Posted by: Deanna | March 14, 2008

A Little History Lesson

Moving to a new town always makes me wonder how it came about. Having been born in the wilds of Los Angeles County I’ve always been interested in other places.

So I browsed around and found a bit of Pooler history here and copied it for you if you’re in the mood for history!

In 1838, the first railroad station west of Savannah was named for Robert William Pooler. William W. Gordon, president of Central of Georgia Railroad, named the station for Pooler as a reward for the difficult and tedious work he had completed on a feasibility study to determine the route that railroad would take through various Georgia towns and counties.
Neither man could know that on December 9, 1864 General William T. Sherman and his troops would make camp beside that very railroad station in preparation for their siege of Savannah. At that time, less than 200 people lived in the isolated and impoverished Pooler community. As the South recovered from the Reconstruction era, a visionary Pooler resident, Ben Rothwell, bought several hundred acres in the community. He pioneered a new method of community development, giving lots to those who would build permanent homes. Dan Newton, another visionary, built the first Baptist Church in what is now Gleason Park. He also built a Presbyterian Church and donated lumber for Trinity Methodist Church. A sawmill was built to supply lumber and a brickyard established to supply other needs. Today, remains of the brickyard can be seen near the railroad tracks just south of I-95.
 
Pooler had a population of just 337 when it incorporated in 1907. The first Pooler Town Hall was built in 1923. That building was sold to the town of Register, GA when a new town hall was constructed in the 1960s. Register restored the building that now serves as its town hall and police department headquarters. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dairies played an important role in Pooler’s economy and were abundant in the community. At one time, there were 15 dairies operating in the area. Through the years many other businesses established in Pooler including; a theater, soda fountain, drug stores, grocery stores, gas stations, auto repair shops, five and dime store, post office and, of course, the train depot. There was a bus station served by Greyhound, Southeastern Stages and Trailways. A business established in 1927 is still in operation today, Shearouse Sawmill and Lumber Company. In 1928, paving of U.S. Highway 80 through Pooler was completed by the Federal government making it easier for Pooler residents to go into Savannah for many of their shopping needs.

In the 1950s, major structural changes took place in Pooler. The post office moved from the train depot to a site on Highway 80 and dependence on rail service decreased. This eventually led to the abandonment of railroad tracks through Pooler. The railroad tracks were removed to make way for Highway 80 eastbound traffic, the original Highway 80 was designated for westbound traffic. In 1956, construction began on a major interstate highway that would eventually stretch from Maine to Miami and touch the edge of Pooler. The interchange at I-95 and Highway 80 is now a major site of businesses that cater to the tourist industry.

In the 1960s, a new town hall and community center were built on Rogers Road. A fire station, constructed on the site of the old train depot, is still in operation today. The first subdivision, Gleason Heights, was developed and West Chatham Library built. Pooler’s growth was slow and steady through the 70s and 80s, remaining a small, proud community.

In the 1990s, the sleepy pace of the small town changed. Forward-thinking City officials conducted well planned annexation, contributing to a strong tax base for Pooler. In 1996, the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum opened its 90,000 square foot facility near I-95 and Highway 80 in Pooler. J.C. Bamford Company built a 500,000 square foot manufacturing facility and a mega-site at I-95 and I-16 is developed and ready for a major company. Tom Triplett Community Park is the site of Lock # 3 of the Savannah/Ogeechee Canal System that dates to pre-Civil War times. Remains of the gatekeeper’s house and 142 Civil War tent mounds from Sherman’s Army are still visible.

National retailers, realizing the potential of the community, located major facilities in Pooler. A modern YMCA opened and a new airport facility, the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, was built adjacent to the City.

The new millennium has seen unparalleled growth in the area. The completion of Pooler Parkway, linking I-95 and I-16, has given momentum to an already booming economy. Commercial businesses are quickly establishing branches in the community. Small businesses are starting up and, apartment and housing projects are developing at an extraordinary rate.

The City, to keep up with the burgeoning population, is developing a multi-use sports complex on 102 acres off Pooler Parkway. The unprecedented growth in new businesses and home sites, with many more projects still on the drawing boards, contributes to the City being recognized as the fastest growing community in Georgia.

Pooler, with all its growth, still offers a serene, secure and affordable small town atmosphere for families and businesses.

 

 

** So I don’t know what all that space up there is about, but I couldn’t fix it! lol Sorry!

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Responses

  1. Deanna, you were right where I work yesterday. i work right outside of Burlington Coat Factory at Curves. i was there from 3-7 last night and again this morning. Stop in and say hi and we can meet!!
    Glad you live in such a beautiful place!! We live in Georgetown. Just an ordinary house though.
    Stop by and say HI. i work mostly from 3-7PM.
    Sandy

  2. Hey I liked the history lesson.

    Love ya,

    S


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