CANTON, GA (August 11, 2023) – History Cherokee held its Historic Preservation Awards at the Timbers on Etowah on August 10. The annual event honors owners of historic properties in Cherokee County for their outstanding work in historic preservation. Award recipients receive a plaque to display at their property recognizing the accomplishment. This year, the following six properties and property owners were recognized:
Rusk Family Cemetery, Woodstock
The Rusk Cemetery was established in 1841 and has been cared for by the family since then. The family has maintained the headstones, built a fence and gate to secure the property, and established a benevolent fund to ensure that it is taken care of for future generations.
Roberts Lake Dam and Power Generation Facility, Ball Ground
Roberts Marble Company built the dam in 1923 on Long Swamp Creek to provide electric power for their marble finishing mill. It was later sold to Georgia Power and destroyed in the 1930s. The City of Ball Ground recognized the historical significance of the ruins and acquired the site. They have stabilized the structure and built walking trails so that its history can be enjoyed by the public.
Dot’s Fine Wine & Craft, Ball Ground
Celebrating the time the building was operated by Dorothy Byrd as a restaurant, Todd Martin and Cindy Shera have created a new destination for downtown Ball Ground with Dot’s Fine Wine & Craft. They showcase historic features such as doors, brick walls and windows in the new shop.
Downtown Kitchen Building, Canton
The building now known as Downtown Kitchen was built in the early 1900s. Over time, the structure housed stores and even a mortuary. When Chef Zach Kell noticed the building in 2003, it was a three-story brick shell with no roof and a dirt floor. Over the years, Zach, along with his parents, Bill and Tina, rehabilitated the structure into a restaurant and residential loft.
Wilson-Clark Home, Canton
Originally built by the Forrester family in 1955, this brick ranch retains many original features such as the hardwood floors, doors, hardware, bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Cory Wilson and John Clark have celebrated the home’s existing features while making a few modern additions.
Cox-Luman Homeplace, Waleska
The two-story farmhouse is believed to have been constructed circa 1860 and features the original stone foundation and chimney, hand-hewn log walls and fireplace mantles. The Cox-Luman family have lovingly cared for the property since 1906, including the circa 1840s barn and other outbuildings.
The Historic Preservation Award recipients are determined by a committee of volunteers who spend time over several months visiting nominated sites, talking with the property owners, and learning about the sites. The 2023 Historic Preservation Committee is chaired by Beth Ingram and includes Sylvia Bowles, Kathy Day, Bob Gamble, and Frank Niemeir.
History Cherokee also honored longtime volunteer Chuck Douglas with the Judson Roberts Lifetime Service Award. The award’s namesake was a native of Ball Ground and a monumental force for historic preservation in Cherokee County. Douglas was honored with this award for his dedication to historic preservation, which began in the early 1980s when he helped Roberts raise money to preserve and renovate the Rock Barn.
This year’s History Preservation Awards were sponsored by Mark and Peggy Moore and Tri-State Communications.
About History Cherokee
History Cherokee operates the Cherokee County History Center and the Historic Rock Barn. History Cherokee’s mission is the collection, preservation, and interpretation of Cherokee County history.
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