DALTON, Ga. -- Loveman Lane is in line for a name change, but residents say it's one of the only things left in Dalton honoring famous poet Robert Loveman.
Mr. Loveman, who died in 1923, lived much of his life in the city.
More than 30 residents attended an appeal hearing Tuesday afternoon hoping to keep the street named after him from changing to Castle Road in the city's readdressing project.
BY THE NUMBERS
* 16: Street name changes appealed
* 8: Appeals approved
* 6: Appeals denied
* 2: Undecided, including Loveman Lane and Crown Circle
Source: Dalton Fire Department Chief Bruce Satterfield
Denis Donegan said changing Loveman Lane "would be a second blow to Robert Loveman" because the poet's home at the corner of Waugh Street and Thornton Avenue was torn down.
"The loss of his street name coming 13 years after the loss of the Loveman home would be tragic," said Mr. Donegan. "If we lose it, we lose it forever."
Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield, a member of the appeals board along with Public Works Director Benny Dunn and Police Chief Jason Parker, told the crowd some confusing addresses are being changed to improve emergency vehicles' safety and response times. Loveman Lane changes arbitrarily into North and South Castle roads, he said.
Loveman Lane has about 19 homes, compared with about 45 on both North and South Castle roads. Under National Emergency Number Association standards, changes are made to affect the fewest people, Mr. Satterfield said.
Residents made several suggestions, such as renaming the entire street Loveman-Castle or simply changing Castle to Loveman.
Even a few residents of Castle Road said they'd rather see Loveman Lane preserved.
Loveman Lane resident Valerie Jackson reminded the panel of Mr. Loveman's acclaimed work, including the poem "Georgia," used in a song that was the official state song until it was replaced by "Georgia on My Mind" in 1979, and "The Rain Song," a poem that students memorize in school and that entertainer Al Jolson used as the basis for his song "April Showers."
"The last thing I want to see go is the name of Robert Loveman," she said.
Dalton residents were notified of proposed name changes so they'd have a chance to appeal, Mr. Satterfield said. The board will make a decision within 30 days and notify Loveman Lane residents.
Address changes don't go into effect until residents receive official notice from GeoComm, the Minnesota-based company heading the countywide readdressing project, he said.