Braswell Methodist

Paulding County
Org 1922
Photography by Andy Sarge

Braswell Methodist was suggested by one of our followers and we were intrigued by the unique architecture and the history of the nearby town of Braswell in Paulding County in this remote part of West Georgia.   Georgia was one of the nation’s leaders in railroad construction begun in the 1830s.  This from the New Georgia Encyclopedia, “Georgia’s first railroad tracks were laid in the mid-1830s on routes leading from Athens, Augusta, Macon, and Savannah. Some twenty-five years later, the state not only could claim more rail miles than any other in the Deep South but also had linked its major towns and created a new rail center, Atlanta. The railroads continued to expand until the 1920s, when a long decline began that lasted into the 1990s.”  Many towns and villages were created whenever railroad lines were constructed, and many declined because of it. 

Braswell was one of those towns that began life as a railroad stop when the Southern Railroad laid the tracks in this part of Georgia in the early 1880s. It was created in Dec. of 1895 by an act of the Georgia general assembly.  Braswell was named for Henry Braswell, a prominent citizen of the nearby town of Dallas who rand ran a prominent sawmill in the area and also worked for the railroad.  Braswell was also the location of the only tunnel (now abandoned) on Southern Railway’s Chattanooga to Atlanta main line (see photo below).  The town began a steep decline in the 1920’s.

However, the little church on Brushy Mountain Road was organized in September of 1922 on land donated for the purpose from Mr. R. F. Taylor and J.B. Camp.  According to the history, the church was built by the members, who also built the pews and the pulpit.  Construction was simple for the little structure but highly unusual in that is has a low hipped roof and a small bell tower.  Oddly enough, there is a bell in the tower that no one seems to know anything about until our photographer thrust his camera into it and took a flash photo (see below).  The little church is now owned by the city of Braswell and perhaps can be saved as a tribute to the folks who built her in the middle of some difficult circumstances.  We wish them well.