Historic Tourism Project for Hart County

updated 8-25-09
Dear Historical Tourism Taskforce Members,

Wanted to share the news that Ed Jackson, who many of you met at our first meeting, will unfortunately not be able to work with us. Ed’s position with Archway  was eliminated as a result of recent budget cutbacks at UGA.

However, as Nancy Hardigree and I have been talking, we decided to proceed anyway, and hope you will join us.

At our first meeting, the group seemed to express interest in a downtown walking tour as a first step. Nancy, Nancy Clark, and I have met to get the ball rolling on the walking tour. If you are able to help with this project, please give Nancy H, Nancy C, or me a call. We are currently recruiting for a UGA intern to help us.

A second project this fall is collecting oral histories – memories and stories – about Hart County and Hartwell from long-time residents. This project will record and preserve the most important part of Hart County: the stories, memories, life experiences, and voices of people who live here. We need your help! Two classes/groups of students from UGA will interview and record the personal stories and memories of community members for the future.

  • One class would like to interview long-time Hart County/Hartwell residents over age 70; these recordings will be audio recorded and preserved for current and future generations to enjoy.
  • The second class would like to interview long-time Hart County/Hartwell residents with experience in farming/agriculture or the cotton/textile industry; these interviews will be preserved for the future through a mixture of photographs, recordings, or documentation.

If you are willing to share your time and experiences with a student or know someone who might be, please let me know. The interviews will be informal and about everyday events and things that have occurred in your life – there are no right or wrong answers, and you can skip any question you want!

Additionally, a student will be developing a web site for the Hart County Historical Society this fall. This web site will provide information about the HCHS and showcase Hart County/Hartwell history. We hope to be able to share the oral history interviews online on the new web site.

Please let me know if you can help with the walking tour or would be willing to share your memories and stories about Hart County/Hartwell.

All the best,

Ilka Decker
Hart County Archway Partnership



For more information contact Nancy Hardigree grancy3031@comcast.net

Thanks to the 30 of you who attended our Historic Tourism meeting.  I know that many of you had conflicts so this is an update of the meeting with some additional information…

Ed Jackson, Archway Senior Associate presented a power point presentation illustrating the website resources, downloadable podcasts, and Google Map applications available through the Archway Historic Tourism division.  Ed informed us of the importance of getting Hart County’s tourism data on the web.  He also discussed the increased interest in Historic Tourism and cited the statistic that for every $1 spent to promote tourism, there is a direct return to the state and the community of $7.74 within 90 days. The importance of having historic properties inventoried for economic development was pointed out. 

Attendees indicated their area of interest form the following categories:  Genealogy, Architecture/Historic Preservation, Cemeteries, African American History, Native American History, Civil War History and Veterans, and Walking Tour.  The list is attached, as is the member list.  Please feel free to add you name to a focus group, or suggest other interested participants.

  1. The memorial benches will be incorporated into this project.

The other priority will be documenting and inventorying our historic sites. Each focus group is urged to begin identifying sites that pertain to their focus area.  For example, the African American group needs to identify the sites pertaining to their history.  The Civil War group needs to identify the skirmishes that occurred in the county and the Civil War veteran’s graves, etc.  Architectural, Cemeteries, and Native American groups need to inventory their sites, as well.

We are in the process of appointing chairmen and setting up meeting times.  Archway has authorized the purchase of a scanner and the use of interns to help us scan our pictures, documents and other data.  We are hoping to begin scanning in June.  Watch for more information on times and locations.

This is a very comprehensive and exciting project that we have agreed to implement.  We will all learn more about our community and heritage and will be able to share our Hart County with the rest of the world.  Watch for more information soon and please contact me if you have questions or comments.

Thanks again for your interest,

Nancy Hardigree

University of Georgia – Hart County Archway Partnership


Historical Tourism Initiative Proposal



1. Develop a Hart County Online Resources website. 

 2. Develop a historical tourism task force consisting of representatives of local societies, libraries, organizations, agencies, and individuals knowledgeable in Hart County history and genealogy.

 3. Working with historical tourism task force, compile an inventory of buildings, homes, national register sites, markers, monuments, cemeteries, repositories of records (e.g., land, marriages, and wills), and other sites within Hart County that might be of interest to tourists interested in history and architecture.

 4. Photograph and record GPS coordinates for each site on the historical tourism inventory.

 5. Develop online Google Earth historical tourism maps of Hart County, such as:

a. Downtown Hartwell Walking Tour.

 b. Driving Tour.

 c. Historical Markers and Plaques Tour.

 d. Monuments and Memorials Tour.

 e. Cemeteries Tour.

 f. National Register of Historic Places Tour.

 g. African American History Tour.

 6. Develop regional online historical tourism maps for sites within an hour’s drive of Hart County on subjects such as the Civil War, historic sites, courthouses, museums, and railroad memorabilia.

 7. Develop a podcast for a downtown Hartwell walking tour, and a podcast/DVD for a driving tour of Hart County.

 8. Work with the task force to develop a timeline of Hart County history.

 9. Working with state and national archives, libraries, postcard collectors, and online sources of images (e.g., Vanishing Georgia), develop a digital image collection of photos, postcards, maps, documents, artifacts, and other visual evidence of Hart County history.

 10. Using the digital image collection, develop a PowerPoint presentation on the history of Hart County.

 11. Work with the Hart County Chamber of Commerce to enhance the story of Hart County’s history on the Chamber’s website.

 12. Make recommendations on tourism signage.

 13. In conjunction with the Savannah River Valley Genealogical Society, National Archives, and Georgia Archives, help develop a Hart County Genealogical Resources PowerPoint presentation and website.

 14. Conduct staff development workshops for Hart County social studies teachers on the history of the county and its cities.

 15. Provide the Hart County Chamber of Commerce with an extensive collection of high-resolution digital images related to buildings, houses, markers, monuments, and other sites of historical interest for future promotional use.

 16. Coordinate Hart County’s historical tourism initiative with the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

 17. Update the Georgia Mountains Regional Development Center on the status of the Hart County historical tourism initiative.

 18. Assist in planning a strategy for Hart County to maximize historical tourism during Georgia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015).

 19. Assist Hart County to identify worthy subjects and sites for new historical markers.

 20. Assist the Hart County Chamber of Commerce to identify statewide organizations (particularly non-profit corporations) that have boards of directors that must meet periodically during the year, and to develop a strategy to market Hart County as a convenient and attractive site for these meetings.

 Ed Jackson  •  Senior Public Service Associate  •  University of Georgia Archway Partnership

edjack@uga.edu  • (706) 714-8036

Published on June 15, 2009 at 9:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

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