After years of being in the planning stage, Columbia County's first comprehensive history book has finally made it to print.
About 800 copies of the book, To Seek a Newer World - A History of Columbia County, Ga. - were received recently by members of the Columbia County Historical Society. They are now being prepared for placement in Gibbs Library and several county schools.
"I'm just ecstatic about it," said Bill Blackard, a member of the historical society, who provided the illustrations for the book. "It's been a long time in the making. And the school board has already said they're going to purchase 100 of them."
Blackard said the new document - written by Gerald Smith, a professor at Paine College and a Columbia County resident - examines the county's first inhabitants, the Civil War and its aftermath, education, religion, towns and villages and business and industry.
"It's not a genealogy type book," Blackard said. "This is history."
But there will be a mention of some former county residents.
"It does have certain ones in there that were prominent," he said.
Blackard said the historical society is planning on having several book signings. One is scheduled for Dec. 8 at Waldenbooks in the Augusta Mall. Two others are being planned for December at Gibbs Library and possibly one at the county's old jailhouse in Appling, which the society recently renovated and moved into as an office.
"We might have one at the old jailhouse and have kind of a grand opening for the jail around Christmastime," Blackard said.
The goal will be to raise money from book proceeds for county historical projects.
"We're hoping to use the money to do jobs in the county, like restoring some of the cemeteries," Blackard said.
The book, which is a hardback, costs $25. Blackard said anyone interested in purchasing a book can call him at (706) 541-2356. The book also will be in Gibbs Library by early December.
WHAT: To Seek a Newer World - A History of Columbia County, Ga. book signing
WHEN: 1-4 p.m. Dec. 8
WHERE: Waldenbooks in the Augusta Mall
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