Andrew Morris ~ Shingle Mill Machinist

Ray City People
Andrew Morris

In 1910, Andrew Morris, his wife and children were living in Ray City, Ga in a rented house on Jones Street.  Andrew and Louvena Morris had been married 11 years. He could  read and write, she couldn’t.  Their neighbors were Ray City People: Register, Robert C  and William Cole.

Andrew worked as a machinist at a shingle mill.  Wood shingles were the common material for roof construction at the time, and most houses in Ray City probably had wood roofs.  Cypress was the preferred local material, and in 1909 the price of cypress shingles in Georgia averaged about $4.00 per thousand, while pine shingles sold for half that amount. A cypress shingle could last for up to 18 years.[1] 

In examining the attic of the circa 1903 house at 507 Jones Street, Ray City, GA many old cypress shingles were found. The rafter and stringer construction of the roof framing were clearly spaced to receive the wooden shingles. Old photographs and family history indicate that the wood shingle roof was replaced with a tin roof sometime before 1950.

 Andrew Morris may have worked on a steam powered shingle machine such as the one owned by the Georgia Agrirama Museum, Tifton, GA pictured below.[2]  

    

  This 1911 advertisement shows how the machine would have looked when new. The “Columbia” shingle mill was made by Perkins and Co. from Grand Rapids, MI. The shingle machine had a  36 inch diameter horizontal saw blade. The blade guard displays raised lettering with the company name, location, and patent dates.  

  In 1910 a number of other Ray City people gave their place of employment as “shingle mill.”   William C. Shaw was a laborer at a shingle mill, as was Jesse Booth.  His father, Robert Booth, was a manufacturer of shingles, working on his own account, but was not listed as an employer.  Related posts: