Years ago our weekends were filled, spending hours in the car driving from place to place, taking pictures of anything old, abandoned, or just somewhat interesting. Eventually, careers took the place of our jobs, and weekends were filled with other things that took priority over rural photography. Finally finding some free time together, and wanting to spend our day doing something we loved, we decided that we would take a day trip. We found the blog “The 11 Strangest Abandoned Places in Georgia” and thought it seemed like a good checklist to start with. Of the 11 places on the list we had already been to number 3- “The Bostwick Plantation” or “The Nolan House” as we knew it. That left 10 different and seemingly amazing places to visit. After looking up each place we settled with “The Tennga Motel” (mostly because it was close enough to make it to in one day and our jobs both expected us back the next day).
We should have known that something was up when car trouble almost ended our trip before it started. I personally didn’t mind a little car fire (it was cold outside) but A wasn’t really too excited at the idea of her car burning up while 3 hours from home. After deciding to take another vehicle we were finally on our way. With Sam Hunt on our playlist we stopped to get gas and coffee (I don’t like mornings so I needed a little pick me up). As we started down the road the phone rang. Since A’s phone was sitting on the dash and my phone was playing the music, I was a little confused as to what was ringing. Finally I found it…. my husbands phone….great. I have a nasty habit of putting things in places where “I will never lose them”. Unfortunately I always forget where those places are and end up losing it anyways. Clearly the phone was in safe keeping in my pocket and I hadn’t lost it, I just didn’t need it. After dropping the phone off at home we started off… again… The weather was supposed to be sunny and BEA-U-TI-FUL, and it was… at home….just not in Tennga, GA where we were heading.
It started raining about an hour from home, but we were determined to get where we were going and have a great time doing it. The trip there was a blast. We have never had a problem being stuck in the car for long periods together. We can make almost anything fun. The GPS took us slightly out-of-the-way (and by slightly I mean way out-of-the-way). We didn’t have an actual address for the motel but we figured Tennga couldn’t be that big so we should have no trouble finding it. And we didn’t have a problem finding it. In fact we drove right by it and had to turn around.
The Tennga Motel disappointed both of us. After a three hour car ride you expect something great. Especially when the pictures all look amazing! The motel turned out to me smaller and a lot less abandoned as we expected. To be fair it clearly was no longer used as a motel, more of just a storage place for someone (there was even a pretty nice and new lawnmower around back). Neither one of us had bail money, so A took a few pictures and I watched her from safely inside the truck. When we were younger we probably would have took as many pictures as we wanted and never worried about trespassing. But now getting arrested also means getting fired and pictures just don’t pay the bills (at least for me…A could probably quit her job tomorrow and not have any problems paying the bills from her amazing photography).
Not ready for the day to be over we settled on heading over to Auraria, GA. We had heard about the ghost town from the Georgia Gold Rush and thought it would be the perfect place to turn our day around. We read about all the different buildings still standing, including an old store and hotel and started that way. The weather didn’t really get any better but at least it wasn’t pouring rain. We finally made it to Castleberry Bridge Road where most of the building were said to be. Unfortunately the buildings here were also not so much abandoned. Our spirits broken and ready to get out of the car we decided to head home.
We still plan on visiting the other nine places listed on the blog but we started to think that we could probably make a better list of places to visit. We have been to some really awesome places in the state of Georgia and maybe a few outside of Georgia. Who better to make a list for photographers (and site seers) to visit? Okay, maybe anyone would be better but I have always been overly opinionated and loud… So here you go- A photographers blog showing the places we go. Don’t expect the grammar and spelling to be correct…I can’t spell and don’t really care much about grammar. If spell check doesn’t fix it automatically it won’t be fixed at all.
7 thoughts on “The Tennga Motel”
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I would suggest Central State Hospital in Milledgeville. Even if you can’t get in the buildings (though there are openings!) it’s worth it just to drive and walk around the massive campus and look at the ruins. And mega photo ops!
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Julie! We both agree full heartedly! We are both a little selfish (and big dreamers), and we hope that one day we will be able to go in without breaking the law. We know thats not going to be any day soon (probably not ever), but we are holding out hope. In all honeslty it is on our list and we hope to make it there soon! Thank you for reading!
I have always lived about two miles from the tennga motel,I remember when it was in operation…you can’t miss tenngs…because its the abreveation for Tennessee …..tenn-ga. And abreveation for Georgian together they make tennga since its on the state line.
This motel though not named The Tennga Motel at all belongs to my husband, his sister and his mother. His father, PH Epperson ( nicknamed Joe) built “The State Line Court” and it was fully functional and very popular in it’s time. The business was closed in the early 70’s as well as the restaurant/store beside it which they later converted into a home. Mr. Epperson passed away in 1984 but his widow continues to reside there. In fact it had not been abandoned and IS used for storage. I mean, why not? It’s standing there. They had stuff that needed to be stored. I’ll never understand why people think a place is abandoned when the yard is mowed every couple of weeks during mowing season. 🤔