A newly renovated park in Harlem was named in honor of a former mayor Saturday.
Harlem officials, accompanied by friends and family of the late Glenn Phillips, attended a dedication ceremony where a new arching sign bearing Phillips' name was unveiled at the park's entrance.
Glenn Phillips Memorial Park is on South Hicks Street behind the Harlem Woman's Club, next to the home where Phillips was raised.
Phillips, born in 1901, became Harlem's youngest mayor in 1925 and held the position for two years.
He was again elected mayor for a year in 1952.
In addition to his time as Harlem mayor, Phillips served a year as state senator for Columbia County in 1937, became Georgia's revenue commissioner for a year in 1947 and spent 28 years as a state representative.
State Sen. Bill Jackson, who as a young boy knew Phillips, said he wasn't one to brag about his accomplishments.
Jackson noted that the park will be used by "generations to come."
In the past several months, city officials have worked to ensure that the park be spruced up and revamped.
Improvements to the small park include new lighting that ties into the city's downtown area, a renovated gazebo and new landscaping.
The total project cost about $24,000, said former City Manager Jean Dove.
County Commissioner Scott Dean allocated $10,000 from his discretionary funds, she said.
Harlem Mayor Bobby Culpepper said at the ceremony that it's important to remember the city's rich past.
Phillips was the grandfather of Culpepper's wife, Linda. Several descendants of Phillips were present during the dedication.
Culpepper's son, Stacy, spoke to the crowd and recalled attending University of Georgia home games with his great-grandfather.
He said he would like to see the park used for things that Phillips liked to do: party, celebrate and relax.
"We hope it's something that everybody will come and use," the mayor said. "That's what it's all about."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.