While many of us may be glad to leave 2020 behind, I wanted to take a minute to celebrate some of our community’s accomplishments this past year. We got quite a number of our goals completed despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Here are a few of the highlights!
In July, our group released a Guided Audio Tour of The Historic District!
This very entertaining mobile-based tour takes you off the beaten path into some of the more obscure parts of the park. If you haven’t taken the tour yet, please do! Our group put a lot of effort into historical research, writing scripts, recording audio voice-overs, and putting together the technology and GPS waypoints to create this new public service.
In the first few months after releasing it, over 430 people have downloaded the app, and over 1,328 tours have been taken!
This summer Ian Jewell erected an information kiosk at the Woolen Mill as part of his Eagle Scout project for Troop 772. This kiosk is very well constructed and designed to survive the elements. Information about the history of the mill is new to most visitors.
We adopted the mile of Concord Road that runs through Heritage Park and the Historic District in 2017. This year we organized a couple of clean-up days, walking the roads and trails in the district, keeping our park clean. Thanks to our volunteers!
In November, The Lamar Institute began field work for the Ruff’s Mill Battlefield Project. This involved controlled metal-detector surveys, ground-penetrating radar (GPR), test unit excavations, Human Remains Detection (HRD) dogs, pXRF analysis of bullets, and geocoding of Civil War earthworks still in existence. Lab analysis is still being done. Stay tuned for the full report and video when the project wraps up.
Annual Tree Planting – In October we planted two more October Glory Maple Trees along the entrance to the Silver Comet Trail. We had a lot of help from new friends from Boy Cub Scout Troop 772 and St. Benedict’s School. A grant from Constellation Energy covered most of the expenses for the trees.
In December we designed a park map and added it to the information kiosk at the mill. This detailed map shows the extent of the 300+ acre park, including hiking trails, parking lots, and historical elements.
We held our Annual Meeting via Zoom this year as a result of the pandemic. Technology enabled us to have a well-attended meeting, with people conferencing in from wherever they happened to be geographically.
In November, we held a Cemetery Preservation Workshop in the Ruff Family Cemetery. Ashley Shares led a hands-on workshop to teach our members techniques for maintaining the cemetery that we adopted the previous year. Several monuments were cleaned and straightened, and we developed plans for additional projects in 2021.
At our Annual Meeting, we elected a new Director to our Board, David Daniell. David brings a lot of experience to the board with his expertise in accounting. Coincidentally, he happens to be descended from a brother of Robert Daniell, one of the early settlers of this area who started the Concord Woolen Mill in the 1860s. Welcome David!
In 2020 we worked with our Commissioner to ensure that funding for Heritage Park was included in the 2022 SPLOST renewal. We got $100k ear-marked for Heritage Park improvements, and the SPLOST was passed in November.
In 2020, our District’s Commissioner was elected Chairwoman of the Board of Commissioners, becoming the first woman and the first African-American to lead Cobb County. Commissioner Cupid has been very involved in our community, supporting rehabilitation of the Covered Bridge and the Ruff’s Mill Battlefield Project. Congratulations Lisa Cupid!
Monique Sheffield has been elected to replace Commissioner Cupid for District 4. We look forward to working with her in serving Cobb County.