A Brief History of Talmadge Brothers
In every southern town there was one old building scarcely noticed by day, but carefully avoided by night. It was always ramshackle, seemingly abandoned, and thoroughly rumored to be haunted. At the close of 1918, American soldiers were returning home to their wives and children after Germany signed an armistice ending World War I on November 11. Two of those returning soldiers were local Ball Ground residents Johnny and Charles “Chuck” Talmadge. The city was a place of jubilation for two solid weeks as parades, parties, and dinners were hosted in honor of Ball Ground’s war heroes. Several years later, on a bitterly cold winter night, Barbara Talmadge, Johnny and Charles’ mother, passed away. Seeing as Johnny and Charles were the only living relatives, apart from their nephew, the Talmadge properties were divided equally amongst the two. Johnny inherited the Talmadge home and land, while Charles took hold of the Talmadge fortune. After purchasing a small home directly across from the Ball Ground train depot, Charles built up a sizeable furniture making business in a large gray-scale building in the center of town. Rocking chairs, tables, desks, and book shelves were just a few of the products Charles offered to the community. Eventually, all of Charles’ business started coming from local funeral parlors as he was commissioned to build caskets for prominent citizens of the community. Johnny, who had been watching his brother’s business endeavors from afar, saw room for expansion.
In the spring of 1941, Talmadge Brothers Funeral Home and Casket Company was opened. The state-of-the-art facility drew customers from as far way as West Virginia, and as close as right next door. Then, in February of 1942, the doors were literally opened to the public as tours of the facility were conducted for curious passersby. However this didn’t sit well with city officials and the tours were soon discontinued. Half of the facilities were reserved for funeral services, while the other half consisted mainly of casket construction. The factory section of the facilities never operated during funerals or viewings. Charles felt that it would have been disrespectful to the deceased. Johnny felt that it was a mistake.
Cremation became more and more popular throughout the 1950s. So, the Talmadge Brothers, never to fall behind in trends, installed two furnaces in their facilities in 1958. Business never slowed down for Talmadge Brothers Funeral Home and Casket Company. It continued climbing into the mid-60s. However, on a cold autumn night in 1966, Charles Talmadge was brutally murdered by his brother in one of the parlor’s offices.
However, most people are unaware that there was a second Talmadge Brothers location, with an even grislier history. A mere ten miles up the road, in the quaint city of Jasper, stood Talmadge Brothers North. Talmadge Brothers North was erected in the summer of 1961 when the brothers decided there was an even larger demand for their services. Since the original Talmadge Brothers Funeral Home required both brothers to remain on site for a majority of the day, they were forced to hire a young man by the name of Neville Talmadge, their nephew.
For the first two years of operation Neville excelled in his new position as manager of Talmadge Brothers North, impressing not only his customers, but also his uncles. In December of 1963, Neville was introduced to a young lady by the name of Constance Lee. Constance was the daughter of the local fire chief Robert Lee, and had been desired by all the men in Pickens County for years. Constance was always timid about the idea of being in a relationship, but when she met Neville she knew that she had met a perfect match.
After almost three years of dating, Neville and Constance decided it was time to make their relationship official, in both the eyes of the Lord, as well as the State of Georgia. The ceremony would be small - a service in the county courthouse - and then off on their honeymoon. However, Neville and Constance would never make it to their destination. Minutes before they were to leave for their appointment at the courthouse, Neville received word of what had happened between his uncles in Ball Ground. Devastated by the news, Neville removed a gun from his top desk drawer, believing that there had to have been a third party that killed his uncle. Neville was going to get to the bottom of the situation, and make things right any way that he could. Before Neville was able to get out of his desk chair Constance excitedly ran into the room, questioning Neville about their honeymoon. Neville was in no mood for questions and tried to tell Constance that one of his uncles had just died, but she wouldn't listen. An argument broke out between the two, and ended when Neville pulled the trigger.
Constance slumped against the desk, her eyes slowly closing as the life ran out of her body. When Neville had realized what he had done he screamed in horror, and turned the gun on himself. Local legend says that Constance haunts Talmadge Brothers North, cheated out of her life and wedding by a Talmadge. It is also said that Constance lives within the mirrors of Talmadge Brothers, beckoning all who enter to join her on the other side. Strange happenings have been witnessed around the building and grounds of Talmadge Brothers North.
Are you brave enough to enter?