The Historical Society honored four historic property owners for their outstanding work in historic preservation.
This year’s recipients were Southview Cemetery, Edgewater Hall, Free Home Traditions and A.W Roberts and Sons General Store.
The awards are given to encourage communities to retain and honor these historic sites, because it gives residents a sense of place — which is critical in maintaining a unique identity in suburban Atlanta.
Also at the awards banquet, the Historical Society named Sharron Hunt the 2013 Volunteer of the Year.
Hunt serves on the Board of Directors, and is the Chair of the Education Committee.
She was responsible for the inaugural “Local History for Local Teachers” staff development course, hosted by the Historical Society and Cherokee County School System.
She also authored a comprehensive instructional guide for students visiting the History Museum and guides student groups through the museum and Historic Courthouse. She is working this year to develop traveling history “trunks” or exhibits that will be available to local schools based on Georgia Performance Standards, and volunteers every week in the Museum.
“A volunteer like Sharron Hunt is the dream of every nonprofit director. She has boundless energy, innovative ideas, is connected with many community groups, and has a passion for helping people,” said Historical Society Executive Director Stefanie Joyner.
Gail Roos was honored as the Cherokee County History Museum Docent of the Year.
Roos volunteers regularly in the History Museum and was the co-chair of the 2012 Canton Historic Homes Tour. She also works regularly in the archives, transcribing historic documents and cataloging records.
“She has an amazing attitude and takes the most mundane task with a smile,” Joyner said.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION AWARDS
Edgewater Hall, Canton
Augustus Coggins built this brick Georgian Revival home, designed by architect Francis Smith, in 1922. The property was called Crescent Farm and the home was Edgewater Hall. Edgewater Hall was later owned by the Wood and Pope families; it has also served as the Canton City Hall and a bank.
In 2012, Dr. Donna Haley purchased the house for her office and made many structural upgrades including replacing damaged roofs and gutters, matching exterior trim and installing appropriate light fixtures.
The kitchen walls were returned to their original brick and hardwood floors throughout the house were preserved. Dr. Haley has done extensive research on the property and frequently hosts educational tours. Work has also begun to restore the former cook’s house on the property.
Southview Cemetery, Canton
Once known as New Canton Cemetery, Southview Cemetery’s earliest recorded burial is from 1866.
The city of Canton along with volunteer efforts have recently completed many needed improvements including restoration and stabilization of an eroding dirt bank. Water lines and garbage receptacles were installed, as well as clearing of debris and cleaning and repairing headstones.
A survey was completed of current burials and an extensive ordinance established for future use.
Frances Purcell House-Free Home Traditions, Free Home
The historic building was built circa 1900 as a residence for the Purcell family. In 1984, the Shelton family purchased the property and operates a home décor store, Free Home Traditions, from the building.
They have preserved many historic details including the original stained glass windows, original wood trim and floors, interior staircase and the original sash windows.
All of the fireplaces are intact and operable and the distinctive building is a landmark in the Free Home community.
A.W. Roberts and Sons General Store, Ball Ground
The A.W. Roberts and Sons General Store was built in 1911, and served as Ball Ground’s primary general store until 1970, when the family sold it.
It was then operated as an antique store through the early 1980s. It fell into disuse until being purchased in 2009. Bo and Cindy Pollard purchased it in 2010 and have made numerous steps in rehabilitating the property including installing new mechanical systems, repairing the original front doors and all of the windows.
The upstairs was returned to its original open floor plan with the tile ceiling removed and skylights restored.
The exterior brick has been repaired and repainted and a new roof installed. All of these changes were done according to the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation, for which the Pollards have received significant federal and state tax credits.