Perry Swindle and the Twin Lakes Field Trip

Perry Swindle, born George Perry Swindle,  was a prominent businessman and employer of Ray City, GA, where he operated a general mercantile store. He was born March 24, 1889, a son of George Emory Swindle and Margaret M. Futch. As a boy, Perry Swindle attended Kings Chapel School, southwest of Ray City.

Perry Swindle married  Cynthia E. Pafford.  The Swindle home was located on the southwest corner of Main Street and the Ray City – Valdosta highway.  The Swindle family had neighbors like Dr. Lawson S. Rentz, pharmacist C.O. Terry, businessmen W.H.E. Terry and Arthur Miller, and Mayor J. Lacy Moore, among others.

The Swindle children, Helen and Earl Pafford Swindle attended the Ray City School.  In the 194os Perry Swindle provided an annual field trip for the students of Ray City School, an excursion to the Twin Lakes Resort Pavillion at Lake Park, GA.

In 1926 a developer opened the Twin Lake Resort Pavilion on Long Pond at a cost of $5 million, an extreme amount for then. Many South Georgia and North Florida residents remember picnicking and learning to swim and ski there especially during the 1940’s and 1950’s.

The Pier at Twin Lakes Resort Pavilion, Lake Park, GA. Image source: http://www.pinkstonrealty.com/galleries.php

The Pier at Twin Lakes Resort Pavilion, Lake Park, GA. Image source: http://www.pinkstonrealty.com/galleries.php

For 25 cents per student, Perry provided round-trip transportation from Ray City to Twin Lakes for the group of students on the back of his large flat-bed, stake-side farm truck. Students were excused from school for the entire day.  They brought their own bag lunches, usually fried chicken or other picnic fare, and spent all day at the park. Students paid an additional 25 cents for admission to the park where there was swimming and other activities.   For a small extra charge park patron could rent a swimsuit for the day, or take a trip around the lake in a big in-board motor boat.

For at least some Ray City students, the Pavilion was the place where they learned to swim. Indeed, the Twin Lakes field trips provided by Perry Swindle are still fondly recalled.

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Ray City School 1934

Ray City School, 1934

The Ray City School held a junior high school rating until 1936, when it became an accredited senior high school.

Ray City School class photos from 1934. Identifications needed.

Ray City School 4th Grade Class Photo, Believed to be Spring 1934. Photo was inscribed on back " Mildred's 4th Grade Class, Ray City School." The reference may be to Mildred Clements, who graduated in 1939.

Ray City School 4th Grade Class Photo, Believed to be Spring 1934. Photo was inscribed on back ” Mildred’s 4th Grade Class, Ray City School.” The reference may be to Mildred Clements, who graduated in 1939.  Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

A 1934 newspaper article on Ray City included the following information about the school.

The city of Ray City affords every convenience and comfort for the citizens of the community.  There is a fine school system, which is under the capable and efficient supervision of Prof. P. M. Shultz.  Prof. Ulmer Crosby is principal, and the other teachers are:  Mrs. P. M. Shultz, Miss Jessie Aycock, Mrs. A.B. Baskins, Miss Lillian Ford and Mrs. Eulalie Dickson.

The school has nine grades, with an enrollment of a few over the two hundred mark.  A number of fine students complete the school each year, advancing to higher institutions of learning.  The school system in Ray City is really a big asset, (illegible) a higher type of citizenry.

The school board is composed of the following gentlemen who handle their duties in a most admirable manner and of benefit to patrons and students combined.  H.A. Swindle, chairman, M.A. Studstill, sec.-treasl., C.H. Vickers, J.M. Studstill and W.M. Creech, members.

Ray City School, 1934, Grades 4 and 5. Ray City, Berrien County, GA. Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

Ray City School, 1934, Grades 4 and 5. Ray City, Berrien County, GA. Teacher, Jessie Aycock. Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

Ray City School, Ray City, GA. 1934 6th Grade Class. Lillian Ford, Teacher. (Top Row, L to R) Belle Garner, Thelma Sirmans, Velma Wood, Frances Sirmans, Geraldine Brown, Lounelle Futch. (2nd Row) Sarah Hunter, Monafaye Swindle, Hazel Futch, Helen Dubose, D'Ree Yawn. (Bottom Row) H. Cox, Lawson Fountain, Dan St?, Robert Hunter, James "Skinny" Holliday, Morris Johnson.

Ray City School, Ray City, GA. 1934 6th Grade Class. Lillian Ford, Teacher. (Top Row, L to R) Belle Garner, Thelma Sirmans, Velma Wood, Frances Sirmans, Geraldine Brown, Lounelle Futch. (2nd Row) Sarah Hunter, Monafaye Swindle, Hazel Futch, Helen Dubose, D’Ree Yawn. (Bottom Row) H. Cox, Lawson Fountain, Dan St?, Robert Hunter, James “Skinny” Holliday, Morris Johnson.

Ray City School, 1934, Grades 7 and 8. Ray City, Berrien County, GA. Image courtesy of www.berriencountyga.com

Ray City School, 1934, Grades 7 and 8. Ray City, Berrien County, GA. Boy at top left, Earl Pafford Swindle. Front row, second from right is believed to be Robert Bruce Johnson.

1934 Ray City School, Girls Basketball Team. (Left to Right) Front Row: Johnnie Sirmans, Grace Clements, Louise Paulk, Winona Holiday. Back Row: Helen DuBose, Clyde Carter, Jinnie Johnson, Helen Swindle, Virginia Studstill.

1934 Ray City School, Girls Basketball Team. (Left to Right) Front Row: Johnnie Sirmans, Grace Clements, Louise Paulk, Winona Holiday. Back Row: Helen DuBose, Clyde Carter, Jimmie Johnson, Helen Swindle, Virginia Studstill.

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