A strong proponent in the preservation of historic Allenhurst was found dead Wednesday night.
Amanda Cox, an Allenhurst native who was the mayor pro-tem of the town her father William C. Cox incorporated, apparently died of natural causes, according to Liberty County Coroner Reginald Pierce.
Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes said deputies were sent to her Dunlevie Road home around 8 p.m. when a neighbor became concerned he had not seen her for a couple of days.
Sikes said deputies got into the home when a friend told them where to locate a spare key.
Deputies found Cox in her bedroom lying on her bed. According to Sikes, it appeared she had been nursing a cold and had a vaporizer running. The sheriff said it appears there was no foul play.
A friend said she last had contact with Cox on Facebook at 2 p.m. Monday.
The sheriff’s office is awaiting word from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation if an autopsy will be conducted.
Sikes, who called Cox a friend, was on scene and said, “She will be greatly missed.”
Cox moved to Allenhurst in 1959 when she was 1 week old. Her father purchased the house that once belonged to the Dunlevie Lumber Co. manager William Robinson. Cox’s father was the first mayor of Allenhurst and was responsible for getting the town incorporated.
Allenhurst Mayor Tom Hines said Cox was coming up on her eighth year on the Allenhurst City Council and has served as mayor pro tem since being elected.
"This is a sad day for the city of Allenhurst, Amanda will be greatly missed,” Hines said. “She was a strong willed and determined council member who was instrumental in the restoration of the historic district on Dunlevie Road."
Cox helped organize the Allenhurst centennial celebration in 2009 which re-created life in the 1900s when Allenhurst was a lumber community. The event was also instrumental in organizing the Jan and Dennis Waters Educational Center in Miller’s Pasture, the site of homes once used by the Dunlevie family when they managed the Dunlevie Lumber Company. Cox’s residence was next door.
Cox worked to get the center of Allenhurst, where six historic homes still stand and the lumber yard once stood, designated as a historic district in 2013.
“I don’t think daddy would be any prouder of me than he would be of me preserving this district as a historic district,” Cox said at that time.
In addition to advocating for the preservation of her community Cox was a jewelry maker, photographer and gardener.
Cox first attended Tift College (now part of Mercer University), majoring in journalism. Later she applied and was accepted to the Savannah College of Art and Design. She studied photography, textile and ceramic design and graduated in 1985 with a bachelor’s of fine arts in fibers.
Cox worked as an interpreter at Fort Morris and the Seabrook Village Living History Farm. She often hand sewed period piece gowns and clothing worn by civil battle re-enactments actors and volunteers.
Cox cultivated several dozen varieties of native camellias. During the bloom season Cox often photographed the flowers and many are on display in the Liberty County Justice Center.
Mayor Hines said he has not had time to talk to the remaining two council members and believes the city will wait until the next election cycle in November to fill the vacancy.
Cox was 55 years old.