B.W. Sinclair Dry Lake Road sawmill and Coffee Road 2019-02-10

“B W Sinclair also owned at one point some land along the Coffee Road,” says Wiregrass Region Digital History Project (WRDHP):

Coffee Road @ Jackson Road, Morven
WRDHP photograph, apparently from Lowndes County records

Magnetic variation 4° East

No 331 – 12d
357¾ acres

No 314 – 12dis
547½ acres

Scale of 40 chains
to an inch


Benjamin W. Sinclair

Coffee Road

The above Plat represents lots of land numbers
331 and 314 in the Twelfth District of Original
Irwin now Lowndes County Georgia. Contain[sic]g
357¾ and 545½ acres Resurveyed for Benja
-min W Sinclair on the 27th day of September
1844 Attest Jeremiah Wilson C. Surveyor

So apparently B.W. Sinclair owned 903¼ acres around the corner of what is now Jackson Road (marked on the Plat as Coffee Road) and Coffee Road (marked on the Plat as “Road”).

That 27 September 1844 survey date makes sense. B.W. Sinclair was born 12 September 1812 in Thurso, Scotland. He immigrated to Georgia in September 1837, “sailing from Liverpool to 2 CONT Charleston, S. C., on the ship ‘Victoria’”, according to my aunt Jane Sinclair Quarterman, his great-granddaughter, who knew his children and grandchildren. He married Susannah Canby Faries, 24 November 1842, in Savannah, according to his son-in-law’s family Bible. According to family oral history, they moved shortly after marriage to a farm near Morven.

Susannah Canby Faries
Susannah Canby Faries,
b. 18 Jan 1819, Savannah,
d. 3 Jul 1890, Quitman

That is the Bible of my great-grandfather Thomas Shepard Quarterman, who married B.W. Sinclair’s daughter Susan Evalyn Sinclair, who was born 27 June 1848 on that farm, then called Bannockburn.

LL 314, 331, LD 12, Morven
LL 314, 331, LD 12, Morven, in WRDHP google map.

LL 314, 331. LD 12.

Benjamin W Sinclair. Land plat. 27 September 1846.

Property of Benjamin W Sinclair to be sold February 1848.

Ok, with that “to be sold February 1848,” was the Coffee Road property where my great-grandmother Susie was born, or was it B.W. Sinclair’s later property?

According to previous information from WRDHP, apparently in 1845 B.W. Sinclair bought the mill at Bowen Mill Pond from George Hicks.

WRDHP has more on that land with the mill:

Mill Pond Dam, Quitman
Survey of LL 441 and 438 in 12th District, 1854-01-25, photographed by WRDHP, apparently in Lowndes County records.

Magnetic Variation is 4° East

Deep Water
Mill Pond
Water Line
Mill Dam

No. 441
12 Dist
290 Acres

No. 438
12 D
439 14 Acres

BW Sinclair

The above is a Plat of Lot of Land number
441 In the 12th District of Original Irwin
now Lowndes County Georgia Containing
290 Acres And the South Eastern Division
of Lot number 434 of the same District
Containing 439½ Acres. Resurveyed for
Benjamin W. Sinclair on the 25th day of
January 1854 Having such form & shape
as above shown. Attest Jeremiah Wilson C.S.

Interesting the same surveyor did both surveys. There probably weren’t many surveyors around, I suppose.

So that’s 792½ acres according to the text, or 792 14 according to the plat. There’s no house site indicated, and the whole area looks pretty swampy. (It still was, the last time I went to Bowen Mill Pond.)

However, according to the previous information from WRDHP, B.W. Sinclair was on the 1871 tax list as also owning the 490 acres in LL 433. LD 12, from Bowen Mill Pond east over Dry Lake Road:

Plots Outlined, Map
Annotated detail from WRDHP Google map of old Irwin County ca. 1870.

The obvious place to live on that lot would be on the high ground on Dry Lake Road now labelled as Spring Acres Farm. So maybe that’s where Bannockburn was.

Aunt Jane referred to Dry Lake Road in a note she wrote in 1995:

“B. W. Sinclair and Rev. Eli Graves helped organize Quitman Presbyterian Church. It was originally a wooden building, with the lumber sawed at saw mill on the Sinclair place on Dry Lake Road. B. W. Sinclair lived first near where Morven is now in Brooks County, he later moved to the Dry Lake Road location.”

So he probably lived on Dry Lake Road, not at the mill. And the mill apparently was a saw mill.

Also, 490 + 792.5 = 1282.5, which is apparently the number of acres B.W. Sinclair owned in 1971.

They had many children.

Chart: B.W. Sinclair, S.C.F. Sinclair, Ben, Melie, Janie, Family
Benjamin W. Sinclair, Susannah Canby Faries Sinclair, and their children.

Here are a few of them.

B.W. Sinclair, S.C.F. Sinclair, Ben, Melie, Janie, Family
Benjamin W. Sinclair, Susannah Canby Faries Sinclair, and three of their children, Benjamin Thomas Sinclair, Amelia Henrietta “Melie” Sinclair, and Jane Elizabeth “Janie” Sinclair.

Benjamin Waters Sinclair died 7 July 1878, and his wife Susannah Canby Faries died 3 July 1890. They are buried in West End Cemetery in Quitman.

Here is some context for where these B.W. Sinclair lots were located on Coffee Road and Dry Lake Road. Quitman, Morven, and Hahira are labelled, as are the three successive Lowndes County seats of Franklinville (1825), Troupville (1833), and Valdosta (1860).

Context: Quitman, Morven, and Hahira, Quitman

Thank you, Wiregrass Region Digital History Project (WRDHP), for turning up all this interesting new information.


One thought on “B.W. Sinclair Dry Lake Road sawmill and Coffee Road 2019-02-10

  1. Pingback: Bowen Mill Pond in 1870 2019-02-07 | Canopy Roads of South Georgia

Comments are closed.