Thousands drive under the sign every day, but most never see the misspelling. Actually, it spells a correct word, but according to an unidentified resident, it’s the wrong spelling of the name of the person for whom the street supposedly was named.
Jill Nagel, a spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation’s Jesup office, said the sign went up Aug. 30 as part of a part of a project to replace traffic lights. And, she said, it was to be taken down Thursday.
An anonymous caller recently left a fiery voice message with the Courier, complaining about the large street sign hanging from light cables at the intersection of Oglethorpe Highway and Fraser Drive. Bloggers have since added to the verbal fray.
Unlike all the other signs along Fraser Drive and Fraser Street, this particular sign spells the name Frazier.
The female caller acknowledged there are several families in the area with similar names, but with different spellings, including Fraser, Frasier and Frazier.
Her complaint was that Fraser Drive is supposed to be named for Dr. Whit Fraser, founder of Hinesville’s Fraser Counseling Center and a major source behind the YMCA.
“She is correct. The correct spelling is Fraser,” City Manager Billy Edwards said, adding, however, that Fraser Drive was not named after Dr. Whit Fraser but the Fraser family. “(The Georgia Department of Transportation) put up the signs, and we (have notified) them of the matter.”
According to Liberty Regional Medical Center website, Whit Fraser was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. After completing medical school, he started his medical practice in1958 in Hinesville because Hinesville was the birthplace of his grandfather. Other members of the Fraser family still lived here at the time.
Fraser opened his doctor’s office on what now is Fraser Drive and began treating patients on the promise that a hospital would be built within two years. He soon developed a reputation not only for treating physical ailments but hearing and caring about their emotional issues, to the point of praying with his patients.
As active members of the First Presbyterian Church, Fraser and his wife Mary Lou had a dream of opening a Christian counseling center. She died before seeing it come to pass.
After his wife died, however, Fraser started the Mary Lou Fraser Community Support Foundation, which organized the Fraser Counseling Center, and later provided the majority of funds for the YMCA. Together, he said, the organizations could fulfill Fraser’s philosophy, of treating the whole person — body, mind and spirit.
Mike Davis, Hinesville public work’s street department supervisor, said Tuesday his department had received a call about the sign last week.
“They notified us about the sign on Thursday or Friday,” Davis said. “I called the (Georgia Department of Transportation) office in Jesup. I don’t remember who I spoke with, but he said he would email the contractor responsible for getting a new sign.”