A Mid-Week Athens Road Trip

Union Baptist Church with Texture

Old Union Baptist Church in Madison County

As mentioned in the previous post, my sister Glynda and I headed down to Athens, Ga to meet with our brother, Houston. We had lunch at the famous Weaver D’s Automatic for the People, but we also took some time for other adventures. Here are some of the other things we spotted along the way…

Shortly after crossing the SC-GA border in I-85, we hopped off the Interstate at Lavonia. This had always been just an exit ramp to me. I didn’t really know anything about the town associated with the name, so we decided to check it out. We found a quaint little town square lining a railroad, with a colorful depot now serving as a welcome center.

Lavonia Depot
Lavonia Depot

Just off of the town square and along the tracks was an industrial area that had several interesting buildings. There was also a collection of railroad engines and even some Pullman passenger cars.

Lavonia Tracks
Pullman Cars
Train Engine in Lavonia

Our next stop along the way was Cromer’s Mill Covered Bridge, AKA Nails Creek Covered Bridge. I had seen the signs for the bridge on my way back from my last trip to Athens, and knew I wanted to swing back this way.

I followed the brown signs, but the road down was a bit precarious. The dirt road had some serious ruts, and I was grateful for all-wheel drive on my Subaru. Signs on the property along the way was less than inviting.

All Trespassers Will Be Shot

The bridge itself was in very good shape. There didn’t seem to be any graffiti. Unfortunately, the grounds were also grown up, and there were posted signs everywhere but right at the bridge. We paused for a bit and took some photos.

Cromers Mill Covered Bridge
Cromers Mill Covered Bridge
Cromers Mill Covered Bridge
Cromers Mill Covered Bridge

On down the road we came to the little town of Ila. The colorful row of stores caught my eye, so I pulled into the parking lot of a gas station to take some photos. Glynda told me that where the gas station was now, there had been a fantastic old homeplace. She was sad to see it gone.

Colorful Stores in Ila
Ila Antiques
Ila Junk Shop

We continued on. Along the way I spotted an old meeting house styled church and had to pull in. This was the old building for Union Baptist Church in Madison County. The windows were boarded up, but it was a neat building none-the-less. The old church sat on pillars of stone.

Union Baptist Church
Union Baptist Church
Union Baptist Church
Precarious Foundation

We got to Athens early, and had a few more minutes to explore. We drove through the downtown area, and Glynda pointed out landmarks from her time at UGA. We did a quick drive through the Georgia Botanical Gardens, then headed own out into the countryside. The little community of Arnoldsville had some interesting buildings.

Arnoldsville Store Ruins
Hal Arnold
Arnoldsville Store Ruins
Arnoldsville Store

We connected with Houston, and made plans for lunch. I’ve already described our experiences at Weaver D’s. That was probably the highlight of the trip, but it wasn’t the only thing we did. After lunch we headed over to the Junkman’s Daughter’s Brother. The Junkman’s Daughter is a weird shop in Five Points in Atlanta. This branch store is just as weird, with lots of novelties.

Junkman's Daughter's Brother
Junkman's Window Display
Random Crap
Emergency Inflatable Chicken

Some of these items might be considered…offensive. But they are funny, nonetheless.

Light Your Way Jesus
Dashboard Jesus
Gay Accent Lip Balm

They also had a large collection of collectible tin toys.

Tin Robot
Pulse Car

Upstairs was a large collection of costumes, and downstairs was a full-fledged head shop.

Junkman's Daughter's Brother Interior
Detox and Retox

We bought a few trinkets. I got new stickers for my kayaks. There were lots more things to see downtown, but we were quickly running out of time. Now that I’ve got more time, I’m definitely going to have to head down this way more often.

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