Haw Pond School and Church | Crisp County Georgia | c. 1910s
A small community formed here in the late 1800s that would become called Haw Pond, named for the May Haw trees that surround the ponds. And while there isn’t much of it left today, this humble building still stands to remind us, though not for much longer.
In the 1910s, locals decided it was time to build a proper schoolhouse, and the land was donated by W.B. Pate for a one-room building. In 1925, a church was organized, initially taking their meetings inside the Haw Pond School. Back in those days, Reverend George Hobby would travel on foot or horse and buggy twice a month from Rebecca (10 miles away) to preach for the community.
Changes Come to Haw Pond
But as the years went on, county schools were consolidated and students were bussed into bigger towns nearby. The church eventually outgrew the building and constructed a new sanctuary on the same property where a congregation still worships today.
In the 1950s, the building was modified and an interior wall was constructed to make the building suitable for living when a family moved in.
And while the schoolhouse might not look like much now, back when it was built, it represented access to public education that students in a small farming community like this one wouldn’t have had access to before.
And while this old building has withstood more than 100 years of Georgia weather, according to locals, it suffered from considerable damage in 2018 when Hurricane Michael came through the area. It likely won’t survive much longer so I was grateful for the opportunity to stop and capture it before it’s gone forever.
Local Memories of Haw Pond And The School
As I researched this old school, I came across numerous comments online from locals who shared their memories of the school and the small community. One woman said that her grandmother, Mabel Wright Spires, taught here after graduating from Atlanta’s Teaching College. Another person recalled that their grandfather went here and another that her mom attended here.
Another local shared some interesting memories of the community of Haw Pond. In the Spring, thousands of Haw Berries fall around the ponds and locals would make jelly out of it. Also in the Spring, the pond mysteriously drains out, stranding fish in its base. Locals would bring their wagons with barrels to fill with the fish who were stranded in the dried pond bed.