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County's historical sites being mapped
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While new development is representative of the county’s future, there’s a collection of area residents who are working to save some of Liberty’s past.
The Liberty County Cultural and Historic Resources Committee is collaborating with the University of Georgia to develop a comprehensive GPS survey of all the important sites in the region, committee member Meredith Devendorff said.
From the survey, a computerized map will be developed that will allow local government and the public to be aware of these locations, committee member Matt Norsworthy said.
UGA interns will pool the resources of past historical surveys, and they will also work with county residents to create the map, which will take seven to 12 months to complete, he noted.
When the survey is finished and inserted into the county’s geographical information system, the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission will be aware of the flagged cultural and historical locales, and the LCPC will be better able to preserve these sites from the encroachment of developers, Devendorff said.
“What we have is getting destroyed, and we don’t want to be taken over by modern development,” committee member John Pirkle said. “The rapid development can be beneficial, but it’s only one kind of style, and we want to retain our links to the past by preserving as many of these structures as we can.”
In terms of links, committee member Ted Harris shares a close connection with a structure in the county because his grandfather was killed outside of it.
At that time, his name was Theodore Gordon, but following the loss of his grandfather, his family moved to Buffalo, NY and changed their name to Harris, he said.
“Structures are just buildings until you have the story to go with them,” Devendorff said. “... In a sense, these (structures) are who we are.”
In summation, committee chair Lynn Pace, also an LCPC representative, said the goal is to save Liberty County’s character and to allow development to coincide with the preservation of its resources.
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