Lula Bellton School
contributed by Iris Thompson Fry
Lula-Bellton School and the Railroad Lula-Bellton School was the only school in Hall County which can boast of a hyphenated name. Like the union of two proud English families, the school's double name grows out of a long history of two communities who lived side by side, sometimes quarreling about rank, but in the end joining together for a mutual enterprise. Lula is 25 feet nearer sea level than Bellton (elevation 1305 to 1330) and richer by more souls. However, there is some question whether Bellton may count all of its citizens in a population race since for sometime more live in Banks County than in Hall! Only one mile and some high pressure salesmanship by a local citizen brought the railroad junction to Lula instead of to its sister on the north. And at that, the Southern Railroad almost didn't make it. In the days when the track was first laid down from Athens to Hall County, the state law required a minimum of 40 miles of track. By actual measure, Lula was only 39 miles from the Athens depot, so the track was extended one more mile off into the hills though it was never traveled on the tag end. Back when two passenger trains made the round trip from Athens to Lula every day and freight trains made regular hauls, Lula was a bustling railroad junction. There was a tale in town that it might have been the home also of New Holland cotton mill if the mill officials hadn't received some discouragement from prominent Lula property owners and if Gainesville hadn't even then been on the lookout for new industry. Now the giant steam engines no longer use the Lula turntable to turn around. New patterns of transportation, better connecting highways, have by-passed the little town of Lula. Farmers came to town to buy a few staples and place their vegetables on the market. Lumber was carted into the station to be placed on railroad flat cars. But in the main, the business in the community is the same business between close neighbors and good friends everywhere. News of babies, birthdays, new cars, exchanged on the street corners and in the post office. With the advent of an old time comic strip, the community's name of Lula had become the target of humor and well-wishing admirers who think of "lula"of a town. But actually, the name Lula belongs to one Lula Finezy, a fine woman of Athens, who also was a prominent property owner in the area of the Hall-Banks County line.
Story and picture contributed by
Iris Thompson Fry