Ray City History Review

January 14 – time for a brief  review of the year’s posts to date.

The Ray City History Blog noted that in 1947, Ray City, GA celebrated the completion of the new school Gymnasium with a “Queen of the Harvest” contest. 

In 1960, Pleamon Sirmons and Minnie Clements celebrated their Golden Anniversary. Among the accomplishments of Mr. Sirmans, service as a city councilman and Mayor of Ray City.

A visit to New Ramah Cemetery found a pair of deteriorating concrete markers almost illegible. Researching the available clues led to a sketch of Edwin and Sarah Griner. As a young man, Edwin suffered the tragic loss of his siblings – four dead in a week, followed by the death of his mother.

Another interesting burial at New Ramah Cemetery turned up in the obituary of John Martin “Black John” Griner

The 1961 obituary of Tessie Vining Griner was followed up with a brief sketch of her three marriages.

A prompt from a reader led to a follow up story on the Haints of Berrien County and the desperado Ben Furlong whose infamy spread around the globe.

A partial list of Ray City veterans of World War I and their service records, were culled from old Berrien County records.  One interesting veteran was Carlie Lawson, who fought at St. Mihiel in the Battle of the Argonne Forest.

Queen of the Harvest celebrated Ray City Gymnasium

According to the Ray City School 1948-49 Yearbook,In 1947 a fifteen thousand dollar gymnasium was constructed by the patrons, a building in which the whole community justly takes pride.”

The Ray City School Gymnasium, Ray City, GA was completed in 1947.

The Ray City School Gymnasium, Ray City, GA was completed in 1947.

The Valdosta Times reported on the event.

Ray City Plans Dedication of Gymnasium Nov 24

RAY CITY – This community is planning a colorful program for the dedication of its new $15,000 gymnasium on Nov. 20.

The highlight of this event will be crowning of the “Queen of the Harvest.”

A committee of women are calling on merchants in Berrien, Lanier, Cook and Lowndes Counties, asking them to sponsor a candidate for this honor.

All girls must by at least 15 years of age and beautiful; $100 will be given to the contestant finally crowned queen.

The dedication will wind up a year’s effort on the part of every citizen in Ray City to build a community center that will seat around 1,100 people.

Those who were unable to donate money towards its cost have given their spare time to help in its construction.

And now the women of Ray City are going to finish the job by sponsoring the dedication program.

Merchants Cooperative

So far they have found the merchants in the communities they have visited very cooperative.  Before they have finished, they expect to have 66 to 75 contestants.

A dance with music from a jam up orchestra will climax the evening.

Girls who would like to become a candidate for “Queen of the Harvest” have been requested to telephone Mrs. J. H. Swindle at 2201; Mrs. Jim Paulk, 2191; Mrs. H. A. Swindle, 2211;  or Mrs. E.M. Knight, 2371, in Ray City.

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