Billy Carter Service Station, 216 West Church Street, Plains, Sumter County, GA
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Photo Caption Pages
216 West Church Street, Plains, GA
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Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS GA-243
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-88).
Building/structure dates: 1930 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1956
Building/structure dates: 1972 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1976 subsequent work
Significance: During Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign in 1975-1976, much attention was lavished on this service station, then owned by his colorful and outspoken younger brother, Billy. He considered his station a social rather than a business venture and it served as a hangout for his "down home fraternity," where men would gather to drink beer and shoot the breeze after work. The media capitalized on the service station as a symbol of Jimmy's rural southern upbringing. The building was maintained in its run-down, informal state and became a stronghold for the local residents who were disenchanted with the drastic changes taking place in Plains with Carter's ascendancy to the White House. Billy used it as the headquarters for his unsuccessful campaign as the "No Progress" candidate for mayor of Plains.
Automobile Service Stations
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
1. GENERAL VIEW
2. VIEW OF THE GAS STATION
3. SOUTH FRONT AND WEST SIDE
4. WEST SIDE
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