Mayhaw Lake Resort at Ray City, GA

A previous post on this blog included the transcript of a 1914 advertisement for Mayhaw Lake  amusement park and attractions operated by Elias Moore “Hun” Knight at Ray’s Mill, GA (now known as Ray City), and other posts have provided some backstory on the park’s significance in the community (1914 Box Ball Alley ,   Ray City Baseball).

A Berrien County Historical Foundation newsletter features more information on  Mayhaw Lake and other historic resorts of Berrien County, GA.  The Foundation is a great resource for researching family history in Berrien County. Visit the website for newsletters, historical photos, and workshops:

Among the Mayhaw Lake patrons mentioned in the article you will find Bruner and Charlie Ruth Shaw, Bryant and Henry Swindle, Jessie and Shellie Ziegler, Burton and Rachel Shaw, Marshal Sirmans, Manson Johnson, Lonnie Swindle, Tom Parrish, Viola Smith Davis, Elmer Shaw, Hollis Williams, Charlie Shaw, Nannie Kate Moore, Thelma Moore, Paul Knight, Lonnie Smith, J. H. Swindle, Glenn Johnson, Juanita Shaw, Roy Carter and Rossie Swindle.

Berrien Historical Foundation Newsletter front page depicting the swimming pool at Mayhaw Lake, Ray City, GA.

Berrien Historical Foundation Newsletter front page depicting the swimming pool at Mayhaw Lake, Ray City, GA.

A 1922 report from the Georgia State Board of Health listed the swimming pool at Ray City as one of only 63 pools in the entire state.  The report found that a very large majority of these were in a very unsanitary condition and dangerous to be used for bathing purposes.

Related Posts:

Baseball in the Wiregrass

1914 Box Ball Alley ~ Mayhaw Lake at Rays Mill, GA

Ray City Baseball


Rachel Shaw Moore Dies of Typhoid Fever

Rachel J. Shaw was born July 21, 1855 in Berrien County, GA. She was the daughter of Civil War veteran  Richard James Shaw (1830 – 1869) and  Rachel Elizabeth Parker (1834 – ?). Some time after 1870, Rachel Shaw married James Burton Moore, a Berrien County farmer. Making their home near Rays Mill (nka Ray City)  in the 1157th Georgia Militia District,  the couple set about the next twenty something years raising crops and children.

In the summer of 1899, Rachel Shaw Moore came down with an illness that was serious enough to prompt  medical attention. In the sweltering dog days of August, Rachel drove her horse-drawn buggy the ten miles of dirt road from Ray’s Mill to the county seat at Nashville, GA.  There she saw Dr. Carter who gave the diagnosis of typhoid and undertook her treatment.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection characterized by diarrhea, systemic disease, and a rash — most commonly caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi (S. typhi). The bacteria that causes typhoid fever — S. typhi — spreads through contaminated food, drink, or water. If you eat or drink something that is contaminated, the bacteria enters your body, and goes into your intestines, and then into your bloodstream, where it can travel to your lymph nodes, gallbladder, liver, spleen, and other parts of the body. Early symptoms include fever, general ill-feeling, and abdominal pain. A high (over 103 degrees) fever and severe diarrhea occur as the disease gets worse. Some people with typhoid fever develop a rash called “rose spots,” which are small red spots on the belly and chest.

Since 1880, the bacterial cause of typhoid fever had been known. The disease was spread by poor sanitation practices.

Typhoid fever exemplified the effectiveness of sanitation practices based on both the old filth theory of disease and at the same time incorporating the new tenets of bacteriology. When the salmonella typhi bacillus was identified (1880) and traced to contaminated water supplies, it underscored the necessity of providing clean water… 

Bacteriologists had perfected water filtering methods by the 1890s  which led to the development of water treatment systems for safe drinking water in the cities. At least in the urban centers, these water filtration systems effectively reduced the illness and death caused  by typhoid. “Yet typhoid did not disappear. In 1900, over 35,000 deaths in the United States were attributed to typhoid.” It would still be some years before scientists understood that apparently healthy individuals could harbor and transmit typhoid.  Mary Mellon of New York, “Typhoid Mary” was the most notorious case.

In the case of Rachel Moore, her condition continued to decline “despite medical treatment.’  It would be another 60 years before doctors understood the critical need for hydration in the treatment of typhoid.

Rachel Shaw Moore died on  a Monday – August 14, 1899 at Ray City, GA. She was buried at the cemetery at Cat Creek Primitive Baptist Church, a few miles southwest of Ray City.   She was survived by her husband, James Burton Moore, and six children:

 Lilly Moore 23
Minnie Moore 21
J Lacy Moore 20
Mamie Moore 13
Ora Moore 11
Janie Moore 9
Ounie Moore 6
Aulie Moore 2

Valdosta Times
Saturday, August 19, 1899
Mrs. Burton Moore Dead.
    Mrs. Burton Moore, an estimable lady of the Ray’s Mill settlement, died Tuesday evening after an illness of ten days with typhoid fever.  Her funeral was conducted at Cat Creek on Wednesday and was largely attended.  She leaves a husband and several children to mourn her death. Three of her daughters are about grown, though the other children are small.  She was about forty years old and an estimable woman. She leaves a large circle of friends to sympathize with the bereaved ones.

 Valdosta Times
Tuesday, August 22, 1899
Death of Mrs. J.B. Moore.
    We regret to chronicle the death of Mrs. J.B. Moore near Ray’s Mill on the 14th inst. This intelligence will cause widespread grief as the deceased was an exceedingly popular lady and leaves a large circle of friends and relatives to mourn her untimely death.
    About two weeks ago, she came  to Nashville in her buggy to consult Dr. Carter.  She had fever at that time, and doubtless the ride in the hot sun was bad for her.
    In spite of all that medical skill and loving hands could do, she sank steadily until death came on the night of the 14th.
    Mrs. Moore died from a complication of diseases.
    Our sympathies are tendered the bereaved ones.  – Nashville South Georgian.



Ferris Moore ~ Ray City Iceman

Ferris Moore (1906-1978)

Born Feb 17, 1906, Ferris Moore was the son of Hattie and J. Lacy Moore, and the grandson of Rachel J. Shaw and James Burton Moore.

About 1929  Ferris C. Moore married Bertice Vickers. The couple first made their home not far from Ray City in Lois, GA  where Ferris worked as a farmer.  Later, they moved to Ray City to live next door to Ferris’ father.  Their house was on the south side of Main Street and just east of Cat Creek. Their children, William Moore and Jan Moore, attended the Ray City School.  Their neighbors included Frank and Mary Lou Sirmons, Yancy and Ora Carter, and Martha Grissett.

Home of Ferris and Bertice Moore. Ray City, GA.

Home of Ferris and Bertice Moore. Ray City, GA.

In Ray City, Ferris Moore worked as an iceman. He delivered ice to local residences every other day.  He had an icehouse located on Paralleled Street, next to the tracks of Georgia & Florida Railroad.  The icehouse was a small shed, perhaps 10 by 10 feet. There was a small porch that served as a loading dock.

The  ice came from an ice plant in 300 pound blocks, and the iceman used an ice pick to cut what ever size blocks were needed. An eight pound block of ice sold for a nickel. The ice delivery man worked alone, with the ice loaded on an open truck and covered with a tarp.  Most people had an “ice box”  that served as a refrigerator of sorts,  and an eight  pound block of ice would last just about two days.

The 1940 census of Ray City shows Ferris Moore was a businessman and employer, managing a cold storage facility.  His father, James Lacy Moore was working as an ice dealer.

At times, Ferris Moore took handyman jobs in Ray City.  In 1951, when Rossie and Lessie Futch moved the home  at 507 Jones Street, Ferris Moore helped to paint the interior.

Ferris Moore died July 1, 1978 in Ray City, GA.  He was buried at New Ramah Cemetery.

Ferris G. Moore and Bertice Vickers Moore, New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia

Ferris G. Moore and Bertice Vickers Moore, New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia

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James Lacy Moore ~ Mayor of Ray City, GA 1942-1944

James Lacy Moore (1879 – 1949) was born on October 6, 1879 in Berrien County, GA,  the son of John Burton Moore and Rachel Shaw.

At the age of 21 he married  28-year-old Harriet Augusta “Hattie” Swindle.  Lacy and Hattie Moore made Ray City their lifelong home.

Most of his life Lacy Moore worked on a farm, although in 1910 he was working as a meat market salesman.  One of his farm hands was James Cornelius Lester. He was a short, slender man with blue eyes and dark hair.

In 1942, J. Lacy Moore was elected Mayor of Ray City, Georgia.


James Lacy Moore. Mayor of Ray City, GA. 1942-1944

James Lacy Moore. Mayor of Ray City, GA. 1942-1944

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