Georgians Newsletter

Table of Contents

Did you know?

Dr. Charles Herty of Milledgeville discovered a method of making paper out of pine tree pulp in 1867.

Georgia's population in 1776 was around 40,000. Today nearly 9 million people live in Georgia.

Please forward to your family and friends. Summer is a great time to explore Georgia! We appreciate your comments, and article ideas. And please visit us at Together, we can accomplish amazing things!

Atlanta Metro


If you’re looking for an old fashioned, small town parade to enjoy with the family, then look no further than Dunwoody, Georgia. Located just North East of Atlanta, this community draws big crowds for its annual parade.

This year the Dunwoody Homeowners Association (DHA) expects 2,000 people will participate in the parade and over 25,000 spectators will enjoy the festivities as the parade marches down its two mile route. It’s best to claim your viewing spot by 8:45 a.m. and be sure to bring lawn chairs, and a cooler.

The Parade starts promptly, rain or shine, at 9:30 AM on Monday, July 4, 2005. The parade begins in the assembly area of the Mt. Vernon Shopping Center, proceeds west on Mt. Vernon Road, right on Dunwoody Village Parkway, left at last street before Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and ends in the Dunwoody Village parking lot.

The celebration continues in Dunwoody Village with an awards ceremony, live entertainment, attractions, and great food. Truly a memorable family event!

Grand Marshals for the parade this year are Peggy and Bill Grant. The Grants have donated countless hours and dollars to Dunwoody philanthropic programs over the years. Peggy and Bill consistently contribute to the beautification of Dunwoody and are owners of Bill Grant Homes, Inc – a luxury home builder.

Participation in the parade is free and applications can be found on the Dunwoody Homeowners’ Association (DHA) website or the Dunwoody Crier's website More information is available by contacting the Dunwoody Homeowners Association (DHA) at 770-817-8100. Written by Jay D. Clark.

Georgia Coast


The first English Settlers arrived on St. Simons Island under the leadership of General James Edward Oglethorpe in February 1736. In March, the Reverend Charles Wesley, M.A., who also served as Secretary for Indian affairs and Chaplain to General Oglethorpe entered his ministry at Frederica. From 1736 until 1766 services were conducted by John Wesley, Georgia Whitfield and other clergy appointed by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.

The Wesleys and other ministers were ordained clergymen of the Church of England, by whom the Episcopal Church in the United States was nurtured. After the return of the Wesleys to England, the evangelical revival led to the emergence of the Methodist Church, in which John Wesley had the principle role. Three of the most outstanding religious leaders of the 18th Century were associated with the establishment of the church on St. Simons Island.

In 1752, the trustees surrendered their Charter to the King and Georgia became a Royal Colony. In 1758, the Province was divided into parishes and Frederica and St. Simons were designated St. James Parish.

Following the Revolutionary War, the descendents of early settlers petitioned for a charter and were incorporated by act of the State Legislature on December 22, 1808 as THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN THE TOWN OF FREDERICA, called Christ Church. Land from the town of Frederica was also GIVEN, GRANTED AND SECURED TO AND FOR THE USE AND BENEFIT OF THE SAID EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

The first church on the present location was erected in 1820 and the congregation worshipped in it until the outbreak of the Civil War. Union troops destroyed much of the church. Windows had been broken, pews smashed and burned, the roof was heavily damaged and inside the soldiers had destroyed both the altar and organ. The Black Banks plantation house was used as a Sunday meeting place for the Christ Church Parish.

In the 1870s the Dodge Lumber Mills began to play a major role in the economy of St. Simons Island. A young Anson Greene Phelps Dodge fell in love with St. Simons, and became an active member of Christ Church. Anson’s wife, Ellen, died in India while they were on their honeymoon trip around the world. He returned to St. Simons and built the present-day Christ Church as a memorial to Ellen. Her body was entombed under the chancel of the church.

Anson Dodge attended theological seminary and in 1884 became the first rector at the new Christ Church. He founded the Dodge Home for Boys Orphanage, and was instrumental in creating other churches in the coastal area. This included the St. James Church that was built at the lumber mills (now Lovely Lane Chapel). When he died in 1898, Ellen's body was moved and the two were buried together at the cemetery next to Christ Church.

The present church building is cruciform in design, with a trussed Gothic roof. Stained glass windows, given as memorials, commemorate the life of Christ and the early history of the Church on St. Simons Island.

In Christ Church yard are buried former rectors of Christ Church, the families of the early settlers and of plantation days. Also buried here is the first Georgia State Historian, Lucian Lamar Knight. The oldest gravestone discovered in the yard dates from 1803.

The church is open to visitors. Courtesy of Christ Church, Frederica and Online Presence Providers.

Historic South


Experience an explosion of natural color and a day of family fun at the 4th annual Sunflower Farm Festival in Rutledge, Georgia on July 2nd. Enjoy twelve beautiful acres of sunflowers, an Independence Day parade featuring antique tractors, artists at work, live music, BBQ, craft booths, heritage gardens, homemade goodies, pass-a-long plants and seed, fresh grown produce and much more!

Special music is provided by Mr. Danny Roland – who also doubles as the Master of Ceremonies for the festival. Mr. Roland is a Georgia native and recent inductee into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame. For thirty years he has performed across America and has appeared on the Dick Clark Show. In 2003, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Atlanta Society of Entertainers.

Other local entertainers will perform throughout the day including Joanne Nucci, Lamar Moss and Kickin’ Grass, The Disciples, Terry Welborn, Country Music Hall of Fame Singers, Brooke Taylor, Joannie Fitzgerald, and April Allen.

Several Georgia Heritage Artisans will provide live demonstrations including a blacksmith, woodcarver, whit-oak basket weaver, potter, quilter, gourd artist and many more. Adults and children alike will enjoy interacting with these Georgia Artisans.

The kids will enjoy the antique tractor show, hay rides, pony rides and a petting zoo. Create a vivid memory of a life time for your kids as you venture into the sunflower fields and cut your own fresh sunflower bouquets! Each bouquet requires a small fee of $6 and includes a vase.

The West-Holt family began the festival in 2002. The event has grown into a popular regional event and attracted over 3,000 people last year. The family donates proceeds from the event to various local charity organizations including the Rotary Club of Madison, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, Project Linus, and others.

A $3 fee per car covers parking, admission, and door prize tickets. The event time is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Event address is 1380 Durden Road, Rutledge, Georgia 30663. For more information, please contact Wes Holt 706.557.2870 or visit the official website

Georgia Mountains


Hiawassee is known as “Music Capital of Georgia.” And the Georgia Mountain Fair delivers hot country music on cool summer nights in late July. The beautiful Lake Chatuge provides an incredible backdrop for the fun Georgia Mountain Fair.

Eleven days of mountain fun! Make your plans today to visit the Georgia Mountain Fair located in Towns County Georgia July 20th – 31st. This is one of the best events in the Georgia Mountains.

Every day is packed full of great live entertainment from some of county music’s best performers. You’ll also enjoy “old ways” demonstrations, pioneer village, and many crafts and exhibits. And new this year - the midway carnival rides and the “The Great Little Bear Show” with live performing bears.

Highlights for the eleven days:

Wednesday, July 20 - Flower Show. Free carnival rides from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Live entertainment with the “Bellamy Brothers” and “Berrong Generation”. Shows at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 21 - Country Music Show. “Jimmy C. Newman” and “Wes Thibodeaux & The Cajun Travelers.” Shows at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Friday, July 22 - Country Music Show. "Ray Price” and ‘Jim Wood.” Shows at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 23 - Cloggers Convention. Cloggers of all ages. County Music Show: “Joe Diffie” and “Country River Band” at 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, July 24 - Gospel Music. Featuring “Mckameys”, “Primitives” & “Inspirations”. Show at 2:00 p.m. Interfaith worship service at 11:00 a.m. with Jerry Goff.

Monday, July 25 – Lions Club Day. Free admission to all Lions! Beauty Pageant at 2:00 p.m. Concluding with Miss Georgia Mountain Fair Contest at 8:00 p.m. Performing at 12:00 Noon: “Dazzlin Dames”, “T.G. Sheppard” at 1:00 and 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 26 – Photo Exhibit. Opens at 10:00 a.m. In the Garden club Building. “Buddy Jewell” and “Four Of A Kind” Shows at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m. Free carnival rides form 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 27 – Customer Appreciation Day. Everyone admitted for $6 all day. Youth Show at 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. “James Childers” & the “Scataway Pickers”, clogging, youth bands and youth entertainers. Special guest “Billy Joe Royal” at 3:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 28 – Bluegrass Day. Shows at 2:00 & 8:00 p.m. featuring “Larry Stephenson”, “Jesse McReynolds and The Virginia Boys” and “Curtis Blackwell and The Original Dixie Bluegrass Boys.”

Friday, July 29 – The 53rd Annual Country Music Show. Featuring “Fiddlin Howard Cunningham” and the “Georgia Mountain Men of County Music” at 2:00 p.m. with special guest “Ricky Van Shelton”. Evening shows begin at 6:30 p.m. with ‘Ricky Van Shelton” followed by “Fiddlin Howard Cunningham” & the ‘Georgia Mountain Fair Staff Band” at 8:00 p.m. Show will feature the ‘Sweetheart Cloggers” and a host of single acts.

Saturday, July 30 – Country Music Show. Begins at 12:00 Noon. “Fiddlin Howard Cunningham” & the “Georgia Mountain Fair Staff Band” followed by a variety of county music bands. Two bands chosen from the afternoon show will perform at 6:00 p.m. The 53rd annual country music show featuring “Fiddlin Howard Cunningham” & the “Georgia Mountain Fair Staff Band” will begin at 8:00 p.m. along with the “Hiawassee Clogggers” and a variety of single acts chosen form the Friday Night Show.

Sunday, July 31 – Gospel Music. At 2:00 p.m. with “The Issacs”, “Crossway quartet” & “King Messengers Quartet.” Interfaith worship service at 11:00 a.m. with “Crossway Quartet.”

Admission is $7 and children under 10 years old get in free. Music shows are included in the ticket price. Parking is only $2. Be sure to leave your pet at home, as they are not allowed. The fair is located on the beautiful Lake Chatuge on Highway 76 West of Hiawassee, Georgia. For more information please call 706.896.4191 or You may also email Article written by Jay D. Clark

Georgia Southern Rivers


Imagine traveling to the depths of underwater springs without ever getting wet! Want to get close to nature and observe animals in their natural habitats? Learn more about Native American and African-American history as you experience our heritage through our museums and attractions!

Our Flint RiverQuarium shares the fascinating story of the Flint River and the mysterious blue-hole springs that help create it. The 175,000 gallon, 22 foot deep, open-air Blue Hole is filled with the fish, reptiles and plants found in the Flint River's ecosystem. Imagination Theater, a movie screen three stories tall and four stories wide, brings nature to life in a whole new way! You won’t want to miss the new turtle exhibit! And just across the street is Turtle Grove Play Park, which includes an extremely "popular-with-children" water fountain! Be sure to bring your swimsuit!

Parks at Chehaw is an 800+ acre recreational park with playgrounds, picnic areas, jogging, biking, nature trails, boat dock and campground for RV’s and tents. Also home to the Chehaw Wild Animal Park designed by famed naturalist and Albany native Jim Fowler, the park is an American Zoological and Aquarium Association designated zoo, one of only two in the state! Be sure to check out the new lemur and rhino exhibits!

Thronateeska Heritage Center, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, includes the Wetherbee Planetarium where it’s always a starry night for views of our solar system like you have never seen. If model trains are your hobby, plan plenty of time to visit the display in the newly restored railroad car, just behind the 1912 train depot. At the Science Discovery Center, adults and children learn about science with their hands, ears and eyes. Learn about light, electricity, magnetism, sound and weather at hands-on exhibits.

Albany shares many stories but none as important as the story told at the Mount Zion Albany Civil Rights Movement Museum where visitors learn the impact of the southwest Georgia movement on the rest of the world while focusing on the role of the African-American church and the freedom music that emerged. Plan your visit around the second Saturday of each month when you can hear the spirited sounds of the Freedom Singers at 1 pm. And you won’t want to miss the Albany Museum of Art, home to the largest collection of African art objects in the Southeast. The museum, accredited by the American Museum of Art, hosts national traveling exhibits and is a must-see on your tour of Albany!

course there is always lots of shopping and plenty of wonderful restaurants to choose from during your visit! Whether you are a visitor to southwest Georgia or a resident, we invite you to explore all that the Albany area has to offer. Use your imagination to discover nature, history, and art! Visit our website at or call us for your free vacation guide at 1-800-475-8700. Written by Sara Underdown.

Georgia Charity Profile


Seeing a child with Autism or Cerebral Palsy relax, smile, and enjoy themselves can do wonders for a Parent’s heart. At Parkwood Farms Therapy Center the horse and the child make a special connection.

As a gentle horse slowly walks around the covered arena, the rider moves and sways with each step the horse takes. The rider experiences a calming effect as tense and drawn muscles begin to relax. The rider and the horse make a special connection and become one in therapy.

Parkwood Farms Therapy Center employs “Hippotherapy” - treatment that uses the multidimensional movement of the horse- to produce remarkable results. Many special needs children experience neurological and psychological improvements from riding.

The center offers occupational, physical and speech therapies, in both a traditional clinical setting and therapeutic riding. The center is unique in that it provides both clinical therapy and hippotherapy under one roof. Chiropractic services, therapeutic massage including cranial sacral technique, nutritional counseling and special needs yoga are also offered on-site.

Therapy programs are provided for children with special needs including autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, emotional problems and learning disabilities. People who may benefit from Hippotherapy and Therapeutic riding can have a variety of diagnoses: including but not limited to those previously mentioned and Multiple Sclerosis, Developmental Delay, Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, Autism, Behavioral, Learning or Language Disabilities.

If anyone understands life with special needs children, it’s Dr. Marilyn Peterson and her husband, founders of Parkwood Farms Therapy Center, Inc. In 1997 after rearing their three children and becoming “empty nesters,” they adopted three children (siblings) into their family. A short time later, one of their children was diagnosed with severe sensory integration dysfunction and autism.

After countless therapy programs and often driving hours for each session, they were not pleased with the progress their child was making. Frustrated, they began researching different types of programs that could provide better results. They found that hippotherapy provided the results they were looking for and discovered it integrated well with other therapies.

In 1997 they pursued their dream of opening a hippotherapy program for special needs children. Shortly thereafter, they consolidated their assets and purchased the 9+ acre property in Snellville, Georgia and founded Parkwood Farms Therapy Center. Over the years the dream has grown and the center now has the capacity to accommodate 100 children per week.

In January 2005, the latest addition to the center was completed. Improvements include an open therapy room; a reception room with observation areas overlooking the covered/lighted arena and the open therapy room; rooms for speech therapy and for massage therapy; and a Chiropractic suite with a private waiting room, two adjusting rooms and a special rehab area.

“Many of our hippotherapy kids have ‘graduated’ to Therapeutic Riding. In fact, five of our students, including my son, participated in the 2004 State of Georgia Special Olympic Equestrian Sport Championship, in Perry GA” says Dr. Peterson.

Much of the center’s success is due to its many wonderful and caring volunteers. If you would like to volunteer your services, make a donation to the Therapy Center, or get your family and/or your company involved please contact Dr. Peterson. For more information please call 678-344-6821 or visit online at

Making a Difference


As I began working on this article, thoughts about all the wonderful people that have made a difference in my life rushed into my mind and I struggled to jot them down on a note pad. One memory led to many more and soon I was pleasantly surprised with the list. It’s an amazing journey to honor the memory of those that have become a part of who you are by taking a few minutes to unlock those precious memories.

As the list grew, the “patchwork quilt” of my life began to take form. While some played a large role over a long period of time, others were only in my life briefly but had a huge impact. They all had something in common; they didn’t have a lot of money, power, or fame. They were good-hearted, honest, hard-working everyday people. These people became part of me and their love, nurturing ways, and wisdom have created a sense of security and warmth in challenging times.

From my older brothers and sisters, I learned to always do my best, always tell the truth, and treat others with respect regardless of income or circumstance. My Mother, by making me feel loved no matter what mistakes I made along the way, taught me that real love is unconditional. My father taught me to be responsible for my actions and to be independent.

From my kindergarten teacher, with her kind words and warm smile, I learned that children are to be loved, cared for, and protected. Our local Presbyterian minister and his wife, through their acts of kindness for both the young and the old, I learned that people are more important than things and if you ask God, He will always provide for your needs. Our local Baptist minister taught me that everyone matters and we all have something to contribute to society.

My sixth grade teacher, by having us lay our heads on our desk top while she read from “Little House on the Prairie” for one hour every day after lunch, taught me how to visit other places and times through reading and what a difference a good book can make. The owner of the local general store, by letting me have an ice cream on the way home from school and pay him later (which I always did), taught me to trust others. Our next-door neighbors taught me to share what you have, by always sharing some of the fish they caught at the lake with our family or some of the first sweet corn and tomatoes from their field.

Most of our lives take shape a stitch at a time - a kind word, a brief conversation of encouragement, a loving hug, a note from a distant relative, or even an occasional attitude adjustment. Often times, we aren’t aware that others are watching the things we do and say, but they are, especially the young ones. I remember an old saying “what you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying”.

Our actions do speak louder than our words. What are our actions saying? Are we leaving good examples? What kind of life lessons are we passing on to the next generation? Written by Pamela Clark