Lumpkin County Historical Society awarded 13 Certificates of Appreciation and the prestigious Madeleine K. Anthony Award at its April 12, 2012 meeting.
Winners (seated, from left) Cynthia Horne, Mary Sopko, Rosann Kent, Madeleine K. Anthony Award winner William W. Waldrop, Chris Worick and Jay Markwalter. (standing, from left) Branden Gipson, Lan and Andrea Lee, Rebecca Shirley, Joel Cordle, Manny Carvalho and Tim Ragland Not present but also receiving certificates of appreciation were Renita Roberts, Brandon Patrum, Unnamed Recipient, Paul Dunlap, and Stephen Collins.
Madeleine K Anthony Award
William W. Waldrop was awarded the Madeleine K. Anthony Award for his substantial contributions of time, talents, equipment, and experience to move the Diving Bell Project forward and advance information about how it was used.
Bill has been actively involved as part of the research team for the Chestatee River Diving Bell since the project began, and he has freely shared all the considerable information he has uncovered about the Loud family and their gold mining activity in North Georgia.
Bill, a professional salvage diver, drove to Dahlonega for the huge July 31, 2010, Diving Bell Fund-Raiser. While he was in town, he made a brief underwater exploration of the diving bell boat “Chestatee.” At that time he noted that a huge tree stump and its massive root ball was covering the down-river end of the boat and would impede any real efforts to explore and map the vessel.
In September of 2011, when it appeared that the autumn rains would again raise the level of the Chestatee before any further exploration of the Loud Boat was done, Bill took leave time off from work and again drove to Dahlonega from his home near Richmond, Virginia, this time bringing extensive equipment needed, including a hydraulic chain saw, to remove the root ball, humorously referred to as the Medusa head. Bill, who calls himself an underwater mechanic, spent all day Friday in the river sawing off branches. Then he attached two airlift bags to prevent any unnecessary weight on the hull of the boat as the stump rolled over the edge.
With the root ball finally out of the way, Bill spent all the next day dredging to remove enough of the over-burden to view the boat that had spent so many years (1876 to 1982) buried in sand and forgotten. Near the bow he uncovered a set of gears and shaft in the center, which he surmised must have been used to facilitate the raising and lowering of the bell in its well hole. Even though the port side of the boat was buried under a collapsed river bank, Bill was able to determine that the vessel was 17 feet wide.
The third and final 10-hour day was spent doing more dredging and working with a device called a magnetometer to locate any iron equipment buried in the area. The instrument did not show anything large on the boat itself but indicated the presence of a large iron object, possibly an anchor, slightly upriver from the boat. Unfortunately, it was buried too deeply in sand to uncover in Bill’s remaining time in Dahlonega.
Bill’s efforts laid the groundwork for an underwater video of the boat filmed by Gainesville, GA, diver Stephen Collins from The Dive Shop on McEver, and a subsequent visit to the site by Chris McCabe, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Deputy State Archaeologist - Underwater, Savannah, GA.
Certificates of Appreciation
Andrea & Alan Lee - For finding the century-old Lipscomb Drug Co. counter in the basement of their building, and putting it back into service at The Embroidery Shop. To reveal the original hardwood floor and ceiling of the building, they removed the drop-ceiling and carpeting, and had the flooring restored.
Appalachian Studies Center represented by Roseann Kent - for its ongoing presentation of research done by students about Lumpkin County history, specifically the program entitled, “This Land - These People: Art of Storytelling in Words and Pictures.”
Chris Worick in recognition of his continuing research projects to ferret out accurate information about our history. For representing us on FaceBook by posting items of historic interest, answering people’s questions and fielding the inevitable doubters and nay-sayers to provide, as accurately as possible, information about our history and LCHS projects. (You do not have to be a member of FaceBook to access the site. Type in: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lumpkin-County-Historical-Society/129692047140389). For his new book, “Acting Like Crazy Men.” For his assuming the Chairmanship of the Diving Bell Committee and keeping all informed about the progress of its pavilion and information gained about its origins and its boat.
Deborah Smith - For republishing “Observations from a Peak in Lumpkin County” by W. B. Townsend, and making it available for sale to benefit the Lumpkin County Library.
Jay Markwalter with the Chamber of Commerce’s Tourism Office in recognition of his ongoing efforts to promote Lumpkin County and its rich heritage through the Dahlonega Visitors Center and Chamber of Commerce Tourism Office. His contributions have increased the tourists’ interest in the history of Lumpkin County.
Joel Cordle & Rebecca Shirley of the Downtown Development Authority for bringing the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Ramble to Dahlonega, and arranging their entire hospitality package, including information, food, tours, and meetings.
Manny Carvalho in recognition of his creating the Lumpkin County Historical Society web site (http://www.lumpkinhistory.org/). For his perseverance in recording and publishing our programs on the site. For posting our “Now and Then” newsletters. For posting interesting local history and adding significant links to information about Lumpkin County history. His continuous maintenance and updates have resulted in persons from as far away as Europe searching the LCHS web site for information. This web site may well become the most comprehensive site available for information about Lumpkin County history. Also in recognition of the assistance he gave Bill Waldrop dredging sand off the diving bell boat and helping to map out the dimensions of the boat.
Mary Sopko - For her work to preserve and transcribe ledgers kept by Professor Elias Benton Vickery in late 1800’s and early 1900’s, contributing to our understanding of life during those years. Cynthia Horne and Brandon Gipson were acknowledged as people who were a big help to Mary in this effort.
Paul Dunlap, Assistant Professor of Visual Arts, Photography, Department of Visual Arts at NGCSU - For his reproduction of 15 historic photos he created from prints from the Vanishing Georgia collection in the Georgia Archives in conjunction with the Appalachian Studies Center’s “This Land - These People: Art of Storytelling in Words and Pictures” program.
Unnamed Recipient - In recognition of his excellent and comprehensive work and proposals for preserving Mt. Hope Cemetery, including his proposal to the City of Dahlonega on how to make the cemetery an attractive tourist destination.
Renita Roberts and Brandon Patrum - For conducting the 8th grade Essay Contest held by the Historical Society that encourages young people to delve intothe history of their own town to spark their interest in learning from the past so they might appreciate the value of preserving for the future.
Stephen Collins from The Dive Shop on McEver - In recognition of his outstanding video of the Diving Bell Boat, “Chestatee.” Stephen’s efforts provided a never before seen look at the 1876 shipwreck to persons around the world. He was made aware of the ongoing excavation of the Diving Bell Boat by Walt Garlinghouse.
Tim Ragland - For contributing numerous articles about Lumpkin County citizens’ participation in the events surrounding the Civil War to The Dahlonega Nugget in his Civil War Diary column.
Essay Contest Winners
Three 8th graders from Lumpkin County Middle School received cash awards and a Certificate of Appreciation for essays on aspects of local history. From left, Arlette Rojas essay “Old Lumpkin County Jail”discussed the old jail musem; Katie Lynn Crowel's, “Just a Stone Away” was about the legend of Trahlyta and her grave; Quendrim Haxhiu's assay, about Madeleine K. Anthony’s life, was titled "Madeleine K. Anthony (1903-1989).”
Photos above are courtesy of Sharon Hall, Dahlonega Nugget.