Our Travels » Ichauway Plantation

Ichauway Plantation

The one lane bridge over the Ichauway-Nochauway Creek on Ichauway Plantation in southwest Georgia.

Ichauway Bridge. When was the last time you saw a one-lane bridge on a dirt road? Have you ever even seen a dirt road much less a one-lane bridge?

The one lane bridge over the Ichauway-Nochauway Creek on Ichauway Plantation in southwest Georgia. https://www.lanascooking.com/ichauway-plantation/

The last time I went to my mother’s house in south Georgia, I stopped off at Ichauway Plantation to see if the old bridge was still in use. It is indeed there and still in use. I watched two trucks cross it while I was taking photos. This bridge spans the Ichauway-Nochauway (pronounced Itch-a-way-Notch-a-way) Creek in south Georgia.

It’s located on what was once the Ichuaway Plantation which was owned by Robert Woodruff, the founder of Coca-Cola. My mother grew up on Ichauway Plantation. Right at the end of that bridge, actually.

At the end of the bridge is this little country grocery store. My grandparents ran the store and they all lived in a house in back of it. My grandfather also worked for the CDC (Communicable Disease Center) at the “experiment station” located on Ichauway. They did malaria research. Perfect area for it since there’s an abundance of mosquitoes. It’s beautiful out there. So quiet. So peaceful.

Today the plantation is home to the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center. However, all the old buildings are still there and I thank them sincerely for preserving it just the way we’ve always known it.

I’m heading back there for work this week. It’s only about a 4 hour drive from us but a complete world away. I love it there. It is, simply, home.

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25 Comments

  1. I remember the store and those houses near there being called the “quarters “. My granddaddy used to visit his relatives there in the sixties and seventies. He also worked on the Plantation in the forties and fifties. I remember that one lane Bridge and lots of people who lived on the Plantation were relatives of mine. I miss the innocence and peacefulness of the area. I plan to visit early next year.

    1. Hi Sonya – I know that John the Baptist Church (no longer in use) is located within the property and it was an African American congregation. It’s possible that there is a cemetery associated with the church as would be typical of rural churches. Here’s a link to an article about the church https://www.hrcga.org/county/baker/

  2. My name is Greg Williams I’m from baker county. I’ve heard the name Mr. Smokey Burns all my life. I don’t remember him but my family does. My #404-985-0895.

  3. Wow… My grandfather(LV Smoky Burns) & grandmother(Mildred Burns), Worked at this plantation, as well as started their family there. If anyone has any more information on my grandparents or our family. Please Help Me find out more about my families history. Both of my grandparents are pasted way I`m up late thinking about them and my family. With lots of questions. Tks.

  4. My grandmother worked at the malaria experimental station there. Thanks for the history, all I knew was the name (and find it funny a mosquito research station is pronounced “Itch-away”!

  5. The property is called Ichauway. The accepted spelling for the creek is Ichawaynochaway. Hoggard Mill is also a place name for the area around the metal bridge. Archeological surveys have revealed a number of historic mill sites in the area of the bridge. They can be aged by the type of nails used in timbers still found in the creek bed. The malaria research site was known as the ‘Emory Field Station’. It was established in 1939 and remained active until the late 1950’s, when the researchers returned to Emory University. According to a book entitled ‘The Place Names of Georgia’, Ichawaynochaway is derived from the Creek Indian phrase for ‘where the deer rest’. Names of other creeks in the area have similar origins. Archeological surveys of the property and surrounding areas suggest at least 10,000 years of continuous human habitation as evidenced by pottery shards and flint tools. The old bridge is tough. During the 1994 flood, water reached a level of about 10ft on the bridge deck and about 4 ft inside the General Store. There was a slightly smaller flood in 1998. The bridge was largely undamaged.

  6. I visited the Ichauway Store a number of years ago and remember seeing a memorial plaque across the road from it. As I recall, the plaque said something about the area being critical in the research of malaria. Does anyone have a photo of the wording on the plaque, or could someone send me a transcription of what it says?

    1. Yes, Ichauway was the site of malaria research from the 30’s through the 50’s. My grandfather worked for what was called the “experiment station” where the forerunner of the current CDC conducted the research. When the experiment station closed, he transferred to the CDC in Atlanta where he worked until his retirement.

  7. I grew up on Itchauway Plantation. My father & uncles worked on the plantation & both my grandfathers were lot-men who took care of the horses & mules. My grandmother worked at the “Big House” as it was called then which is located in the main quarters. After I went into the Air force my Grand parents moved into the third house on the left behind Itchauway store also called Hoggards Mill. The grind stone was still there the last time I visited but never used in my life time. Every Saturday all the families would meet at the store waiting to be paid. Me my cousins and friends would run and play the whole time only stopping briefly to view the 8ft. chain link fence where a blond haired girl named Kay about my age always played. She would watch us seeming to want to get out and join us as we wished we could get in where there were so many nice toys. Some times there was a base ball game at the diamond just on the other side of the bridge. We would cross the bridge anytime someone got a little change as a 7 0z coke was 7 cents, a bag of chips or a candy bar was 10 cents. There was also a swimming hole at the foot of that bridge that we used until a young man drowned while swimming alone. You have brought back a lot of memories with these photos. Thank you so very much.

    1. If you grew up in a place you think you would know the proper spelling of the name. I found this blog checking for the right spelling and still got it wrong in the above comment and on a Facebook comment. Indian names can be so difficult at times. Does anyone know what Ichauway means?

      1. The name of the creek is actually Ichauway-Nochauway which means, roughly translated, “this way, that way.” The creek was named this by Native Americans because it runs in a meandering manner through its course thus running this way and that way.

  8. I spent my early years on or near the plantation. My father and grandfather once lived and worked on the plantation. (They worked for Mr. Woodruff). I remember the one lane bridge and country store well. I have walked to and from the baseball field and country store many times. Some were afraid to walk across the “old wooden bridge” perfering to walk around it using the “new bridge”. I live away from Newton now. I had no idea that the “old wooden bridge” was still there. The next time I visit my mother in Newton I will visit the old wooden bridge and walk down memoery lane.

  9. Hi! I haven ‘t been to that store in a LONG time, not since I was little. I will ask my momma, but I am pretty positive my Aunt Iva Mae owns that store.. I remember going with my mom and Aunt Jo. I was always afraid to cross the bridge!

    1. It is. The owners of the property now are very good stewards of the buildings and sites located there. Next time I’m in the area I’ll get some photos of the main house and the dog cemetary. It was where they buried all the hunting dogs when it was a hunting plantation.

      1. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I have always heard about the dog cemetary at Ichauway. Billy remembers it but I don’t ever remember seeing it. Can’t wait to see your next pics of the plantation. So glad the owners are committed to preserving the past.

      2. My uncle Richard was the head Dog trainer for many years he is retired now so many memories

  10. Looks like a Mayberry kind of place, my kind of place. I’m glad it still looks the same as yesteryear!

  11. So glad you will be back in “our neck of the woods” for a few days. Call me.

    Miss P

    By the way, according to a good source, one of the spellings is “Ichauuay.”

  12. That reminds me of the old Chatahoochee bridge on I-10, but it was closed so long ago, it terrified me because our cars use to be SO big and that bridge was SO long and narrow. Great story!

  13. That’s so awesome Lana, that general store is so cool! LOVE those old bridges. You’re right, don’t see too many of those anymore :)

    1. The very best thing about going back home is the way it almost forces you to slow down and relax. There’s no traffic to speak of and no real rush to go anywhere or do anything. That slow and easy pace really gives people time to enjoy each other and appreciate life.