Log Landing is an area on the Ebenezer Creek just off Highway 21 south of Springfield. This well known swimming spot and gathering place for young people for generations is very near the location where the first Salzburgers settled at Old Ebenezer in 1734. The black water creek flows through Log Landing providing cool delight in summer.
Log Landing had a dance hall and was called Log Landing Casino at one time. It is said to have been built on land of Mr. Cannie Bazzell, who also donated land for a Boy Scout camp on the creek. I am not sure if he built and rented the pavilion and little is known of the dance hall’s origin.
Before the current Log Landing Road was straightened, built and paved, there was a winding dirt road with a rickety old wooden bridge (see accompanying photo of the Jaudons from the mid 1950s). If you drove to Log Landing from Highway 21, the dance hall was on the left on the creek side with the Scout Camp over to the right.
The building was built elevated on poles and originally sat beside the creek. The dance hall was on the upper floor and there was an area underneath with a kitchen that sold food. Tables were provided for eating. There were steps on the outside leading to the second floor of the pavilion.
As the years went by, the channel of the creek cut into the bank under the building and it had to be braced for support. Some say it looked like part of it was built over the water but according to Charles Hinely, who heard this from one of his uncles; it was originally built on the land beside the creek. This area was always subject to seasonal flooding and erosion.
Some who managed the business were W. L. Morris, Melvin Hinely, J.E. Hudson and a Mr. Collins. The advertisements announced square dancing, round dancing and sometimes live music. Carswell Shearouse and Jim Shearouse played there as did the some of the Hinely boys — Melvin, Bowman, Laurie and Charlie who lived nearby and were kin to Mr. Bazzell. The fiddle was popular for the square dances. Admission in 1934 was advertised as 50 cents.
Lemuel Wells, who grew up nearby, recalls his parents going over on the weekend and he and the other children would play downstairs around or in the creek. He said every now and then a fight broke out, and someone would roll over the banister and fall to the ground. They did sell beer there but he describes it as really mostly a family atmosphere.
A Sept. 7 ad in 1934 in the Springfield Herald announced that the “Rhythm Rascals” would play Saturday night. October advertised a “good string band from Savannah.” In 1937, the ads show that they held square dances every Wednesday and Saturday night. The April of 1937 Herald ad notes that J. E. Hudson said, “We sell beer and soft drinks. Good order is preserved. Former operator no longer interested or has anything to do with this place. Now operated solely by J. E. Hudson.” The dances were advertised to be held every night except Sunday.
A business review in the Aug. 8, 1937, issue of the Herald entitled, “Log Landing Casino – a popular spot in Effingham County on beautiful ‘Ebenezer Creek’ Where People Know they can spend an Enjoyable Evening”. Mr. and Mrs. J. Elliott Hudson are described as well known people making every effort to build a good business. “Beer and soft drinks, all kinds of sandwiches and good eats are served here. There is plenty of space for dancing and a specialty is made of private parties. No charge is made for the pavilion for parties. There is plenty of fishing and swimming enjoyed daily. In fact good clean fun is abundant at Log Landing Casino.” Children from Camp Meeting came down to swim in the creek as did many families.
Aunt May Carter Exley, now in her 90s, recalls going there to dance as a young lady. My father, born in 1931, remembers a Mr. Collins running the establishment. Collins had a son in school named Tom. Marion Jaudon stated that by the time he returned from World War II the business no longer existed.
No poles are left in the channel to mark the spot and few remember but Log Landing’s Dance Hall held a very lively place for a few decades in Effingham’s recreational history.
Please get in touch if you have any photos or information on Steel Bridge or Cavanaugh’s Dance Halls at Guyton.
This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at: email@example.com