Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Lovely Town of Newborn, GA

From the October 2013 edition of About Covington to Madison magazine. Additional online-only content can be found below at the end of the original article. Thanks for reading!

The Lovely Town of Newborn, GA
Lots of Exciting Things Going On...

Howdy folks! Hope all is well out there. I'm glad so many of you enjoyed my 2013 UGA Football Preview in the last edition of About Covington to Madison. Looks like my prediction for the Clemson game missed the mark, but what a win against South Carolina! Hopefully we'll continue to improve and grow as a team and achieve the results that we all desire. Go Dawgs! 

This month I'd like to write about one of my favorite places in all of Georgia – good ole Newborn, GA. As a few of you might remember, my second column ever in this magazine published back in the Spring of 2009, covered this fine town. As I said then, “Newborn holds a special place in my heart as I lived there for four years after my Athens days. And I must say - I think of my time in Newborn often and fondly.” It's true. There's just something about that place. I still feel it now when I visit.

Originally named Sandtown (or maybe Cross Road), the Newborn area was first settled in 1819 making it the oldest settlement in Newton Co. with the exception of Winton (Brick Store). Newborn’s history is full and ups and downs. There was a time when there was a bank, hotels, multiple stores, a theater, and a thriving train depot. As was the case with many old, small towns in Georgia, the railroad was its lifeblood, and like so many southern towns, the boll weevil was its biggest detriment. And naturally the Depression did no favors for the area, either. And there were other tragedies as well. But through it all, Newborn survived, which is not always the case. Just look at towns we’ve covered like Webbville (Factory Shoals) or New Berlin (North Oxford) here in Newton, or Smith's Mill or Leakesville down in Jasper as well as several others in this general vicinity that would end up dying and returning to nature. But not Newborn. There's a resiliency there – you can feel it.

Newborn and her people are also rather unique. Some might say eccentric. Well, their motto is “A Town With Characters,” and that would be an apt description. Maybe there's something in the water. Regardless, it's just a really cool place with some very good people. And there's so much history in Newborn. And that ties in to one of the things I wanted to cover in this piece...

Zeigler-Childs Building (Town Hall)
A new book is being released next month about the history of this town. Newborn, GA — Characters, Places, Tales is a 500+ page book written by 8 different contributors under the name of The Happy History Committee of Newborn. The book has many different stories and accounts of several long-time Newborn residents and families and many historical events. There are upwards of 500 pictures in this book as well. And as I understand it, there's a good bit of stuff about the late Jeanette Zeigler. As anyone who knew her would tell you, Ms. Jeanette was simply a marvelous woman. There is also a lot of content about families like the Pitts, Childs, Epps, Adams, Webbs and others. There is a good bit of information specifically about John Pitts, the Union sympathizer who hosted Sherman during his March to the Sea, and the one person most likely responsible for why Newborn wasn't burned to the ground. A very interesting story that's in the book that I hadn’t heard about deals with a shooting at the Childs Store in 1916 when Ole Man Estes gunned down Clifford Childs over a land dispute. Man, I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book!

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