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About North Georgia's publisher Randy Golden contributes a look into life in north Georgia, the Web, or anything that's on his mind.

Hello, friends
During the nearly 7 years that I have been traipsing around north Georgia looking for interesting stories I have come to know a number of people who share the same interest in history that my wife and I do. One of the first with whom I developed a relationship was Regina Wheeler, director of Public Relations at the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention and Visitors Bureau and a contributor to About North Georgia. The other day I received an e-mail from her with disturbing news--the home of Rebecca Lattimer Felton burned.

Ms. Felton had been selected five years ago by the editors of About North Georgia as one of the Influential people in the development of today's North Georgia, one of three women to make the list. On that page we summed up her accomplishments:

Ms. Felton's stint as the first female senator is widely recognized, but her
achievements far exceed this one event. A fervent womanist in a decidedly anti-woman society she pioneered the concept of women's rights in Georgia. As publisher of the Cartersville Free Press and a reporter for the Atlanta Constitution, traditionally men's jobs, she turned the conservative society on it's ear.

Less than a week earlier I called and spoke to Regina about the house in preparation for a piece on the Bartow County National Register of Historic Places (list)
properties. We had talked about photographing the home and showing it on the page for Roadside Georgia (http://roadsidegeorgia.com), Golden Ink's newest content-related site.

History is not a renewable resource. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. The fire at the Felton home was not a planned event (hopefully). However, much of the destruction of history is unintentional or planned. For example, when the Corps of Engineers flooded the gorge between Ellijay and Carter's Quarters they unwittingly destroyed the old Martin house.

The Martin family had ties to the Cherokee Nation when it covered all of North Georgia prior to the start of the 18th century. The Martin name is tied to Travelers Rest Historic Site, east of Toccoa, the Unicoi Turnpike, and Martin's Ferry (this became Jone's Ferry and eventually Jones Bridge). He served as a justice on the Cherokee Supreme Court and held elected positions. Completely unaware of the historical importance of the home, the Corps demolished it and built a parking lot when Carter Lake was created.

Every day across our home we are losing these resources. A local developer knowingly destroyed most of the area where the Battle of Kolb's Farm was fought. The developer refused to grant access to the land prior to destruction for valid historical research because he was afraid that the research might find something that would delay his project.

Compare this to our friends from the Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce. They are keenly aware that historical preservation can help with the bottom line of business and build a community. They work to promote knowledge of the rich history of their home not only on their web site, but in published materials and through member's volunteer efforts.

One of the many fine organizations working to save our
heritage is the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation (site). Through innovative programs like the Georgia Ramble they increase awareness of historical buildings in a specific area. Their Heritage Education program is building local networks of resources for teachers to use as tools. The Revolving Fund preserves historically important homes through purchase and resale.

Preservation is not just the job of the government or historians. It is the combined efforts of business, the community, and local efforts of volunteers. As a business we support various efforts throughout the state and in individual communities. As citizens we work at the local level to help preserve the history of our area. We encourage you, business or citizen, to join and support one or more of the many fine historic organizations in your area.

Randy Golden, Publisher

Randy's Corner
Notes from our publisher, Randy Golden

Article Links
Battle of Kolb's Farm
Cartersville-Bartow County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Influential people in the development of today's North Georgia
Travelers Rest Historic Site
Unicoi Turnpike

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