Tattnall County Courthouse
Tattnall County courthouse, Reidsville GA.
You’ll notice the red tile. That particular tile marks the exact center of the county.
The courthouse sits at the lone traffic light in town. It’s been remodeled a couple times over the years. My grandmother told stories of riding a mule as a young girl with her parents to hear Gene Talmadge stump for the dirt farmers at the courthouse, where he’d beg of them to “stay on the land” despite the rampant poverty, boll weevil, and depleted soil that ravaged so much of rural Georgia back then. “Crook,” she’d say. Not a fan.
If you’ve ever eaten a vidalia onion you’ve most certainly tasted Reidsville as a large percentage of the fabled alliums are grown in Tattnall.
There is some fantastic history in this neck of the woods. A land situated in the Altamaha basin and settled by I guess what you’d refer to as cracker homesteaders. A heavily agricultural area, the county’s two biggest towns, Glennville and Reidsville have a rather amusing and very real rivalry with each other. Nothing I’ve seen in sport on a youth stage comes close to Reidsville vs Glennville in baseball or football. Truly clean old fashioned hate.
The Reidsville prison is somewhat famous. Home of the state’s first electric chair. The movie The Longest Yard was filmed there and no Tattnall family tree is without at least a couple people who worked as guards. Nowadays the prison houses a magnificent farm which produces a majority of the food for the entire state prison system.
For those old Nintendo heads, Tecmo bowl legends Shannon and Sterling Sharpe are native to the county. Author Janisse Ray lives in the old Altamaha community out near the river. Like most rural places it has taken its share of licks over the years but is hanging tough. The high school got a soccer team a few years back and they’ve made the elite 8 in the state tournament each year of their existence. And you can’t forget Glennville native JJ Frazier, former UGA basketball star.
The flags on the courthouse remind us that indeed freedom isn’t free. The expression “all gave some, some gave all” rings true this Memorial Day.
The fourth courthouse to serve Tattnall County was built in 1902. The tower and mansard roof were removed in the 1960’s. All info and the historical photograph comes from https://www.tattnallcountyga.com/tattnall-county-courthouse.cfm.