Some might think of it as an extension of Walton Way Extension. But actually calling it such - renaming Davis Road to Walton Way Extension - is another matter, one that was again revisited at a Nov. 28 committee meeting but quickly shot down by Columbia County officials.
The idea of changing the name of Davis Road to Walton Way Extension was presented to Columbia County by Richmond County planning officials in light of plans to widen Davis Road, said Jeff Browning, Columbia County's planning director.
Browning said the thought by Richmond County officials was that it might create more continuity on the road, but he also added that such a change would cause address changes for 22 parcels on Davis, thereby possibly causing complaints from business owners, and it would take away a name significant to the county's past.
After hearing that in the Nov. 28 planning and engineering services committee meeting, it didn't take the Columbia County commission long to vote against such a change.
"I think it's a lot of trouble and not worth the effort,'' Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said at Monday's meeting.
The Richmond County proposal wasn't the first time the idea of changing the name of Davis Road had been broached by Columbia County officials, though.
A proposal to have the name changed occurred in 1978. The idea eventually was voted down by the county's planning commission after hundreds of residents and business owners opposed it, saying a name change would no longer honor the person it is named after, Kate Davis. They also argued that it would cause added expenses to businesses, according to a March 3, 1978, edition of The Augusta Chronicle. The article stated that a business owner had requested the change, saying it would be a convenience to his customers.
The person Davis Road is named after was known throughout the county as running a general store from the 1920s to the 1970s at the corner of Washington and Davis roads, said Dorothy Ersin, an Evans resident who said she was reared by Davis.
Ersin said that Davis donated land to the county between Washington and Pleasant Home roads for the construction of a road, only asking that the road be named after her.
"That was the only request she made,'' she said.
Columbia County Probate Court Judge Pat Hardaway, who also serves on the Columbia County Historical Society, said she hopes the road's name will stay unchanged.
"We just don't want to lose our identity,'' she said.
Ersin said that there shouldn't be any reason for changing the road's name, adding that it hasn't caused any problems so far.
"Everybody knows where Davis Road is,'' she said.
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