Columbia County's Colonial history likely won't be a new tourist attraction anytime soon.
Two years ago, several regional tourist officials started working on the 13th Colony Heritage Trail, which would mark as potential tourist destinations sites in Georgia that were significant during the Colonial era and Revolutionary War.
However, little progress seems to have been made to turn the trail into a reality.
"I haven't heard from these folks in a very long time," said Beda Johnson, director of the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The last information I had from anybody was that they were in the (inventory) phase."
Last year, an inventory of historically significant sites was completed, but it was not known last week whether any of those sites are in Columbia County.
"What you may have in Columbia County is not a battle, but you have churches and other buildings that can be part of this inventory and promotion," said Wilkes County Economic Development Director David Jenkins, who spearheaded much of the early efforts to establish the heritage trail.
At least two historically significant sites from the county's Colonial past might include the Appling home of William Few, who served in the Revolutionary War, signed the U.S. Constitution for Georgia and was one of the state's first U.S. senators; and Kiokee Baptist Church, which was established in 1772 and is the state's oldest ongoing Baptist church.
A slashed state budget because of the economic downturn temporarily dashed Jenkins' hopes of establishing a heritage trail any time soon, but he said efforts still are under way.
"We are pressing for that," he said. "We're working with state officials to rebuild that momentum."
But Jenkins could not provide a timeline as to when state funds might become available to continue marketing the trail.
As for Johnson, she said she is more focused on getting the county included as part of a Civil War heritage trail.
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