Just Before the Roaring Twenties (1919)

The Flemington, Hinesville & Western Railroad discontin­ued operations in early 1919. In retrospect, it is difficult to understand why the railroad thought it could operate at a profit. There were already six railroad freight stations in Liberty County when it commenced operations, and all of them were convenient to farmers, naval stores operators, and sawmills except in the upper part of the county, where the Flemington, Hinesville & Western Railroad did not operate.


Joseph B. Way, owner of the Flemington, Hinesville & Western Railroad, near the end sold stock in his company to local citizens and others, and announced that he was extend­ing his tracks to Glennville, Georgia, and beyond. He changed its name to the Savannah, Hinesville & Western Railroad, but his dream of expansion never came true.


A group of local citizens outfitted a Model-T truck with wheels to fit the rails, and it was used for a time to transport passengers, U.S. mail, and freight from and to McIntosh. But it was never a popular mode of travel, because it kept jump­ing the tracks and scattering passengers, mail, and freight in all directions.


The Dunlevie Lumber Company used the tracks for a while. Finally, nothing at all used the tracks, and local wits called it the “Fold Hands & Weep Railroad,” because no matter how long you sat and waited for a train, none ever came. The tracks were eventually removed, and soon there was no trace of the only railroad Hinesville ever had. Its depot on North Main Street in Hinesville became a private residence. It was, in fact, a private residence before it became a depot.


It was during this period of time that an end came for the Masonic lodge at Bay View. It surrendered its charter to the Grand Lodge of Georgia in 1918.


By 1919, the Knights of Pythias of Josselyn Lodge No. 64 was holding its monthly meetings in the lodge hall of the Hinesville Masonic lodge. It paid the lodge one dollar a month rent, and provided its own “lamps, oil, and lamp shades.”


The Liberty Independent Troop returned home from France in 1919. It was mustered out of the Georgia National Guard the same year. But its inactive status was short-lived.