Samuel Washington McCallie.

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

. (page 21 of 22)
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duroy roads across the swamps, which, in some instances, are kept
in passable condition by the public-road hands, who are reported
to work on the roads about 12 days each year.

No rock suitable for road material is known to occur. Clays,
however, well adapted for surfacing sandy roads, are more or less

The county owns one iron bridge, erected at a cost of $20,000.


Area, 555 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

Pierce county is low and level. The soils are sandy. The
roads of the county are kept up entirely by statute labor. The
hands are said to work on the highways, on an average of seven
days each year. No material suitable for road-construction is re-
ported. The county seems to take but little interest in the better-
ment of its highways.


Area, 497 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 purposes,
o. The roads are constructed and maintained by statute labor.

The surface of Charlton county is usually level, and presents

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rarely but slight variations in topographic features. Okefinokee
swamp covers much of the western part of the county ; while the
eastern portion consists largely of low palmetto lands covered
with sand. The great difficulty encountered in constructing-
hardened roadways in Charlton county is the scarcity of road-sur-
facing materials. The roads are always sandy; and, in but few
places, are clays or other material to be had for surfacing. Lime-^
stone outcrops in beds at some points along the banks of the St.
Mary's river, in the vicinity of Trader's Hill ; but it is poorly
suited for road purposes.

Mr. B. F. Scott, Chairman of the Board of County Road Com-
missioners, in a letter, says : " We work our roads, on an average,
about five days each year. Our roads are in a bad condition. The
present method is unsatisfactory. We are much behind in high-
way improvement." Charlton county owns no road-machinery,,
nor does it raise revenues for road-improvement.


Area, 769 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; number of days worked by road-hands each year, 5.
The roads are constructed and maintained by statute labor.

Camden county is located on the Atlantic coast, in the extreme
southeastern part of the State. Its surface is level, and the soils
are generally sandy. Swamps are common near the coast, and
they often make road-construction expensive. A trip through
this county a few years ago by the writer in a wagon, demonstrated
the fact, that the public roads were kept in fair condition for com-
mon traffic. In places they were often found to be somewhat
sandy. However, this defect could have been easily remedied by
a coating of clay, which is generally to be had, near by. As far
as observed by the writer, the only indurated rock in the county,,
exposed at the surface, suitable for road-surfacing, was at Burnt Fort

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on the Satilla river. The rock is a mud-stone or a clayey lime-
stone, in layers from 3 to 8 inches in thickness. It is too limited
in quantity to ever be of much value in road-surfacing. At St.
Mary's, and at some other points along the coast, a limited quan-
tity of oyster shells have been used in making hardened ways.


Area, 427 square miles ; approximate road-mileage, 150 ; num-
ber of miles of graded road, 60; number of miles of shell road,
20 ; amount of money annually raised for public-road purposes,
not given. The roads are constructed and maintained by statute

Glynn county is located on the Atlantic coast in the southeast-
ern part of the State. Its surface is low and level, and swamps are
more or less abundant, especially in the vicinity of the coast.
These swamps, together with the superficial deposits of sand, so
often met with throughout the county, are the chief obstacles to be
overcome in road-building. The highways of the county, are gen-
erally in fair condition. They are kept up by statute and convict
labor. In 1898, according to the annual report of the Prison Com-
mission of Georgia, Glynn county employed, on its roads and pub-
lic works, 26 convicts. The roads on St. Simons Island are said
to be kept up entirely by statute labor, each hand subject to road-
duty being required to work on the highways, on an average of
about three days each year. Materials in Glynn county, suitable
for road-surfacing, with the exception of clays and oyster shells,
are almost entirely wanting. Only at one place in the county, has
the writer seen rock in sufficient quantity to be of value for road-
making. The exposure of rock, here referred to, occurs on the
Livingston plantation on College creek, some 10 or 15 miles west
of Brunswick. The rock exposed at this place is a compact argil-
laceous limestone, of a blue color on a freshly broken surface. It
occurs along the stream, for a quarter of a mile or more, in thin
beds, which readily break up, when exposed to the atmosphere,

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into angular blocks, varying from 3 to 8 inches in diameter. A
limited amount of this stone, or stone of a similar nature, has been
used on one of the streets of Brunswick for macadam ; but, owing
to the large size of the fragments, it did not give satisfaction. If
this rock were broken into fragments of the proper size, from i to
2 inches in diameter, and it were properly put down, there would
seem to be no reason, why it would not make a smooth and satis-
factory road-bed.

Clays suitable for surfacing sandy roads are widely distributed
over the county ; while oyster shells are confined to the coast.
The oyster packing-houses in the neighborhood of Brunswick have
in the last few years furnished large quantities of shells for road-
surfacing. The material, used in surfacing the 20 miles of elegant
road-way in the vicinity of Brunswick, was derived from this
source. These shell roadways are reported to cost the county only
about $700 per mile. They are remarkably level, and are delight-
ful drive-ways, when kept in repair.


Area, 419 square miles ; approximate road-mileage, 100 ; num-
ber of miles of graded road, 4 ; number of miles of shell road, 4 ;
amount of money annually raised for public-road purposes, $800.
The roads are constructed and maintained by statute labor.

Mcintosh county is low and level. The soils are usually sandy.
Swamps and bogs are numerous, and often seriously interfere with
road-building. Mr. J. A. Walker, the Chairman of the Board of
County Commissioners, in speaking of the roads of Mcintosh
county, says : ** Our public roads are not very good. We are now
working under the superintendency of one man, with overseers
under him, when they are necessary.'' The superintendent is
paid a salary of $600, and has general control of all the roads in the
county. All persons, subject to road-duty, are required to work
the public roads five days each year, or pay a commutation-tax of

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$1.50. The special road-tax is one mill on the dollar, and this
amounts annually to about $800.

The county has no rock, known to the writer, suitable for road
material. Oyster shells have been used, to a limited extent, for
this purpose. The roads, so far surfaced with shells, are said to
cost about $1,000 per mile.


Area, 966 square miles ; approximate road-mileage, 500 ; 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

Topographically, Liberty county is low and level. It has many
extensive swamps, which are serious obstacles to overcome in road-
building. In the vicinity of the swamps, the soils are tenacious
clays ; while, in the more elevated areas, they are usually sandy.
During the early history of the State, Liberty county was noted
for its excellent roadways. White, in his book, entitled The
Statistics of Georgia^ in speaking of this county, says : *'In no part
of Georgia, do the citizens pay so much attention to their roads, as
in Liberty county." On account of the numerous swamps, there
has been an immense amount of labor expended in the construc-
tion of bridges and causeways. The bridges are generally small.
The writer, during the spring of 1895, travelled over several of the
main thoroughfares of Liberty county, and was much surprised, to
find the roads in such excellent condition. Especially was this
true of the roads in the vicinity of Riceboro, where large sums of
money must have formerly been expended, in elevating the surface
of the roadways above the general level of the swamps.

The roads of the county are now under the direction of 18 super-
intendents, one for each road-district. These superintendents re-
ceive one dollar per day, for their services, while actually em-
ployed on the road, which is usually about six days each year.

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Liberty county fonnerly raised a special road-tax, of i >^ mills
on the dollar, for the improvement of its highways ; but the tax
has not been collected, since 1894. The roads are now kept up
entirely by statute labor. Road material is scarce, though some
gravel is to be found near the larger streams.


Area, 400 square miles; approximate road-mileage, 400; 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, 8600 ; number of days worked by road-hands each year, 4.
The roads are constructed and maintained mainly by statute labor.

Bryan county lies immediately west and south of Chatham.
The surface, like that of the adjoining counties, is low and level.
The soils, as a general rule, are sandy. Along the streams,
swamps of considerable extent occur, which interfere with road-
building. The rivers of the larger streams, are often deep and
sluggish, and are generally crossed by bridges or ferries. No
rock, suitable for road-surfacing, as far as is known to the writer,
occurs in the county. The roads are in a fair condition ; but, in
places, they are sandy.


Area, 433 square miles ; approximate road-mileage, 175 ; num-
ber of miles of graded road, 24 ; number of miles of gravel and
macadamized road, 30 ; amount of money annually expended on
the public roads, from $i5,cxx) to $5o,o<X). The roads are con-
structed and maintained by convict and statute labor.

There has been much interest manifested in Chatham county,
in the last few years, in the improvement of its highways. In
1896, more than $5o,chx) was expended by the county on roads
and bridges. The sum now appropriated is much less than the
above amount ; yet the number of miles of road, yearly improved,
is probably greater than in 1896. Many of the leading roads

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radiating from the city of Savannah have been surfaced with
.gravel, broken stone or shell ; and they are now kept in excellent
condition for travel. These surfaced roads, which often extend
for several miles into the country, are constructed and maintained
by convicts ; while the other roads of the county are kept up by
statute labor.

According to the Annual Report of the Prison Commission of
•(ieorgia for 1898, Chatham county employs, on its roads and pub-
lic works, 232 convicts. About a tenth of this number is regu-
larly employed in surfacing and grading the roads ; while the re-
mainder is engaged in ditching, building canals, doing farm-
work, etc.

The chain-gang is under the direction of a superintendent and
three overseers. The latter are each paid $75 per month. There
are also, regularly employed, 20 guards at salaries of $45 each per
month. The total cost, of working each convict in Chatham
•county, has been estimated, by Mr. W. F. Chaplin, Superintendent
•of Public Works and Roads, at 26.1 cents per day. This estimate
includes the cost of guarding, and all other expenses connected
with the maintenance of the chain-gang.

All the gravel roads of Chatham county are now being con-
structed of Augusta gravel, which costs, on board cars at Savan-
nah, $1.15 per cubic yard. In constructing these roads, the sur-
face of the roadway is first leveled and properly crowned, after
which the gravel is put in place, to the depth of six or eight
inches, and thoroughly rolled, until it becomes hardened. The
cost of constructing these gravel roads depends largely upon their
width, and the distance, to which the gravel has to be hauled from
the railroad. The average cost of an eighteen-foot road, includ-
ing grading, has been placed at $3,500 per mile. A limited
amount of gravel from Liberty county, and chert from Northwest
Georgia, as well as oyster shells, have been used on the roads of
Chatham county ; but none of them are said to give as satisfactory
results as the Augusta gravel. Besides the gravel and shell roads,
the county also has some five miles of macadamized road, con-

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structed of granite from South Carolina. This road, which is
twenty feet wide, cost about $5,6cx) per mile. The road seems to
be well constructed ; but the large size of the stones in the sur-
face-layer renders it too rough for bicycles, or for pleasure drives.
The above estimated cost of road-construction per mile includes
several small steel bridges, which have replaced wooden structures
across small streams and canals.

The equipage for road-working owned by Chatham county is
quite complete, and cost many thousand dollars. It consists of
one lo-ton steam-roller, one 4-ton horse-roller, one road-machine^
30 mules, numerous scrapers, carts, wagons, tents etc. This equip-
age is moved from place to place throughout the county, as the
roads are being improved ; and, consequently, little time is con-
sumed, in going to and returning from work.

The abundance of sand, the numerous swamps and the entire
absence of rock for road-building material renders road-making
in Chatham county both difficult and expensive. In many places^
the sands are so heavy, that it is practically impossible, for a team
to haul anything like a heavy load. In a few localities, clays can
be had for surfacing ; but all materials for hardened ways must
be obtained beyond the limits of the county. The cost of grading
roads in Chatham county is reduced to a minimum, by reason of
the level condition of the surface. It is no uncommon thing, to
see stretches of road extending for long distances with little or no
grading. In fact, the surface is so nearly horizontal in places, that
drainage is difficult, and the cost of elevating the road-surface
above the general level of the plains is frequently considerable.

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The Geological Survey is under great obligations to the Chair-
men of the Boards of Road Commissioners in some counties, and
to the County Ordinaries in others, for special reports on their
several counties, from which much of the information included in.
this chapter was obtained.

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The following table shows the physical tests on some of the
principal road-building materials of Georgia, kindly made, at the
request of the State Geologist, by Mr. Logan Waller Page, in the
Road Material Laboratory, U. S. Department' of Agriculture,
Washington, D. C. : —



Name of Stone

Locality of Stone










Bangor Limestone .
Fort Payne Chert . . .

Blowing Spring

Near Flintstone

Near Newnan

Near Elberton

Ladd Lime Works

Near Lytle
(C. of G. Rwy.)

City Canal
near Augusta

Walker ....
Walker ....





Richmond . .


KeKalb ....


DeKalb . .











7 5

34 7









Knox Dolomite

Knox Dolomite Chert











Near James Station

(C. of G. Rwy






Lakewood near Atlanta

Stone Mountain

Chickamauga National


Chickamauga Lime-


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Acknowledgments 259

Appling County 288

Atlanta, Knoxville A Northern Railway. . 109
Atlanta & West Point R. R 179


Baldwin County 211-212

Bangor Limestone 100-101

Banks County 189

Baker County 244

Barnes, Q. A., Property of, 188

Bartow Ooun ty 121-122

Berrien County 248

Bibb County 216-218

Blake Stone-crusher, The. 84-85

Brennan Crusher, The, 88

Brooks County 24^247

Bryan County 256

Buhrstone or Flint 110

Bullock County 282

Burke County 208

Butts County 194-196

Byrne. Austin T., Quoted 88-84

Calhoun County 288-289

Camden County 252-258

Campbell County 150

Carroll County 148-149

Catoosa County 118-114

Central of Georgia Railway 100, 177, 221

Champion Crusher, The, 88

Chaplin. W. F., Cited 257

Charlton County 251-252

Chatham County 256 258

Chattahoochee County 224-225

Chattanooga, Rome A Southern R. R 118

Chattooga County 117-118

Cherokee County 125-126

Chert 71-72, 101-102

Chickamauga Limestone, The, 90-100

Chiclcamauga Park, The Roads of. 118-114

Clarke County 166 168

Clay County 240-241

Clayton County 177

Clinch County 250

Cobb County 14&-147

Coffee County 285

Coleman, Clarence, Quoted . 80 - :n

Colquitt County 246

Columbia County 2^6

Corduroy Roads 54

Coweta County 178-179

Crawford County 219-220

Crystalline Area. Ihe. 94- 95 .

Dade County Ill

Dawson County 186-137

Dean, W. D., Property of 167

Decatur County 242-243

DeKalb County 160-163

Diabase 68, 106 108

Diorite 69. 106-106

Dixon, Dr. K. B., Quoted 138

Dodge County 228

Donaldson, Superintendent, 158

Dooly County 227

Dougherty County 287-288

Douglas County 147-148

Drainage 87-43

Karly County iMl

Karly Road-Building in GoorKia 17- 2<»

Earth Roads 56- 5H •

Bchols County 248-J50

Bffingham County 2:u

Blbert County 141-143

Bmanuel County 280

Bnglish Roads 18-14

Eve, Judge W . F., Quoted 2<i»i

Fannin County 128

Farrell & Marsden Crusher, The, S8

Fayette County .■l77-17t" .


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Federal Highway In the United States, The

Old, W

Floyd County 118-121

Forsyth County 187

Franklin County 18»-140

French, Henry F., Quoted 41

Fulton County 150-lW

, Chert Roads of, 164-156

, Macadam ixed Roads of,. . . . 164

. Rubble-«tone Roads of 166

Gates Crusher, The, 87

Georgia R. R.,The 161,212

Georgia, Southern «Sk Florida R. R 210

GUlmore, Gen. Q. A., Quoted 88, 84- 86

Gilmer County 127

Glascock County 210

Glynn County 268-264

(Jnelss 70, 106

Good Roads, The Value of 28-82

Gordon County 11«

Grades 86-86

G ranlte 60-70, 104

Grant, W. H., Quoted 46, 47

Gravel 72-78, 100, 110

Roads 52-68

(ireene County 178-174

Gwinnett County 146


Habersham County 181-188

Hall County 188-180

Hancock County 202-206

Haralson Coun ty 128-124

Harris County 184-188

Hart County 140-141

Hayes, Dr. C. W., (Jlted 08

, Quoted 00-100

Heard County 180-181

Henry County 176

Herring, Randolph, Cited 24-25

Hlll.T. F.. Cited 180

, H. Warner, The Property of, 188

Holmes, Prof. J. A., Quoted 28-20

Hornblende-Schist 108

Houston County 218-210


Irish, Charlea W., Quoted 40

Irwin County 285


Jackson County 144

Jasper County 108-200

Jefferson County 200

Johnson County 220-280

Jones County 214-216


Knox Dolomite 08- 00


Latta, Prof. W. C, Cited 28-24, 81

Laurens County 230

Lee County 286

Liberty County 26^266

Limestone 70-71, 08-101, 100-110

Lincoln County 171-172

Lowndes County 247-248

Lumpkin County 184-186


Macadam, John London, 16

Macadam Roads 46-51

Macaulay, Quoted 13, 14

Macon County 221

Macon & Northern R. R., The, 200, 215

Madison County 148-144

Maintenance and Repair of Roads 60- 66

Manson, Z. T., Quoted 177

Marble 100

Marion County 222

Massachusetts Highway Commission,

Quoted 78-77

McClellan, Gen., A Road Constructed by,. . 64

McDaffie County 204-206

Mcintosh County 264-266

Meriwether County 187-100

Mica-Schist 106

Miller County 241-242

Milton County 146-146

Mitchell County 244

Monroe County 105-106

Montgomery County 284

Morgan County 174-176

Murray County 115-116

Muscogee County 228-224

New Road Law, The, 20-21

Newton County 176-176

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Oconee County 166

Oglethorpe County 168-16«

Paleozoic Area, The, 92-94

Paulding County r24-iaB

Peravlan Roads, The Ancient, 12

Pickens County 126-127

Pierce County 251

Pike County IW

Pitman, Judge Daniel, 151-152

Plank Roads 54-56

Plows 78- 7»

Polk County 122-128

Potter, Isaac B., Quoted 61, 66

Prescott, the Historian, Quoted 12

Pulaski County 228

Putnam County 200-202

Quartzlte 108-109

Quitman County 280

Rabun County 130-181

Randolph County 288-240

Ray, Rev. Dr., Cited 81

Richmond County 206-208

Road-Building Materials of Qeorgla, The,08-110
Road-Building Materials of the Crystalline

Belt 104-109

Road-Building Materials of the Tertiary

A rea 109-110

Road Construction 88r 68

, History of, 9-22

Road Machines 80-82

Road Materials 66- 77

Road Materials of the Paleozoic Area 98-104

Road Rollers 82-84

Road Scrapers 79- 80

Road Surfaces 48- 68

Rock Crushers 84-87

Rockdale Coun ty 168-167

Roman Roads 10-11

Russell. Prof. I. C, Quoted 106


Sandstone 71. 106-104

Sanford, Daniel B., Q loted 211-212

. J. O., Quoted 60-61

Sarannah, Florida & Western R. R 248

Schley County 221-222

Scott, B. F , Quoted 26ii

Screven County 280-381

Shale 72,103-108

Shaler, Prof. N. S., Quoted 9. 51. 67. 88- 81

Shells 7»

Siliceous Gravel 108

Slate 7±

Smith, Halstead, Quoted llS-li9

Smith, Norris 1»

Southern Railway, The 96. 108. 106, 1:M.

182, 183, 188, 140. 148» 16i, dl7. 29B> ttt

Spalding County 198-lM

Spencer, Dr. J. W., Quoted 128

Stewart County 29S

Stone, Gen. Roy, Cited 27,»

Sumter County

Syenites, The

Talbot County 178-187

Taliaferro County 1T2

Tattnall County 882

Taylor County 220-221

Telfair County 281

Telford Road, The 48-46

Telford, Thomas, 14

, Quoted 48-46

Terrell County 887

Tertiary Area, The, 95-97

Thomas County 846

Tigner, T. B., The Property of 188

Tires 88-91

Toll-Roads 16-17

Tools and Machines Used in Highway Con-
struction 78-91

Topography of Georgia in Its Relation to

the Highways, The, 92-97

Towns County 180

Trap 67-89, 108-108

Tresaguet Road 12-18

Troup County 181-184

Twiggs County 218-214


Union County 128-180

Upson County 190-191

United States National Road 112


Walker County 112-118

Walker, J. A., Quoted 354

Walton County 164-166

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Online LibrarySamuel Washington McCallieA preliminary report on the roads and road-building materials of Georgia → online text (page 21 of 22)