate road-mileage, 250 ; num-
ber of miles of graded road, o ; number of miles of macadamized
road, o ; amount of money annually raised for road purposes, o.
The roads are constructed and maintained by statute labor.

Calhoun county appears to have made but little effort towards
the betterment of its highways. The roads are usually sandy, and,
in places, in bad condition.



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EQUIPMENT, METHODS AND MATERIALS, BY COUNTIES



239



The County Ordinary expresses the opinion, that some other
system, besides the one now in use, will soon have to be adopted,
or the roads, in places, will become impassable for heavy traflSc.
Shell limestone suitable for road-surfacing is said to occur in this
county in certain localities, in considerable abundance ; but, so far,
it has not been used upon the highways.



QUITMAN COUNTY

Area, 168 square miles ; approximate road-mileage, 150 ; num-
ber of miles of graded road, o ; number of miles of macadamized
road, o ; amount of money annually raised for public-road pur-
poses, o. The roads are constructed and maintained by statute
labor.

Quitman county is generally level and the soils are sandy. The
road-building materials are quite limited, and of poor quality.
They consist chiefly of flint, sandstone, and a siliceous rock con-
taining a high percentage of iron. Clay is found in most locali-
ties, for surfacing sandy roads.



RANDOLPH COUNTY

Area, 449 square miles ; approximate road-mileage, 325 ; num-
ber of miles of graded road, o ; amount of money annually raised
for public-road purposes, o. The roads are constructed and main-
tained chiefly by statute labor.

Randolph county lies within the Tertiary area. Its surface is
usually level ; but, in places, it becomes quite broken. Especially
is this true, in the neighborhood of the larger streams. The most
serious obstacles, in the way of road-construction, are the local
beds of sand. Abundance of clay, however, is usually at hand, for
the improvement of such sandy places. Last year, all the hands,
subject to road-duty, worked on the public .roads of this county 15
days ; and, as a consequence, the roads are said to be in good con-
dition. The Ordinary reports, that there has been much interest
manifested in road-improvement, in the last two or three years.



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240 EQUIPMENT, METHODS AND MATERIALS, BY COUNTIES

The county owns no regular road-working outfit ; but it supplies
to each road district one or two drag-scrapers, shovels and picks ;
while plows, wagons and teams are hiifed from the farmers.

The road-building material is mainly limestone. It is of local
distribution. A good exposure of this rock is to be seen at Greer's
Cove, near Pumpkin Town, in the northern part of the county.
The exposure forms a bluff, 25 feet high, along a small stream^
The stone occurs in thick, heavy beds. It is usually hard and com-
pact, and is well suited for road-surfacing.



CLAY COUNTY

Area, 192 square miles; approximate road-mileage, 100; num-
ber of miles of graded road, o; amount annually raised for public-
road purposes, o. The roads are constructed and maintained by
statute labor.

Topographically, Clay county is comparatively level, except in
the vicinity of the streams, where the surface becomes somewhat
rolling. The roads of the county are usually sandy, and, under the
present system, are not always kept in good condition. Each indi-
vidual subject to road-duty is reported to work, on an average,
about eight days per annum, on the public roads of the county.
This estimate is much above the average for the State ; and, if the
work were faithfully done, the highways should be in fair condi-
tion for traffic. Persons subject to road-duty are relieved from
work by the payment of 50 cents per day, for every day's work re-
quired. In a few instances, this commutation-tax is paid ; but the
whole amount, annually collected from this source, is small.

The rocks suitable for road-material in Clay county are lime-
stones. They occur mostly along the streams, where they some-
times form bluffs, 20 feet or more in height. These rocks are to
be seen near the mouth of Sandy creek, on the Flint river, five
miles north of Fort Gaines. They underlie a belt of country about
five miles wide extending in a northeast direction across the county.
It is only in places, where the superficial sands and clays have been



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EQUIPMENT, METHODS AND MATERIALS, BY COUNTIES 241

removed, that the limestones are exposed at the surface. Lime-
sinks and small ponds are characteristic features of this limestpne
belt. The rock frequently occurs in heavy beds, and is generally
compact, and well adapted for road-surfacing.



EARLY COUNTY

Area, 429 square miles; total road-mileage, 400; number of
miles of graded road, o ; number of miles of macadamized road,
o ; amount of money annually raised for road purposes, o. The
roads are constructed and maintained by statute labor.

The surface of Early county is generally level, and the soils
are sandy. The only rock found, suitable for road material, is
limestone, which is confined to a few localities.

The roads of the county are worked on an average of about 3
days each year ; but the Ordinary reports, that it is contemplated,
at an early date, to require each individual subject to road-duty to
work four days each year, or pay a commutation-tax of $2.00.
The money derived from this source, he thinks, will aggregate
about $5,000 per year, which will be available for road purposes.

The county, at present, owns no special road-machinery ; and
apparently it has done but little, in the way of permanent road-
improvement.



MILLER COUNTY

Area, 240 square miles ; approximate road-mileage, 100 ; num-
ber of miles of graded road, o ; number of miles of macadamized
road, o ; amount of money annually raised for public-road pur-
poses, o ; number of days worked by road hands each year, 5.
The roads are constructed and maintained by statute labor.

Miller county is located in the southwestern part of the State.
Its surface is usually low and level, and the soils are sandy. The
county is traversed by Spring creek, a stream of considerable
size, along which are frequently low, sandy hills and swamp lands.
The road materials are limestones and buhrstone, or flint. They



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242 EQUIPMENT, ME THODS AND MA TERIALS, B V COUNTIES

occur mostly along streams. The present system of road-work is
reported to be satisfactor>\ The roads are in fair condition,
though often sandy.



DECATUR COUNTY

Area, i,io6 square miles ; approximate road-mileage, 500 ; num-
ber of miles of graded road, ^ ; number of mile of macadamized
road, o. The roads are constructed and maintained by statute
labor. Hands work, on an average, five days each year. .

Decatur county is located in the extreme southwestern corner
of the State. The surface of the country is comparatively level,
except in a few places, near the larger streams, where the surface
is quite broken. This broken condition of the surface is quite
noticeable in the vicinity of Whigham and Fowltown. Sand
dunes, or hills, are also sometimes met with, in the more level,
piney woods. Such a line of hills is crossed by the wagon-road,
a short distance east of Bainbridge, on the way to Whigham.
These sands are very light, and the wagon-wheels, in places, sink
into them, almost as if they were snow-banks, making the draught
exceedingly heavy. The writer recalls a trip over this road, some
years ago, when the load had to be lessened at the sandy places,
on account of the increased draught, which the team was unable
to draw-

The rocks, which occur in Decatur county, suitable for road
materials, are limestones and flint. Both varieties of rock are
often found together, the flint forming layers or irregular masses
in the limestone. They are found in the greatest abundance
along the streams or near lime-sinks. The limestone is generally
fossiliferous and soft ; but it also occurs in a semi-crystalline con-
dition, forming heavy beds. These compact varieties are well
exposed beneath the soft limestones, in a small stream near Face-
ville * and also on the Flint river, a short distance south of Bain-
bridge. Limestone, of similar character, though not so compact,

' Sc« fig. 27.



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EQUIPMENT, METHODS AND MATERIALS, BY COUNTIES 243

is exposed at the base of Red BlufiF, on the Flint river,* a few miles
north of Bainbridge, and at Forest Falls, near Whigham. The
same rock again outcrops at several places along Spring creek.
There is quite an exposure of it, on the right bank of this creek,
just below where it is crossed by the Savannah, Florida & Western
R. R. Besides the limestone and flint, or the so-called buhrstone,
there are also a few places in the county, where beds of water-
worn gravel and sandstone occur in limited quantities. A good
exposure of the sandstone is to be seen on Mr. G. W. Ragan's

Fig. 27




Section through the Gorge along Faceville Branch, i. Sandy Clays. 2. Partially
Decomposed Limestone. 3. Compact, Thick-bedded Limestone.

farm, some eight miles south of Cairo, where an efiFort was made
some years ago to work it into mill-stones. The water-worn peb-
bles are found chiefly in the vicinity of the sand-dunes between
Whigham and Bainbridge. They are always associated with
coarse sand, and contain no clay or other material, which would
bind them together into a solid road-surface.

Decatur has expended, in the last few years, about $45,000, in
erecting iron bridges. There are three of these bridges in the
county. The one across the Flint river at Bainbridge is well con-
structed, and would be a credit to any county in the State. The
Ordinary of the county, in a letter, says, that the highways are
kept in a fair condition for travel, and that the system, under
which they are maintained, seems to give general satisfaction.



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i<l.~ , ""■ ^""•'tructed and mafri^ed by stinnt

»• I'l' li I- in., ilv '"'" "';"'""' "^ the county consL^ of limestcnK:.

I I ,, '"'■-""'•"'« H'e streams. Assodatec ^Iri tbi^

llllil I 111.. .III. V ,''"", '" '"^ '-^'^n. considerable c^nde? af
»'"'l"'i ll I-. I, ',„ '* ""^" ^"*^h^>'fossniferons,ancL^eas£:'

,,,^ ^ ^ ^^ ^ ^^ ^ '^^ " » ^ y « . »...ic fir.j„ent]y compact and brittle. Ir

'''•'""•• '•' M-«vvl" , ^^ ;'"""^- il"^r<^are said to be considerate
*'t"'*l»lv |>., ..„,, .'^ ,, ""' ''""^*" "-*" I»<^l'We or iron-rock. Claxi..
^m ll(v v,.„„,v " "^ """■'" '"'"'■"'• "'"^ widely distributed throng^b-

''^^v vi ,x > , „, ,, . "" * -'"^ « ^'ited, on an average, about

' "'''^i'-\-' '''Win fair condiW



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EQUIPMENT, METHODS AND MATERIALS, BY COUNTIES 345

THOMAS COUNTY

Area, 784 square miles ; approximate road-mileage, 800 ; num-
ber of miles of graded road, o ; number of miles of macadamized
road, o ; amount of money annually raised for public-road pur-
poses, o. The roads are constructed and maintained by statute labor.

Thomas county is usually level ; but, in some localities, the sur-
face becomes quite rolling. This is notably true, of the region in
the vicinity of Thomasville, where the surface is much broken, and
resembles somewhat the more mountainous section of North
Georgia.

The road-building material is confined chiefly to the southern
portion of the county. It consists of limestone. Good exposures
of this rock may be seen on the Mclntyre plantation, some eight
miles south of Thomasville. It is heavy bedded limestone. Some
of the layers are semi-crystalline, and well suited for road-surfac-
ing. Another exposure of a similar limestone occurs on Mrs.
Mitchell's farm, seven miles east of Thomasville, near the public
road leading to Boston.

The main thoroughfares of Thomas county are, as a general rule,
in fair condition ; though, in places, they are sandy. The roads are
worked, on an average, about 12 days each year, by the road hands.
This time is sufficient to keep the roads in good condition, if the
work is faithfully done.

Thomas county has one excellent roadway, the Boulevard, which
encircles the city of Thomasville, This is a model earth-road,
practically level, and several miles in length. It is the favorite
drive of that famous winter resort. A visit to Thomasville can
hardly be considered complete^ unless a drive is taken on this road.
On such a ride, one obtains an excellent idea of typical piney woods
scenery. The road is only a common earth road, properly crowned
and well drained.

It furnishes an excellent object lesson, of what may be done in
the piney-woods section of the State, in the way of constructing
good earth roads, at a small expense.



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246 EQUIPMENT, METHODS AND MATERIALS, BY COUNTIES

COI.QUITT COUNTY

Area, 550 square miles ; approximate road-mileage, 300 ; num-
ber of miles of graded road, o ; number of miles of macadamized
road, o; amount of money annually raised for public-road pur-
poses, o. The roads are constructed and maintained by statute
labor. Hands work, on an average, five days each year.

Colquitt county is generally level, and the roads are sandy. The
material for road-surfacing consists of clay and limestone. The
latter is found in places, forming considerable beds. It is often
quite compact, and well suited for road-metal. Flint, or what is
frequently known locally as buhrstone, is also sometimes found in
considerable quantities. This stone is usually quite brittle, and
possesses but little binding strength. Consequently, it is poorly
suited for road-surfacing. Both the limestone and the flint occur
chiefly along streams, or about lime-sinks, where they have been
exposed by denudation. The clays are often highly colored, and
are sometimes spoken of as calico clays. They are mostly siliceous ;
and, when mixed with sand, they form a good, compact road-sur-
face.

The roads of Colquitt county are quite similar to those of other
counties throughout South Georgia. As far as is reported, there
is no desire to change the present system of road-improvement.



BROOKS COUNTY

Area, 529 square miles ; approximate road-mileage, 300 ; num-
ber of miles of graded road, o ; number of miles of macadamized
road, o; amount of money raised, annually, for public-road pur-
poses, o. The roads are constructed and maintained by statute
labor ; and hands work, on an average, five days each year.

During the spring of 1895, the writer, while examining South
Georgia for phosphate deposits, had an excellent opportunity, to
make a personal examination of some of the leading highways of
Brooks county. At that time, the roads were found to be in fair



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EQUIPMENT, METHODS AND MATERIALS, BY COUNTIES 247

condition, though, in places, they were a trifle sandy. This de-
fect, however, can be easily remedied, as beds of clay are always
near by. Topographically, much of the county is rolling ; and,
in order to secure first-class roads, a limited amount of grading
would be required, in places. Especially is this true of the sur-
face in the neighborhood of the larger streams. The Chairman
of the Commission of Roads and Revenues of Brooks county, in
speaking of the highways, says : "We have fair roads, and are
satisfied with the same."

Exposures of limestone, which would make a suitable material
for road-surfacing, occur at several places in the county, about the
numerous limesinks and lakes. These limestones are frequently
semi-crystalline, as may be seen by outcroppings on the Haddock
plantation, a few miles south of Quitman. There are, also, at
various localities throughout the northern part of the county,
more or less extensive deposits of ferruginous sandstone. It oc-
curs in thin beds in the sands and clays, and is often quite abund-
ant in cultivated fields. At a few places, these sandstone boulders
have been used, to a limited extent, in repairing boggy places in
the road ; but they are too local in their distribution, to become
of general use.

LOWNDES COUNTY

Area, 431 square miles; approximate road-mileage, 325; num-
ber of miles of graded road, o ; number of miles of macadamized
road, o; amount of money annually raised for public-road pur-
.poses, o. The roads are constructed and maintained by statute
labor.

Much of the eastern portion of Lowndes county is rolling, and
has a clay soil ; while the northwestern portion is more level, gen-
erally sandy, and often traversed by bay or cypress swamps. Along
the State-line, are many small lakes and ponds, occupying lime-
sinks. The largest of these is Ocean Pond, located in the south-
western part of the county near Lake Park. The streams of the
county are usually sluggish ; and, when swollen in the early spring



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248 EQUIPMENT, METHODS AND MATERIALS, BY COUNTIES

by heavy rains, they frequently overflow their banks, and make
the approaches to the bridges difficult and often dangerous. The
roads of Lowndes county were found to be in fair condition ; but,
in places, they are a trifle sandy. They are worked on an average
of four days each year. The County Ordinary, in speaking of the
present system of road-maintenance, says : *'We work under the
*old road law.' It has no merits ; it is failure, pure and simple."
The road material is limestone. It occurs at several places along
the banks of the Withlacoochee river, between Old Troupville and
the State-line ; also, in the southern part of the county, in the
vicinity of the lakes and ponds. It is generally fossiliferous, con-
taining more or less flint, in the form of concretions. Good speci-
mens of the limestone may be seen at Rock Ford bridge, and at
the mouth of Jumping Gully creek near the State-line.



BERRIEN COUNTY

Area, 745 square miles ; approximate road -mileage, 350 ; num-
ber of miles of graded road, o ; number of miles of macadamized
road, o ; amount of money annually raised for road purposes, o.
The roads are constructed and maintained by statute labor.

Each individual, subject to road-duty, is reported to work,
on an average, six days per year upon the highways. The roads
are nearly all more or less sandy, and are reported to be generally
in poor condition throughout the county. Rock, suitable for road-
surfacing, is limited to a few localities. There seems to have been,
so far, but little interest manifested in Berrien county, toward the
betterment of its highways.



ECHOLS COUNTY

Area, 390 square miles ; approximate road-mileage, 200; num-
ber of miles of graded road, o ; number of miles of macadamized
road, o ; amount of money annually raised for public-road pur-
poses, o. The roads are constructed and maintained by statute
labor.



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EQL'IPMENT, METHODS AND MATERIALS, BY COUNTIES 249

Echols county is comparatively level. The lands are often low,
and are frequently covered with palmetto and a luxuriant growth
of long-leaf pine. Much of the county, especially in the eastern
portion, is sparsely settled, and the roadways are often mere trails
through the piney woods, made by lumbermen. Swamps and slug-
gish streams are more or less abundant, forming frequently bar-
riers to travel during the rainy season. The roadways of the county
are generally sandy. This is especially true in the vicinity of the
larger streams, where the surface is rolling.

Fig. 28






• . *• • • . . • -. • .. • * •- _ ' . ' — . -* - 1 . ■■



Section through the Rocks on W. T. Green's Property, i. Sandy Clays.
2. Limestone. 3. Phosphate Pebbles in Calcareous Matrix.

The rocks of Echols county suitable for road-surfacing material
are limited chiefly to limestone, although sandstone and flint
occur, in small quantities, in a few localities. Some of the best
exposures of limestone in the county may be seen along the banks
of the Allapaha river, in the vicinity of Statenville, and also along
AUapacoochee creek, near the point, where it enters the former
stream. There occurs, associated with the limestone, at these
places, phosphatic rock.' The limestone found in the above locali-
ties is compact, and more or less sandy, and weathers into irregu-
lar cavities. It often contains nodules of flint, and occasionally,
fragments of shells and bones.

Each individual subject to road-duty is reported to work on the

^ See fig. 28.



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250 EQUIPMENT, METHODS AND MATERIALS, BY COUNTIES

highways of Echols county, on an average, about 8 days per year.
Under this system, the roads are kept in fair condition for traffic.



CLINCH COUNTY

Area, 988 square miles; approximate road-mileage, 225 ; num-
ber of miles of graded road, 11; number of miles of macad-
amized road, o; amoimt of money annually raised for public-
road purposes, o. The roads are constructed and maintained by
statute labor.

The roads of Clinch county are under the management of
•District Road Commissioners appointed by the Ordinary. The
District Commissioners, in turn, appoint overseers, who have im-
mediate charge of all hands subject to road-duty. Under this
system, each individual works on the highways, on an average,
about three days per annum. The roads of the county are gen-
erally sandy ; and they are frequently in poor condition for traffic.
The numerous swamps in the county add materially to the cost
and difficulty of road-building. In places, corduroy roads have
been constructed by lumbermen ; but they are often in such con-
dition, as to be almost impassable. Some time ago, an effort was
made, to work convicts upon the public roads of Clinch county ;
but, after a few months' trial with small chain-gangs, the plan was
abandoned.

The only rocks, found in Clinch county, suitable for road-
material, are limestone and flint, or buhrstone. These rocks are
exposed, mostly in the southern part of the county, along the
larger streams. Such deposits may be seen along the banks of
the Suwannee river, near the Georgia-Florida State-line.



WARE COUNTY

Area, 893 square miles; approximate road-mileage, 140; num-
ber of miles of graded road, o ; number of miles of macadamized
road, o ; amount of money annually raised for public-road pur-



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EQUIPMENT, METHODS AND MATERIALS, BY COUNTIES



251



poses, not ascertained. The roads are constructed and maintained
by statute labor.

The surface of Ware county is quite level, and the soils are
generally sandy. Much of the county is swampy. Especially
is this true of the southern part. The chief obstacles in the way
of road-construction, are the heavy beds of sand and the boggy
swamps. The timbennen, in many places, have constructed cor-


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Online LibrarySamuel Washington McCallieA preliminary report on the roads and road-building materials of Georgia → online text (page 20 of 22)