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Effort under way to preserve Jordye Bacon house

POSTED: May 26, 2011 7:00 a.m.
Denise Etheridge/

The Liberty County Cultural & Historic Resources Committee hopes to raise funds to relocate the Jordye Bacon house, built in 1929.

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A community’s unique history can come in packages smaller than a courthouse or mansion, such as a craftsman-style bungalow.

Once the home of a prominent Hinesville resident and the first female Liberty County school superintendent, Jordye McLamb Bacon, the Jordye Bacon home off Highway 84 currently serves as a doctor’s office. Local residents interested in preserving the house are striving to raise the funds necessary for its relocation.

“Dr. Paul Bodamer actually owned the home until two years ago when he sold or conveyed it to his son, Dr. Brett Bodamer,” Hinesville Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Vicki Davis said. “They are in support of preserving the home and applaud our efforts.”

Davis said the senior Bodamer knew Jordye Bacon as a friend and as a physician. The house was built in 1929, she said.
The plan is to demolish the old house, unless it can be relocated once the new Parkwood Podiatry Associates office being built on the same parcel is completed, according to Davis.

The Liberty County Cultural & Historic Resources Committee recently spearheaded a local effort to acquire funding to preserve the Jordye Bacon home through the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s This Place Matters campaign. However, the Jordye Bacon home was not selected to receive a monetary award.

“There were 250 applicants,” committee member Donna Shives said.

“Other applicants included communities trying to preserve larger and more prominent structures,” committee member Rachel Hatcher added.

“Like courthouses and ballparks,” Shives finished.

The Jordye Bacon home is included in the HDDA’s survey of local historic structures, but it is not listed on a national historic registry, Hatcher explained.

To be listed on a national or state historic registry, a property owner must apply to have the building listed and then meet and comply with a strict set of criteria, she said.

Hatcher and Shives, both of whom are employed by the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission, said the building’s current property owners are “willing to allow” local preservationists to move the home to a new location if funds can be raised to pay for it.

Hatcher said the committee has not yet received quotes for relocation costs but said estimated costs for moving larger structures run on average around $100,000.

Hatcher said the committee also is striving to save other structures in Liberty County, including the Mills House on the corner of Memorial Drive and Highway 84.

Hatcher and Shives said there are a number of old homes in the city’s busy Highway 84 corridor that are in danger of being torn down to make way for new, “more modern” construction.

The two preservation hopefuls said Liberty County has some historic structures that are more than a century old, but most local historic homes were built early in the 20th century, they said.

The bungalow-style homes, such as the Jordye Bacon home, are indicative of the time when many people chose to leave outlying areas and move into towns to live closer together in smaller, more efficient spaces, Hatcher said.

For more information, call HDDA at 877-HDDA (4332) or email hdda@coastalnow.net.

 

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