The History of Climax

‚Äč

 

          The town of Climax received its name because it is the highest point of elevation on the railroad between Savannah and the Chattahoochee River.  The town was established after the Civil War.  Duncan Curry was the earliest known settler, and came to the area in 1824.  His family came from Scotland.  Curry settled 2 miles north of present-day Climax.  He had three sons an one daughter - Calvin, Duncan Jr., Archie and Sarah Jane. When they were grown, Calvin lived at home, Archie settled in Climax, Duncan Jr. settled in the area of what is known as Curry Hill, and Sarah Jane settled in the area of Attapulgus.  Around 1850 the Curry brothers built the first Presbyterian church in the area.  The church was organized in 1852, the same time as the Bainbridge Presbyterian Church.  They received their commissions from the Old Philadelphia Church of Quincy, Florida.  It is said that the Bainbridge church was commissioned one day and the Climax church the next.  

          Another early settler to the area was Sutton Trulock.  According to family history, Mr. Trulock settled in the area in 1840, but a census taken in 1830 lists a Sutton Trulock.  The Trulock family came from England and finally settled in Decatur County, Georgia.  Mr. Trulock settled 5 miles north of Climax.

     Sutton Trulock was an orphan.  His parents died when he was young, and he was given to someone to be raised.  He was 60 years old when he came to Decatur County with his wife Mary Hines.  She was very aristocratic, and it was said that she requested tea in bed every morning.

          In 1867, the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad bought the original depot site from Archie S. Curry.  In those days the railroad built a link from Thomasville to Bainbridge and sold stocks in it.  About 1880, the railroad wanted to build a branch line from Bainbridge to River Junction - the junction of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers.  It was decided that the best place to build the line was on the Fowlstown ridge 8 miles east if Bainbridge.  The Fowlstown ridge is a high ridge that runs the length of Decatur County.  In 1883 the town of Climax was laid out along this ridge.  The first deed of land sold in Climax was from Mary Jane Peabody to J.G. and C.H. Curry for 1/4 of an acre for $25.00.  Mary Jane Peabody sold the second deed to A.J. Trulock for 1/2 an acre for $25.00.

          Climax was incorporated in 1905.  People began to settle and lots of land were laid out.  The main street of the town was Front Street which ran along the railroad track.  Traveling salesmen, who were called drummers, traveled by rail and went through Climax to make connections on down the line.  They would have to spend the night in Climax, thus creating the need for hotels.  There were two hotels in Climax - one was made of brick and the other of wood.  Two passenger trains, many freight trains and several mixed trains passed through Climax.  One mixed train, the mid morning "Josh," was named after a fireman who rode it.  During the night, this same train went down to Port St. Joe to bring fish and oysters from the Gulf, but on the return trip it was known as the Apalachicola Northern.

          Climax also had an impressive business district.  It had the Farmer's Bank, Trulock Supply Company, Brinson Meat Market, Mr. Moseley's drug store, a barber shop, a post office, and Dr. Bailey's office.  Stores stayed open until 8:30.  It is interesting to note that Climax was on Central time.  The town had a Delco plant, which supplied electricity from 6 p.m. until 12 a.m.  Black citizens had their own cafes, and every Saturday they would come to town and stay until 11 or 11:30 p.m.  Climax reached its zenith as a community from the time it was incorporated until cars, trucks, and highways made it easy for people to go to town.  

          The Climax area had several churches and a schoolhouse.  In 1859, Curry Presbyterian Church was renamed Mineral Springs Church.  In 1884, it moved to Climax.  The church is now in Westville, a replica of a pioneer town, in Lumkin, Georgia.  In 1890, the Baptist church was built.  Before members had the church, they worshiped in a warehouse.  Two miles south of town was the Methodist church.  The Cedar Grove Cemetery was here.  When the church was moved, the cemetery was renamed the Climax Cemetery.  The town had a one-room schoolhouse, but it is no longer standing.  Later the school was moved to a house in town.  The school was consolidated in the 1920's, but it burned in 1929.  It was rebuilt in the building which now is the Dectur-Grady County Head Start.

          In Climax today there is not as much as there once was.  Passenger trains no longer run through the town.  Now the big event of Climax is "Swine Time," an annual celebration of the pig.

          Through the years, the history of Climax has been interesting and colorful to the present time.  Many stories are swapped on the benches and in the stores of events long past.  It is still a small town in rural America, and the people would not have it any other way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Article taken from Swine Time 2005 brochure