published Saturday, December 28th, 2013

Chattooga County marks 175th birthday today

Local historian Bill Barker talks about the early days of Summerville, Ga. The Summerville Commercial Historic District was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Boosters of the downtown area hope that the designation helps revitalization efforts.
Local historian Bill Barker talks about the early days of Summerville, Ga. The Summerville Commercial Historic District was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Boosters of the downtown area hope that the designation helps revitalization efforts.
Photo by John Rawlston.

Chattooga County, Ga., today will celebrate its septaquintaquinquecentennial -- which is the 10-syllable, proper way to say the county's 175th birthday.

The Chattooga County Historical Society will mark the big day with a founder's day celebration at 2 p.m. at the county courthouse at 10035 Commerce St. in downtown Summerville.

Historic documents will be on display, including books featuring some of the county's earliest marriages, wills and deeds along with an "estray book" from the 1870s in which lost and found farm animals were registered and "pistol toters" applications from the early 1900s were listed.

Also, today has been designated "Robert S. Baker Day" in honor of the man who wrote "Chattooga: The Story of a County and Its People."

An expert on Cherokee Indian history, Baker, 84, will speak and have copies of his book on hand.

"He's very interesting," historical society spokesman Brad Hayes said.

Hayes, a Trion resident, said he uses Baker's book as a reference when researching and writing about the county's history.

"It's one that I've used constantly," Hayes said.

The original act creating Chattooga County on Dec. 28, 1838, will be read aloud by Summerville attorney Arch Farrar.

"The president of the historical society lives next door to me and wanted to know if I'd read it," Farrar said. "They just asked me to come read it, and I told them I'd be glad to do it and participate in the 175th anniversary."

The event will feature music and refreshments. It's free of charge, and everyone is invited.

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6651.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.

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