The Archibald McRainey house was constructed in 1909 for the McRainey family and their servants. Archibald McRaney was born in North Carolina and moved to Baker County and then made his fortune in turpentine and lumber. The McRainey operation put Elmodel on the map and helped make this community one of the largest in the county. The McRainey home was the first in the county to have running water, electricity, and three bathrooms. Pumping water up to the upper levels were difficult, however, due to there not being enough pressure to pump the water up the pipes. Behind the house is a brick cold storage house with eight inch thick walls, a marvel at the time. The house is rumored to have hidden doors which go to secret panic rooms and large murals on walls. Mr. McRainey had a wife and many children, and he eventually divorced his wife to marry Effie Holt, a teenager who lived as a border in his home. There was bad blood over this event that left Mrs. Effie emotionally ruined and it has been hard for her to trust people since. My great aunt lived as a border with Miss Effie and Mr. McRainey and gave the impression that Mrs. Effie was a kind and gentle girl who loved her husband very much. Mr. McRainey and Mrs. Effie had no children of their own. Mr. McRainey died and left Mrs. Effie a lifetime estate and upon her death the land would revert back to his children with his former wife. Mrs. Effie went on to remarry Mr. Charlie Fulgham. They adopted a daughter Angela, who sadly lost her battle with cancer two years ago. The family eventually had to move out of the home due to her Mr. Fulgham’s worsening health. As soon as Mrs. Effie and her husband were situated in the small trailer which sits beside the home, the large home was robbed during a trip to the doctor. Mrs. Effie says that any and all antiques were stolen down to the decorative trim. Also many of her personal items, including clothes, jewelry, and photos were destroyed. Mrs. Effie has not been to the doctor since. Due to Mrs. Effie’s age and health, it is impossible for her to maintain the amount of upkeep the house requires, which sadly resulted in its state today. This truly breaks her heart. I must advise you NOT to stop and visit Mrs. Effie and ask her about her home. She has had a very difficult life and trusts no one. She has pulled a gun on many people before and ran them off. I can not say that I blame her as it still isn’t uncommon for looters to show up. She is very protective of her home and her land, as it is all that she has. Please do not bother her. If you would like to photograph the home please do so from the other side of the road. The only reason I was granted permission to shoot the house is due to my family’s long history in the county. Perhaps some day I will be fortunate enough to shoot the inside, but the foundation is currently very unstable. Mrs. Effie is a kind good-hearted person, but she is very suspicious when it comes to strangers, please remember this. (PRIVATE PROPERTY!!! IT IS VERY DANGEROUS TO TRESPASS HERE! DOING SO COULD GET YOU SHOT!!!)
Smoke House and Garage
Photo taken when the home was completed.