In this photo from the 1920s, an unidentified gentleman, possible Postmaster Jesse Warren or William Popham himself, is seen posing in front of what appears to be Popham’s store on
Popham, a poet, author and minister, gained lasting fame as a smooth-talking real estate developer. He first came to Franklin County in 1916, and enchanted with the possibility of developing St. George Island, he dreamed of developing a community on the island that could support itself by cultivating oysters in the bay.
To process, can and warehouse the promised glut of oysters, Popham hired Adolph Maddox in 1923 to build a two-story 61,000 square foot building on Wharf lots 7 and 8, on what is now Water Street, just south of the present day Apalachicola Maritime Museum. The wooden building with metal siding was built on pilings that extended out over the water. The two-story central section was distinguished by four gabled bays. Spelled out in oyster shells on the building was “Popham Oyster Factory No. 1.”
Even as the building was under construction, Popham faced legal problems, as the US Post Office was investigating whether he used the mail to obtain money illegally from investors. In 1925, Popham was found guilty and served a term in the penitentiary in
Can you identify the man in this picture? If so, please contact the Times at 653-8868 or contact Lois Swoboda at email@example.com.