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Johnny Vardeman: Communities’ names vanished from old maps
Johnny Vardeman

Browsing maps of Hall County long ago, you realize how communities come and go.

Some of the communities that appeared on early maps disappeared on later maps. Perhaps that was the map maker’s fault, or perhaps those communities died out for some reason or another, such as when post offices consolidated or were eliminated.

An 1899 map carried the names of Dunagan, Oconee Mills, Trust, Chestnut Mountain, Bellmont and Dip. The spellings are the same as those printed on the maps. Dip, of course, became Clermont. It would be another 11 years before Clermont would be on an official map.

Chestnut Mountain for many years was called Chestnut Hill. Perhaps somebody made a mountain out of a molehill.

Toward the end of the 19th Century and into the 1930s, Hall County was known for its health resorts, including White Sulphur Springs between Gainesville and Lula, Gower Springs at the end of what is known today as Green Street Circle in Gainesville and New Holland Springs in, naturally, New Holland. New Holland Springs was located on a map in 1895.

It would be 1915 before Oakwood would show up on some maps, though it was founded in 1896. An O’Dell’s Crossing community previously was on the map of that area. Many O’Dell families come from South Hall.

Blackshear Place wasn’t on most maps until 1970, and today is within the city limits of Oakwood. Blackshear Place Baptist Church has changed its name, but the Blackshear Place name remains on the library branch. Obviously, the name comes from a Blackshear family who lived at the crossroads of Atlanta and Winder highways. Many Hall Countians remember Judge Joseph Blackshear, whose grandparents lived in a landmark home there.

Klondike in South Hall has been a well-known community for years, but some map makers didn’t put it down until 1955, though the settlement’s history is traced back as far as 1905. It originally was known as Motan, from Moses Tanner, a prominent businessman and farmer of that area.

Belmont, near the Jackson County line, today is spelled with one “l.” It used to have a post office and is said to have been named for a Bell family. It was a station on the old Gainesville & Jefferson Railroad as early as 1881.

Likewise, Bellton, which used to be adjacent to Lula in East Hall, dropped one of its “l’s” over time, and the whole name disappeared from maps after Lula absorbed it. The name came from Major John Bell, who operated a mine and owned a lot of land. When Belton and Lula consolidated in 1957, some suggested the new town be named “Lulabelle,” but apparently that didn’t ring a bell with anybody.

Lula’s name might have come from the daughter of Ferdinand Phinizy, owner of White Sulphur Springs Resort nearby. An 1885 map names the town Lulah, with an “h” at the end, but it eventually became just plain Lula, which was settled in 1876.

The town’s neighbor, now called Glade Farms, also was listed on maps at times as “The Glades” or “Glades Mines,” where considerable mining took place. That also was the name of a voting precinct for many years.

Present-day Hall Countians know Sugar Hill as the community and school on U.S. 129 south, the Gainesville-Athens Highway. However, there once was a Sugar Hill in another part of Hall County, and Gwinnett County’s Sugar Hill today is a sprawling city off Interstate 85.

Here are some other community names that no longer exist, except perhaps in the memories of longtime Hall County residents:

  • Land: a post office in the Quillians Corner area.

  • Argo: also a post office just north of Quillians.

  • Dandy: another post office in north Hall County.

  • Luck: on Clark’s Bridge Road a couple of miles north of the bridge. Supposedly site of a post office and school. There also was a Lucksville post office on the old Shallowford Road west of the Chattahoochee River.

  • Time: near Dewberry Baptist Church, Clark’s Bridge Road.

  • Ethel: site of still another post office between Bowdre and Lula. Bowdre was a rail station in the vicinity of Lula and White Sulphur Springs.

Booger Hollow existed, but apparently didn’t have a post office. It was located near Brown’s Bridge. Lake Lanier is responsible for its demise.

Watch for more local history in this column next Sunday.

Johnny Vardeman is retired editor of The Times. He can be reached at 2183 Pine Tree Circle NE, Gainesville; 770-532-2326 or