Small Town Focus
Driving through the heartland of Georgia, with eyes opened to history it’s apparent how many small towns, even with the trains running through them, never saw the resurgence that Jackson experienced. Named the County Seat, the proud residents of Jackson erected a monumental courthouse as a sign of their prosperity. The same courthouse is still in use today. In 1910, the construction of Jackson Lake, where we have our lake house, created a recreational destination, and further prosperity.
Last December (12/11/15) I blogged about an old schoolhouse I visited in Flovilla, a village neighbor of Jackson. When I spoke to The Historical Society of Butts County and shared my books last week, I discovered it was the lovely woman who unlocked the schoolhouse door and showed me around last December who was responsible for my invitation to speak to them in May. You never know how things will play out when selling books.
The Historical Society has a two-page list of ideas for fundraisers and events, things they want to accomplish for their communities with committees of volunteers in place to get it done. Indian Springs, another village neighbor, has a fascinating history. When I visited there one hot summer day I noticed people filling their bottles at the springs, but I didn’t know the history of the Creek-Muscogee Indians. I met an authentic Creek at the meeting who is chairing their upcoming Indian Festival (September 12) to maintain the integrity of the event and to share their proud history with the visitors. They’ve asked me to write a book for young readers about their history in Indian Springs. I’m piling on the research.
Butts County, and its array of small towns has one radio station, WJGA FM 92, one local newspaper Jackson Progress-Argus, and 24,000 residents who are proud to call it home, keep the sidewalks swept and the welcome sign out.
When you see small towns with thriving downtowns in spite of bypasses, big-box stores, and empty factories, it’s because the residents care. Their history and their future are important to them. They invest their money and their time. Without them, villages become ghost towns with cardboard windows where someone used to live.