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Contributed photo by David Boyle / Drawings of historic buildings in LaFayette by North LaFayette and Naomi Elementary students are displayed at the History Harvest on Sept. 21.

Like many recipes, the one for caramel icing passed down by Sheri Aldridge's grandmother has been tweaked over its decades of gracing the family's table. Aldridge, a Walker County resident, now uses it to top an egg-less, milk-free applesauce cake whose recipe came from a family friend from Montana.

This is part of her North Georgia heritage, and it's exactly the kind of thing Bandy Heritage Center Director Adam Ware is looking to add to the center, which is expanding at Dalton State College. He is working with local historical groups to further complete the mission of documenting life from "Chatsworth to Cloudland to Calhoun."

As Ware collects, he's often confronted with local citizens who don't think their histories are worthy of being featured.

"When I try to talk to people about material history here and growing the collection, a lot of people don't think something's historic if they were there for it or if they were a part of it the idea that history is something that happens extraordinarily elsewhere to other people," he said.

David Boyle, president of the Walker County Historical Society, said the expansive history of North Georgia brings in all kinds of items, including period clothing and antique furniture that can be preserved.

But Ware doesn't discount the personal histories passed from one generation to the next.

Considered a "living historian," he documents life experiences, collecting items like photographs or old city maps. And, of course, recipes.

As part of his increased efforts to keep track of the history of North Georgia, Ware collected family photographs and old documents at the "History Harvest" during the Marsh House's Heritage Day in late September.

Boyle uses Facebook as a way to create an accessible spot for preserving history digitally. Following the event, he posted Aldridge's recipe and story.

"[The internet] is a way to share the story of what [the items] mean to the family," said Boyle.

To submit items for consideration to add to the Bandy Heritage Center's collection, contact aware@daltonstate.edu.

Email Sabrina Bodon at sbodon@timesfreepress.com

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