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Lincoln County added to historic trail

Posted: August 16, 2017 - 1:14am
Jefferson Davis Heritage Trail Marker dedication took place August 8. From left, Gary Edwards, President of Lincoln County Historical Society, John Stone, Executive Director of Lincoln County Development Authority, Walker Norman, Chairman of Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, Dr. Mark Waters Vice President of Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Beth Putnam Vice Chair of the Lincolnton/Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, Alana Burke, past Executive Director of the Lincoln County Development Authority, Steve Longcrier Founder and Executive Director of Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails.
Jefferson Davis Heritage Trail Marker dedication took place August 8. From left, Gary Edwards, President of Lincoln County Historical Society, John Stone, Executive Director of Lincoln County Development Authority, Walker Norman, Chairman of Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, Dr. Mark Waters Vice President of Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Beth Putnam Vice Chair of the Lincolnton/Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, Alana Burke, past Executive Director of the Lincoln County Development Authority, Steve Longcrier Founder and Executive Director of Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails.

Lincoln County leaders officially unveiled two informational markers dedicating the county to the Jefferson Davis Heritage Trail.

Members of the Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Lincoln County Development Authority, chamber of commerce and historical society, attended a memorial dedication of the markers Aug. 8 at the Hester's Ferry Boat ramp in northern Lincoln County. A second marker is located near the corner of Elberton Road (Hwy 79) and Graball Road.

The first marker at Hester's Ferry Boat ramp is located near the spot where a pontoon bridge across the Savannah River allowed Davis and his entourage to cross, according to a press release from the Lincoln County Historical Society. "The marker near Highway 79 tells the story of the ‘Mystery of the Lost Confederate Gold,' near the location where the gold shipment was raided on the night of May 24, 1865."

The dedication commemorates Davis' entry into Georgia on May 3, 1865 just a week before he was captured in Irwinville, and recalls the story of the "Confederate Gold."

The marker was funded by contributions from the Lincoln County Development Authority, the Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln County Historical Society and the County itself.

The two new markers, along with the one on the square in Washington, were the first three of over 20 more informational markers which will be erected throughout the state, as the Jefferson Davis trail is one of the first of three trails currently under development by the Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails.

These three trails - the Jefferson Davis Trail, the Atlanta Campaign, and the March to the Sea - wind through 48 counties in Georgia and will include over 130 interpretive markers, along with 1,100 roadway "trailblazer" signs set to be installed. Completion is projected for the next 18-24 months.

"Everyone agrees that preserving our history is important for educational and cultural purposes, but it also has tremendous economic development potential," says Lincoln County Development Authority Director John Stone. "This potential is especially pronounced for Lincoln County, which already has an existing draw from our status as a lake resort."

The markers go along with the objective of the Georgia Civil War Heritage Trail to promote six historic driving trails across the state for its intended purpose to interpret all aspects of the time period. This initiative will include parking "pull-off" informational areas, and brochures, that tie into the website www.gcwht.org.

Lincoln County officials said that the addition on the trail will help increase historical tourism to the area.

"According to research by Harbinger Consulting, a specialist in regional economic development analysis, the average family visiting a Civil War battlefield site spends around $1,000 on the trip," Stone added. "We don't have a battlefield here, but as part of the Civil War Heartland Leaders Trail we can certainly begin pulling in our share of these economic benefits as we develop and grow our historical sites. These signs are a great step in that direction."

"The financial contributions by the Development Authority, the Chamber, the County and the Historical Society were made back in 2002 - this underscores the difficulty of undertaking this project and the perseverance on the part of the Civil War Heritage Trust that it took to pull this off." added Historical Society President Gary Edwards.

 

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