Newton U. F. O. Sightings, Newton, Baker County

Weeds on Main Street

Newton has been plagued with U. F. O.s since the 70s it seems. There have been at least four reports of U. F. O. sightings in Newton in the last forty years, one per decade it seems. The last one that I can recall happened in 1997. It was called in by a man who was on the way to work when he noticed some unusual lights in the sky. My grandfather also saw some strange lights one day during the twilight hour. He was never quite sure what he saw. What aliens would want with a sleepy Georgia town is anybody’s guess. One thing is for sure, Southwest Georgia has a number of unusual events surrounding it!

Pinebloom Plantation, Red Store Crossroads, Baker County

Looking at the Front

Pinebloom Plantation was built by Henry Hartwell Tarver of Tarva Plantation as a wedding gift for his daughter Dorothy Tarver, who was marrying politician Alfred Holt Colquittt. When it was first created Pinebloom was known as The Colquitt Place, a large plantation with many slaves. While Mr. Colquitt was in the 33rd Congress he lost his wife and father. He did not apply for re-election and removed himself from politics for a while. After this period of mourning he re-entered politics as a member of the Georgia Legislature, he also married widow Sarah Tarver. During the Civil War Mr. Alfred enlisted in the Confederate Army and eventually rose to the rank of Major General. At some point during the war the plantation was re-named Pinebloom, but the exact year is unknown. After the war Mr. Alfred returned home to his family and resumed his political career. His slaves were also freed, but few left. In 1876 Mr. Alfred was elected Governer of the State of Georgia, a position he held for many years. When he completed his terms he remained in politics as a Senator. Mr. Alfred passed away in office on March 26, 1892 from a stoke. His wife, Sarah, lived until 1898 and upon her death the land went to Mr. Alfred’s heirs.

Windmill

In 1923 the land was deeded to the Flint River Pecan Company for a sum of $10,000 and went on the market for sale. Due to a default on a loan Pinebloom went into the hands of Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company and was then sold to R. W. Bingham of Louisville. It was re-sold to Mr. Winthrop Bancroft of Duvall County, Florida in 1935. It then had a total of 9,989 acres. The Bancroft family re-sold the plantation in 1946 to Mr. Hal Price Headley of Fayetted County, Ky. ┬áMr. Hal was a horse breeder and used Pinebloom as a training ground for his racing horses. At the time Pinebloom had aquired the land that was once the tiny town of Ledbetter. Mr. Hal then renamed all the town’s streets for places in New York City. The road signs are still present today. Many of the ponds were also renamed after New York, 42nd Street Swamp being an example.

Pinebloom Office

Upon Mr. Hal’s death in 1962 the plantation was again sold, this time to Mr. Al Rockwell of North American Rockwell Enterprises of Pittsburgh. Mr. Al then sold it to U. S. Steel of Pittsburgh; who’s chairman of the board, Mr. Ed Speer, eventually purchased it. Mr. Ed lived on Pinebloom until his death in 1979, he was cremated and his ashes scattered over an area of the plantation. The land sold finally to Mr. John Harbert from Birmingham, Al in 1981.

Pinebloom Plantation is on the National Register of Historic Places, listed on February 9, 1990.

Pinebloom Airport

Pinebloom Airstrip

Looking at Governer's Office

Governer’s Office

Former Site of Trinity Cemetery

Trinity Cemetery used to sit here. It was covered by the new Pinebloom Airstrip.

Drive Way

(Pinebloom Plantation is PRIVATE PROPERTY and does not allow trespassers or visitors. Please do not trespass here, you will be caught and prosecuted.)

Mount Airy Baptist Church, Red Store Crossroads, Baker County

Mount Airy Baptist Church

Mount Airy Baptist Church is a Black church in Red Store Crossroads. It was formally located in Hard-Up on Hard-Up Road. Due to Pineland’s road closure Mount Airy moved to Red Store Crossroads and built a large new church. Old Mount Airy Baptist Church was known as the ‘castle church’ among those who believed that Hard-Up Road was haunted. I was later burned down by vandals.