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Historic Preservation: Saving Our Roots

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Charlotte J. Nash, Chairman
Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

During Gwinnett’s Bicentennial Celebration, I’m grateful for the pioneers who built the foundations for today’s Gwinnett County. And I’m glad that some tangible evidence of those early days has been preserved.

In 1984, Marvin and Phyllis Hughes bought one of the oldest houses in Gwinnett to save it from demolition. It was built around 1827 northwest of Lawrenceville by Isaac Adair. They took it apart board by board, carefully labeling and moving each piece and restoring any that were rotten.

In 2000, the Isaac Adair House joined the National Register of Historic Places at a new location 2.5 miles southeast of Lawrenceville. By 2008, that spot was in the path of the Sugarloaf Parkway extension. The County bought the house and moved it again, this time to a site next to the Lawrenceville Female Seminary.

The Isaac Adair House is now open to visitors for tours, community meetings, and events. It’s a wonderful place to learn about life in Gwinnett in the early 19th century.

The County’s Community Services department has inducted 18 groups and individuals into a new Preservation Hall of Fame. With the Gwinnett Historical Restoration and Preservation Board, they honored preservation efforts that allow us to see and touch remnants of an earlier way of life.

The Hutchins, Livsey, Nash, Hudgens, and Williams families were recognized for their contributions. Honored groups included the Gwinnett Historical Society, the Hooper-Renwick Legacy Preservation Committee, the United Ebony Society, and the Historical Restoration and Preservation Board.

Individual honorees included Alice McCabe, Annette Williams Tucker, James Flanagan, James D’Angelo, Marvin & Phyllis Hughes, Marvin Nash Worthy, Robert Bowman, and Wayne Hill. I was humbled to be one of the recipients for my role in establishing preservation grants and acquiring historic sites during my years as finance director and county administrator.

Summer is a great time for exploring our community. There are so many interesting historical sites right here in Gwinnett, including the Fort Daniel site that existed before Gwinnett County was founded.

The Bicentennial website, www.gwinnett200.com, features an interactive historic site locator that includes buildings, museums, markers, monuments, churches, and cemeteries. There’s also a complete calendar of bicentennial-themed events taking place this year.

Preservation efforts in Gwinnett improve our quality of life, offer educational opportunities, recall 200 years of our history, and ensure that important resources will be available for the next generation of Gwinnettians. I encourage everyone to visit some of these amazing places!