Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Deepstep - Alonzo G. Veal & Son

Located between Milledgeville and Sandersville on Deepstep Road, this small town really is in the middle of nowhere. In fact, it's one of 519 communities that was erased off the Georgia Department of Transportation's official state map in 2007. While it used to be much larger, the town still has a population of 132, mainly in part to the area's strong kaolin industry, which produces a surprisingly large amount of this white clay mineral that's used in medicines, cosmetics, light bulbs, and toothpaste. Of course, you'll always have those people who just wouldn't live anywhere else. I spoke with one of them, the owner of the only gas station in town. He gave me some info on Deepstep and seemed very satisfied that Atlanta was 2 hours away. The Veal family, which once had a monopoly on most of the businesses in town, including the general store pictured, has long since left Deepstep. Alonzo Veal's granddaughters now live in Forsyth County. They use the building as storage but haven't been back in years. The future of this building seems safe but the gas station owner believes "there's good lumber in there that somebody might want one day" [to sell]. The fading Coke sign, which makes the bold statement of "What We Don't Have, We Can Get," is the only reminder of a family name that once made this town run.