Some Colonial Dames will recognize the historical significance of the Augusta Canal Headgates and their former keepers Saturday.
The Rev. Pierre Robert chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames of the XVII Century will dedicate a marker at the Lockkeeper's Cottage near the headgates at 10:30 a.m. at Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 3300 Evans to Locks Road.
"We've just been real excited about it," said Louise Henry, the president of the Colonial Dames chapter. "One of our aims is marking historical places."
The chapter placed a historical marker at the "haunted pillar" of the lower market on Broad Street at Fifth Street in Augusta in 1996. They dedicated a marker at Magnolia Cemetery in 2004.
Henry said the Lockkeeper's Cottage is not as old as most sites the Colonial Dames choose to recognize, but it played a large role in canal history.
"The significance was good because of the canal itself, the use and the fact that during that period, they were using the turbines to power the mills to be used for the cotton business," Henry said.
The cottage was built in the late 1800s and housed the lockkeeper and his family. The lockkeeper controlled water flow into the canal and allowed boats laden with tobacco and cotton to move freely between the Savannah River and canal, according to the Columbia County Web site.
"When the cotton mills started being built along the canal, they needed a source of power," Henry said.
In his spare time, the lockkeeper farmed and maintained the outlying buildings, including the dance pavilion, dining hall and barbecue pit.
The cottage now serves as the headquarters for the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau and is a state-certified visitor center.
One room of the cottage is arranged as if the lockkeeper still lived there to give visitors an idea of his daily life. A second room is dedicated to a pictorial history and several displays.
Henry said the dedication ceremony will include Dayton Sherrouse, the executive director of the Augusta Canal Authority, and a state Colonial Dames officer.
Refreshments will be provided, and RSVPs are requested. To register, contact the Visitor Center at (706) 868-3373 or e-mail email@example.com.
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