Preservation Posts - April 2017

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A Message from the Director

by: Dr. David Crass,
Division Director & Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer


    Dr. Crass' Column will return in May.

The CCC at A.H. Stephens State Park

Historic Photo of CCC Tower

by: Josh Headlee,
      Senior Preservation Technician

Few people alive today can know first-hand the hard times of the Great Depression. 

The collapse of the Stock Market in October 1929 was the beginning of a domino-effect that propelled the nation into an economic depression the likes of which had never been experienced. With little warning, people suddenly lost their jobs, millions in bank savings, homes and farms, and were ruined financially. 

But with the election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his promised New Deal, in 1933, things slowly began to turn around. To put people back to work and earning a steady wage, the Federal government started several work programs, including one known as the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC.  

The CCC was a joint program of the National Park Service and the War Department (or Defense Department of the 1930s). Young men were recruited to work on federal- and state-owned lands like military units. The men were given on-the-job training in various skills and trades that would allow them to find gainful employment outside of the government. In the process, these units created dams, bridges, and roads helping to restore and protect the nation’s infrastructure. They also constructed lodges, lakes, camp areas, and other recreational features that can be found in many of our state parks to this day.  

One such unit, Company 478, was stationed at what is today A.H. Stephens State Historic Park. The camp existed between 1933 and 1935. In just a couple of years, several buildings on the park, including a bath house (which is the park office, today), a small lake, picnic shelters, and a spring house were constructed. A huge white-washed wood sided tower was another product of the CCC unit. 

Found in the middle of what is today the park’s campground, the tower served two major functions. Built high enough so that it was above the trees, the room at the very top of the tower served as a look-out for fire control. The tower also served as a water tower. Directly below the “fire tower” room is a large water tank illustrating this other function. The tower fed water to buildings within the camp and likely provided clean water to the local civilian population in the town of Crawfordville. The unique tower was also built with rooms in it, including a restroom facility, storage rooms, an office, and possible living quarters for the fire-control man.

Today, the tower has undergone an extensive renovation. Many features have been restored to how they would have looked when the tower was constructed by the CCC. Other modifications allow easier access for visitors into the upper levels of the tower. The entire tower has been made into a museum honoring the CCC, and particularly Company 478, which helped to create A.H. Stephens State Historic Park.

The coming of World War II in the early 1940s helped put an end to the Great Depression and also spelled the end of the CCC, as most of the men in units found themselves recruited into full-fledged military units to fight the Axis powers in the Pacific and Europe.  

** Pictured below are a couple of large metal parts of an old truck from the 1930s. They have been preserved and will be featured in the museum. These items were found on the park and are known to have been used by the CCC unit that was at the park. Like the tower itself, these items, and many others found in the museum, are a reminder to all of us about the oft-forgotten CCC and the hard work and dedication that they put forth to help create so many of the beautiful parks we all enjoy today.   


Parts of a historic truck

Staff Profile: Christy Atkins

Christy Atkins with her family

by: Christy Atkins,
      National Register Historian


Christy joined the Historic Preservation Division in March 2017 as National Register Historian.

In her role, Christy reviews eligibility submissions, reviews and prepares National Register nominations, presents nominations to the Georgia National Register Review Board, provides professional expertise in Georgia history and historical development, helps develop techniques for identifying, documenting and evaluating historic resources in Georgia, and conducts site visits and participates in special projects as available.

Christy brings preservation experience from several internships including the National Historic Landmark program at the National Park Service, the Southern Labor Archives in the Special Collections at Georgia State University Library, Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, and Lord Aeck Sargent’s preservation studio. She also has 13 years of design experience, having been an Interior Designer for several commercial Architecture & Design firms in the Atlanta area. She holds a Master of Heritage Preservation, Historic Preservation from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Science, Interior Design from Georgia Southern University. She and her husband are natives of Tucker, Georgia and have moved back to raise their own family there.


How did you become involved with historic preservation?

I think my interest in all things historic started very early, now that I look back. My parents grew up in a small city called Kinmundy, in southern Illinois, with wonderful old houses, including a 1850s house that my mother grew up in with a lot of antique furniture and objects. I loved going to visit every summer! My mother used to “drag” me, as I like to tease her, to historic houses, buildings, forts and monuments all of the time while growing up. I’ve always been drawn to old buildings and objects. Later, while working as an interior designer, I was able to experience preservation projects that my firm was working on. I was immediately hooked, and when I had the opportunity to change course a little in life, I decided that preservation was where I wanted to be. 

What do you like most about your job? 

I love that every day my job is different! I have already had the opportunity to see and learn about so many unique and interesting properties, as well as the fascinating history that goes along with them. I also feel lucky to be surrounded by very knowledgeable and enjoyable people.    

What do you like to do outside of the office?

Outside of the office, I’m usually hanging out with my family or volunteering with various groups in Tucker, when I have time. I’m a homebody that likes to travel, and I definitely make the effort to “drag” my kids to historic sites as well! 

Christy Atkins

News and Announcements

  • Rose Hill Listed in the National Register
    The Lockerly Arboretum, known historically as Rose Hill, has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Press Release

  • 2017 Historic Preservation Division Photo Contest
    It is that time again! This May, Georgia HPD will host its annual photo contest to celebrate National Historic Preservation Month, and Historic Preservation and Archaeology Months in Georgia. The 8th Annual Georgia Historic Preservation Division Photo Contest, themed "Georgia Roadside Heritage," will highlight historic resources that were established in the mid-20th century due to the spread of automobiles and roadways in Georgia. The contest will call for photographs from around the state that document historic resources built to cater to automobile travelers, like roadside restaurants, motels, automobile showrooms, recreation and amusement facilities, stores, signage, drive-in theaters, gas stations and more. Contest detail will be available Monday, May 1, on HPD's website.

  • 2017 Centennial Farm application deadline EXTENDED
    The deadline to apply for recognition as a Georgia Centennial Farm has been extended to June 1, this year. The Georgia Centennial Farm Program was developed in 1993 to distinguish family farms that have contributed to preserving Georgia's agricultural history by maintaining working farms for more than 100 years. The program has recognized 504 farms around the state. Information about the program, and directions to apply can be found on the Centennial Farms website

Upcoming Events

May - Historic Preservation and Archaeology Month events

In celebration of Historic Preservation and Archaeology Months in Georgia, a number of events will be held throughout the state, in May. The Society for Georgia Archaeology has created a brochure highlighting many of the upcoming events related to archaeology! Information here.


May 9 - Advisory County on Historic Preservation: Section 106 Training

The "Section 106 Essentials" is a two-day course designed for those who are new to federal historic preservation compliance or those who want a refresher on the Section 106 regulations and review process. This course explains the requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, which applies any time a federal, federally assisted, or federally approved activity might affect a property listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Information here.


May 18 - Statewide Historic Preservation Conference - Madison
The Georgia Historic Preservation Division (HPD) is happy to announce the return of the Statewide Historic Preservation Conference! The Historic Preservation Division, in partnership with the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, the Georgia Alliance of Preservation Commissions, and the City of Madison, invites you to Madison for the 2017 Statewide Historic Preservation Conference, May 18-20. This conference brings together preservationists, architects, architectural historians, archaeologists, city and county administrators, city and county council members, genealogists, historians, historic preservation commissioners, and planning and preservation students from across Georgia for two days of informative presentations, interactive field sessions, and unique networking opportunities. For additional information, visit the 2017 Statewide Conference website.

June 10 - GGS Genealogy Picnic - Morrow
The Georgia Genealogical Society will host its 2nd Annual Summer Genealogy Picnic in Morrow, Ga. on Saturday, June 10th. Caroline Crowell and Allison Hudgins, both Reference Archivists from the Georgia Archives, will focus on the archive's new online catalog and research tips using the manuscript collections; and Joanne Smalley, a GGS member, will give a presentation from the perspective of a researcher. The event is free and open to the public. A traditional summer sandwich lunch will be available for a donation. Information here.

Would you like to see an event listed? Email


Want to Contribute?

Submit a Guest Article

Preservation Posts is published to inform the public about historic preservation issues and developments from the perspective of the SHPO. In keeping with that purpose, HPD has inaugurated a policy of occasionally soliciting guest articles that are directly related to our statutorily mandated programs. Please note that we do not publish opinion pieces. We also retain editorial control as well as the right to reject any submission.

To pitch or submit a piece, or ask questions concerning an idea, email HPD Public Affairs Coordinator Jeff Harrison at

Georgia has 83,657 contributing National Register properties as of April 30, 2017