An open letter to the residents of Columbia County:
A local historic preservation committee was formed in the fall of 2013 in a local effort to preserve the old Evans Normal School teacher’s cottage, presently on the location of the corner of North Belair and Washington Roads in Evans, (formerly known as the “Strictly Country” building owned and operated by Rachel Robertson.) This committee was named the “Save the Teacher’s Cottage Committee” with the stated goals of:
1. Moving the historic structure and saving it from demolition;
2. Soliciting funds from the community for moving, restoring and maintaining the structure;
3. Building community collaboration in order to determine how the building will be restored, maintained and used, and;
4. Providing the community with a building which preserves the history of education and life in general in Columbia County, Georgia, for living history, a repository for historic educational history documents, and for community organization, regular meetings.
The teacher’s cottage structure was built in the 1920s to house unmarried female teachers who taught at the old Evans Normal School, precursor of the current Evans High School. Several well-known Columbia County daughters were housed in this facility, in the formative years of Columbia County public education. The stones for the foundation and chimneys of the structure were collected by area school children from local fields, to provide construction materials to build the cottage for their teachers.
A budget of $66,500 has been considered and approved by this private committee for Phase One of the project, which involves salvaging the current teacher’s cottage, moving the structure to a new location, and beginning preparations for reconstructing it on the new site. As of April 1, the committee has raised and has pledges in the amount of $26,500. Current financial support for the project comes from private contributions, pledged gifts, and a sizable contribution from the PDQ corporation, who is in the process of purchasing the existing property from the Robertson family. That leaves the committee $40,000 short for Phase One. (In order to finish successfully ALL phases of the project, an approximate total of over $180,000 will need to be raised.
The “Save the Teacher’s Cottage Committee” is calling on the public to let us know of your support, both monetarily and in general support. If you want more information about this project or wish to register your interest in offering financial support or general support for the project, you can go on Facebook to “Save the Teacher’s Cottage”. We need to raise $40,000 by April 9, 2014, in order to successfully begin the project of moving the cottage to its new location, salvaging the structure and stones from the building, and beginning preliminary site prep work at its new location fronting on the old Columbia Middle School/John Pierce Blanchard High School property on Columbia Road. Your monetary gifts are tax-deductible. Time is of the essence for this project. Please consider joining us in this.
Rob Nordan, “Save the Teacher’s Cottage” committee