All of the Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market vendors have a story. Some are of decades old generational family farms. Some are of the desire to see healthier food options and increased environmental sustainability. And some are simply those who turned hobbies or crafts into steady sales. The 24/7 House, Inc. is no different. Here is their story.
The 24/7 House is a faith-based residential recovery facility that began in 2009. They operate in a renovated nursing home purchased from Appling County Healthcare Systems for $1.00, serving men and women who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. The staff conduct a multi-faceted and comprehensive program for recovery. Residents participate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a minimum of one year to achieve a success rate that is over twice the industry average.
One part of that program is the greenhouse.
All residents at 24/7 House work in the greenhouse where they cultivate and harvest hydroponic local produce everyday. Currently, that includes living butterhead lettuce, camaro cucumbers, vine ripened beefsteak tomatoes (large and small), and green beefsteak tomatoes (perfect for frying!).
All proceeds from 24/7 Houses’ farmers market and Market2Go go to helping addicts in recovery.
Visit twentyfour7houseinc.com come for more information.
Go to statesboromarket2go.locallygrown.net to order from 24/7 House and dozens of other farmers market vendors.
Vandy’s Barbecue is the very definition of a “local institution.” Established in 1929, it celebrated its 90th birthday last year. Their iconic location at 22 West Vine street has been there since 1943, but that was not their original location. Vandy Boyd actually started his business in the town of Portal. He clearly knew what he was doing, since he moved his business into Statesboro’s downtown, taking up residence at the Simmons Shopping Center (formerly located on the block bordered by Elm Street, between North Main and North Walnut). Their “newest” location at the Statesboro Mall is over a generation old, established in 1970.
From their open-style barbecue pit (one of only six left in the state) they serve up roasted pork and chicken, alongside regional favorites like Brunswick stew. Since they use local oak wood to smoke their meat, you can say that everything they do is literally permeated with local flavor!
The restaurant has changed hands several times in the last couple decades but subsequent owners have maintained the local character of the establishment that has served the Statesboro community and beyond for over ninety years.
“It is all about the staff…We have a lot of great people doing a great job.” – Brandon O’Mahoney, Owner
Current owner Brandon O’Mahoney is tenaciously trying to keep the downtown location open for take-out and serving the community while respecting the restrictions around social distancing. O’Mahoney says “It is all about the staff…We have a lot of great people doing a great job.”
Their signature barbecue sauce is available on their website in case you find yourself missing your favorite sauce, or have since moved away and crave a taste of Statesboro.
These are unprecedented times, full of unexpected changes. Locals can take comfort in the fact that one thing that does not seem to change is Vandy’s.
Willliam Samuel “Blind Willie” McTell (May 5, 1898 – August 19, 1959)
Willie McTell was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist that predominantly played Piedmont blues and ragtime. He wrote the song “Statesboro Blues.”
McTell was born at the turn of the 20th century in Thomson, Georgia. His mother brought him to Statesboro where he learned to play the six-string guitar. Eventually he would transition to the 12-string guitar which he would play exclusively for the remainder of his musical career. McTell left Statesboro after the death of his mother and traveled playing music from Atlanta to New York.
McTell wrote “Statesboro Blues” and recorded the song in 1928 with Victor Talking Machine Company.
Blues musician Taj Mahal recorded an adaptation of “Statesboro Blues” on his debut album in 1968. Then in 1971 The Allman Brothers Band released their version of “Statesboro Blues” on their album At Fillmore East. This version of the song has garnered several accolades including being named number nine on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “100 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
The song is still played on the radio worldwide and brings many visitors to Statesboro annually.
Blind Willie Statue
The Statesboro Blue Mile Committee commissioned the creation of a statue honoring McTell and graciously decided to place it at the entrance of the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2018.
Since it’s installation, numerous groups and individuals have stopped by the Visitor Center to see the statue. It’s always a bright spot in our day when we look out the window and catch someone taking a selfie or a picture of their loved ones with Willie.
McTell was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1990.
If you are in need of a hotel room during this time, we are keeping a running list of hotels that are still open. There is also a list of other open businesses in Statesboro and Bulloch County that can be found HERE.
This list has been updated as of: 3/31/2020 1:03pm
Comfort Inn – Open
Super 8 – Open, lobby closed
Holiday Inn – Open, Emma’s and Pool closed, limited room service
Holiday Inn Express – Open
Knights Inn- Open
Home2 – Open
Eagles Nest – Open, pool closed, no breakfast
Quality Inn- Open
Studio 6- Open
Red Roof Inn – Open
Patriot Inn – Open
Parkwood RV Park and Cottages – Open, over-the-phone reservations
Deluxe Inn – Waiting to hear back
Eagle Inn- Waiting to hear back
Stiles Inn – Waiting to hear back
Stay Plus- Waiting to hear back
Springhill Suites – Closed
Hampton Inn- Closed
These are difficult times for all of us, and local restaurants are no exception. They are one of the many industries that can’t “work from home” or survive long in a social distancing movement. In response to this, many Statesboro restaurants are making significant adjustments to accommodate the current situation.
The status of these restaurants changes every couple of days, but here is an update-to-date list being maintained by Grice Connect and the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce.
4 ways you can support your favorite local restaurants and eat local:
1. Purchase Gift Cards
Most restaurants offer some form of gift card or gift certificate. This is something you can do to ease their burden of the loss of your normal spending. This is also something you can do while staying at home. Many local restaurants will provide a way to order gift cards over the phone or online. Once things return to business-as-usual, use the gift card sparingly and spread out over a period of time to make sure these businesses have a steady flow of revenue afterwards. Or better yet, give it as a gift to a friend you’ve been trying to convince to try your favorite place!
2. Order Takeout
A lot of restaurants are streamlining their takeout services. Many dine-in restaurants are changing to take-out only. Even fast food chains, that normally thrive on takeout, are making adjustments to their order handling processes. Check your favorite dining establishments for how they are providing to-go meals.
3. Order from Market-2-Go
The Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market has a year-round online market where you can order locally grown and locally made products like produce, dairy, meat, herbs, plants, seeds, jellies, preserves, and more! Ordering must be completed by midnight on Tuesdays to be picked up at the Statesboro Convention & Visitors Bureau on the following Thursday. CLICK HERE for more information.
Several local restaurants are still open for business. Some have even adjusted their dining room to allow more space between customers, and staggering seating times to make sure safe distances are kept between parties. This means they are valuing social distance over the quantity of customers they can serve during this time.
In fact, all restaurants seem to be posting about stepping up their cleaning & sanitation game. And for food service establishments that already operate under stringent health codes this means quite a lot. Could you imagine if your kitchen was scrutinized the same way theirs are even under normal circumstances? Not sure we’d all get passing grades.
These are four simple ways to make sure that we all support each other during this time and to help ensure the recovery period afterwards goes quickly. Let’s be an example for others to follow and show the world why we’re The City that Soars!
Statesboro Landmarks Coloring Page
Looking for a few extra activities while the kids are at home? If you have a printer, feel free to click on any of these images for a printable PDF coloring page. There are also facts and summaries of each landmark you can use to teach your kids a little something about Statesboro.
The first coloring page is all of the landmarks combined and based on a vintage-style print available at the Statesboro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Averitt Center for the Arts
This beautiful building, constructed in 1911, was originally the Bank of Statesboro. Sadly, the bank closed down in 1932 after it could not recover from a “run on the bank” during the Great Depression.
The City bought the building in 1997 after decades of various uses and they established a community arts center for the downtown area.
The Averitt Center for the Arts has been very careful to upkeep the historical integrity of the building, and the old Bank of Statesboro now contains art galleries, visual and performing arts studios, classrooms, and office space.
Bulloch County Courthouse
The centerpiece of downtown Statesboro is the Bulloch County Courthouse. The courthouse was deliberately placed at a high point to permanently make it the most prominent landmark around. The commercial hub of the city developed around the courthouse square.
The courthouse was built in 1894 and renovated in 1914. Since then it’s been renovated several times using many different colors of brick. It was eventually completely coated in white plaster until the county commission decided to restore the courthouse to it’s original look by removing some of the plaster and painting over the rest. The courthouse is still in use today!
Eagle Nation on Parade
Eagle Nation On Parade is a public art project that salutes the University’s traditions, celebrates the unity of campus and community, contributes to the economic vitality and quality of life in Statesboro, and supports student scholarships and research.
These eagles can be seen all over Statesboro, each painted with a different theme. Create your own theme on this eagle!
For more information on Eagle Nation on Parade CLICK HERE
Emma Kelly Theater
Originally called the Georgia Theater, it was constructed in 1936 in the Art Deco style, reflecting the glamour of Hollywood. It was among the first of its kind to offer air conditioning and steam heat, as well as a coffee shop in the library.
The theater was operated as a movie theater until the 1970s, previewing movies such as Gone With The Wind in 1940.
In 1997, the City of Statesboro purchased the building for renovation as part of the Averitt Center project.
It was decided the theater would be named after local legend Emma Kelly, the “Lady of 6000” songs. She was dubbed this title by songwriter Johnny Mercer. Kelly sang for many U.S. Presidents and appeared in John Berendt’s ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.’
Allen E. Paulson Stadium
Paulson Stadium is the 25,000 seat home of the Georgia Southern Eagles Football team. It completed construction in 1984 and coined “The Prettiest Little Stadium in America” by legendary Coach Erk Russell. It has also become known as “Our House” by Eagles fans.
The stadium was named after the founder and owner of Gulfstream Aerospace, Allen E. Paulson, who donated $1 million to the project. A $10 million renovation was completed in 2014.
Fun Fact: The first touchdown in Paulson Stadium is credited to Tracy Ham (quarterback) after a 36 yard run in September of 1984.
City Hall / Historic Jaeckel Hotel
The current City Hall was once the social center of town. In 1905, the Jaeckel Hotel opened its doors to the booming tourist city. The hotel was constructed by local architect AJ Franklin for Berlin–native Gustave Jaeckel.
The first floor of the hotel contained a grand dining hall and gentlemen and ladies parlors. The porch on the second floor once sported a garden and canvas cover for use in the warm months.
The hotel played host to many guests like: Henry Ford, William Jennings Bryan, former Secretary of State; Blind Willie McTell who played countless songs on the hotel steps, and Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1935.
In 1994, the city purchased the hotel, and after a $1.5 million renovation, readapted it to become City Hall. The historic character of the Jaeckel is still present in the building and the old neon sign for the hotel hangs on the east side.
Looking for something to view while social distancing? Might we suggest a Statesboro-themed watchlist? Check out these 5 movies that were filmed (or partially filmed) in Statesboro and Bulloch County!
Now & Then (1995)
(PG-13) Rent or Buy on AppleTV
“A summer when four friends made a promise to return anytime they needed each other. Twenty years later that time has come.“
See if you can spot several prominent Downtown Statesboro landmarks featured throughout the film.
This film has a loaded cast, starring Melanie Griffith, Demi Moore, Rosie O’Donnell and Rita Wilson. Also starring (as younger versions of themselves, respectively): Thora Birch, Gaby Hoffman, Christina Ricci, and Ashleigh Aston Moore.
Ford vs Ferrari (2019)
(PG-13) Rent or Buy on Multiple Platforms
“American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference and the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car for Ford in order to defeat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.”
Starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale.
Visit Statesboro had the privilege of working closely with the film team to scout locations in Bulloch County for roadways that would work for critical scenes in the movie. As it turns out, stretches of Hwy 46 are almost identical to the French countryside where the actual race took place! Don’t blink though! This is a movie about a car race after all, so many of the Bulloch County scenes fly by. But if you’re familiar with the area you’ll be sure to recognize it, even if it’s a little blurry.
Visit Statesboro was also able to assist the production crew in obtaining permits and locating local resources for everything from catering to sanitation; helping to increase the economic impact of film in our community.
The Do-Over (2016)
“Two down-on-their-luck guys decide to fake their own deaths and start over with new identities, only to find the people they’re pretending to be are in even deeper trouble.”
Starring Adam Sandler and David Spade.
Another movie where Visit Statesboro was able to work with the production crew to bring film to our area. Statesboro’s very own Food World grocery store on Fair Road was temporarily redesigned to be used as the on-screen grocery store where David Spade plays the in-store bank manager (remember when that was a thing). And if you have a keen eye you may even be able to spot a few locals playing extras!
“Tony Stark, Jack Bauer, and Joyce Byers team-up to fight Thanos and a group of terrorists from The Upside Down…” no wait, that can’t be right.
Oh here we go…
“Two friends living in a small town during the 1960s, run away to enjoy their freedom during the Vietnam War, thus disappointing the father of one of them. When they return to town, they realize the importance of family unity.”
Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Kiefer Sutherland, and Winona Ryder.
This was filmed in 1987, so we don’t have much information about the filming process. We do know that much of it was filmed in Bulloch County, as well as Hardeeville, SC, and Savannah. Feel free to send us a message if you have information about the filming!
Not sure where you can watch it online. Our marketing director was able to get it through Netflix several years ago, back when they mailed actual DVDs. Do they even still do that?
Buster & Billie (1974)
“It was 1948. There was a girl like Billie in every school. All the boys knew her, but Buster loved her and no one understood.”
This romance/revenge film stars Jan-Michael Vincent who played Captain Stringfellow Hawke from the totally rad 80s hit TV show Airwolf. You’ll also notice the unburnt and ungloved Robert Englund in his film debut, before he terrorized teen dreams as Freddy Kruger.
We found this film in full on YouTube. Oh um… speaking of “full”, just a heads-up, this film is also notable as one of the earliest American mainstream movies to have full male frontal nudity so take the R rating seriously when it comes to who you’re watching this with.
Visit Statesboro is the Camera Ready contact for film in Statesboro and Bulloch County. We work closely with production companies to recruit and assist film projects in our community.
I found the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair to be delightfully fun, with a unique touch of small-town charm. My husband and I went Monday, the opening night, and hoofed it over to the Heritage Village section. There we had a lovely conversation with Mr. Bowen in the Old Store. He regaled us with the history of the establishment and its role in the community. After that we took a stroll through the historic Aldrich house, watched bees in the bee house, and took in the aroma of woodsmoke wafting from the blacksmith shop.
The attraction that I was most looking forward to – The Kiwanis Pancake House – did not disappoint! Sitting at long picnic tables chowing down on pancakes and local sausage felt like a big community breakfast. That is definitely something unique that Statesboro brings to the fair experience. An elephant ear for dessert and old-fashioned carnival rides took me right back to my childhood fair memories. In short, the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair encapsulated everything charming and nostalgic that I associated with fairs with a dash of local flair.
Thank you to everyone who dropped a suggestion for things to do at the fair! You made this fair novice feel like a truly initiated part of the Statesboro community. – Lauren Della-Piazza
Lauren moved to Statesboro from Pennsylvania to complete her Master’s Degree in Public History at Georgia Southern University.
Being new in Statesboro, I have never been to the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair. Sure, I have been to fairs as a general category: the rides, the food, the contests, the local flair. But what makes the Ogeechee Kiwanis Fair unique? Comment on our social media post to share what you think someone who has never been to the fair before MUST do!
I have heard that the Pancake House is a must-do. A fair with an establishment dedicated to slinging up sausage and pancakes? That is something I am looking forward to. But what else distinguishes the Ogeechee Fair as a part of Statesboro culture? It is a decades-long tradition that draws people from counties away, so it must be something special. I am looking forward to attending and getting my first taste!
If there is one thing I have learned in my short time here, it is that Statesboro never ceases to surprise. I am sure that the Ogeechee Fair will do the same. – Lauren Della- Piazza
Lauren moved to Statesboro from Pennsylvania to complete her Master’s Degree in Public History at Georgia Southern University. Look for her fair follow-up coming soon.