GEORGIA B. WILLIAMS NURSING HOME
The Georgia B. Williams Nursing Home was the private residence and workplace of third-generation African American midwife Beatrice Borders (1892-1971), who delivered over 6,000 babies over the course of her lifetime. Operating as a lay midwife for many years, Beatrice opened the Georgia B. Williams Nursing Home in 1941 in honor of her mother, creating a safe place for expecting African American mothers to give birth. Operating throughout segregation and the Jim Crow era, the Georgia B. Williams Nursing Home was the only African American owned birthing center for expectant mothers in Georgia for over 30 years. As stated by former Camilla Mayor Mary Jo Haywood, “This place virtually birthed a city.”
A pivotal first step in the home's restoration, the compilation of a Preservation Plan will serve as an important planning and management tool. The Plan will assemble information to responsibly deal with the building's existing issues and concerns and plan for its future, guide implementation of recommendations resulting from the plan, and act as a reference as grants are sought.
To assist with public engagement, Ethos built www.beasbabies.org. The site is a digital component of the Plan, showcasing information related to the house's history and the efforts of Georgia B. Williams Nursing Home, Inc.
Since completion of the Plan, the building was recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the nation's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places and been awarded an African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund grant and a African American Civil Rights Grant. In 2023, the project was recognized for Excellence in Consulting by the National Council on Public History.
Project Team: Landmark Preservation and Ethos Preservation