Preservation Posts, April 2016

A Message from the Director

by: Dr. David Crass,
       Division Director & Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer

Next month, Resaca battlefield in Gordon County will open for visitors. I spent many happy hours on the battlefield early on in my DNR career, working with Chip Morgan (since, happily retired) and Jenn Bedell, who is a stalwart in the Archaeology, Education, and Outreach Section here at HPD. The upcoming dedication of the battlefield reminded me that our work up there introduced me to a wonderful late-19th century writer named Ambrose Bierce.  

Bierce was a Civil War veteran, ultimately serving as a topographical engineer on General W. B. Hazen’s command staff. As such, he became intimately familiar with many of the key battlefields of the war, serving at Shiloh, Corinth, Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and Franklin. At Kennesaw Mountain he sustained a terrible head wound, which led to health problems that would dog him to the end of his life.
Bierce during his Civil War service

Bierce became a prolific writer after the war, writing newspaper editorials and investigative pieces, short stories, and books. Many of his pieces focused on his war experiences; it is here that his feel for the battlefield landscape really shines. His writing style was elegant, lean, and hard hitting, in contrast to many of the late Victorian era authors who favored flowery, verbose language. The short story “Killed at Resaca,” first published in the San Francisco Examiner in 1887, accurately portrays the first day of the three-day-long battle and the landscape that is preserved at the park.

Bierce disappeared in Mexico during the revolution in late 1913, or sometime thereafter, having outlived his wife and two of his children. He wrote to his niece that he hoped to be "stood up against a Mexican stone wall and shot to rags,” and there are a multitude of stories about how he met his end. His burial place, assuming there is one, has never been found. I think he would like that.

Bierce later in his life

Congrats to two new CLGs!

  Euharlee and Villa Rica are now Certified Local Governments 

by: Lauren Ericson,
     Outreach Program Assistant

The cities of Euharlee and Villa Rica recently completed their respective application processes, and are officially Certified Local Governments in Georgia. HPD congratulates everyone involved in earning the designation!

The Certified Local Government (CLG) program is integral to protecting our historic resources, as local planning is the most effective way to implement preservation strategies. In order for communities to qualify as CLGs, applying municipalities must have enacted a historic preservation ordinance, formed a historic preservation commission to enfore that ordinance, and meet guidelines described in a "Procedures for Georgia’s Certified Local Government Program" document. As CLGs, Euharlee and Villa Rica will now have access to technical assistance, grant monies, and greater outreach opportunities in the preservation community.

“This is a great honor for the city and its citizens. I’m very proud of the effort of the Historical Preservation Commission and others that have worked long and hard to make this possible,” said Euharlee Mayor Dennis Thayer, regarding the CLG designation. “This prestigious designation emphasizes our mission and vision as a city, and underscores the efforts of all of our citizens to preserve our heritage and historical values." 

Composed primarily of late-19th and early-20th century commercial and community landmark buildings, Euharlee includes many historic structures. Its covered bridge, in particular, is a defining historic resource in the city. The resource is the oldest covered bridge in the state, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and recognized in the Georgia Covered Bridge Trial. Euharlee plans to revitalize the historic area by constructing a new event space on the original foundation of a mill located near the covered bridge. 
In addition to the covered bridge, top left,
Euharlee visitors should be sure to visit the Euharlee History Museum

Located in the northwest part of the state, the City of Villa Rica grew rapidly due to a gold strike and the construction of the railroad. The city boasts several agricultural, commercial, and religious historic sites.  Among those sites: Wicks Tavern and the First United Methodist Church of Villa Rica; both originally erected in the 1830s. Several properties in Villa Rica are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, including the North Villa Rica Historic District (listed in 2002). 

"This will give the historic preservation process a powerful boost in Villa Rica,” City Manager David A. Milliron said. “This designation is not something that’s taking away from people, but rather giving to the residents, visitors and future generations of this community in the way of historic preservation of our most precious assets.”
Among the places to see, in Villa Rica: the North Villa Rica Historic 
District, left, and Wicks Tavern, right

HPD is proud to recognize these two communities for their continued preservation efforts. Georgia is home to the second largest number of CLG-designated communities in the United States. These cities contribute to our mission of promoting the preservation and use of historic places for a better Georgia. 
Euharlee and Villa Rica are now eligible for federal Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grants administered by the Historic Preservation Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources. These HPF grants may be used for a variety of preservation activities, including historic resource surveys, National Register of Historic Places nominations, educational activities, marketing purposes, publications, heritage tourism studies, and pre-development plans. Learn more about the CLG Program on HPD’s website.

Plantings define the Georgia Landscape:

  What ornamental plantings can tell us

by: Aimee Bouzigard,
       Staff Archaeologist

“April Showers Bring May Flowers.”  
-- Rhyme based on a Thomas Tusser poem from "A Hundreth Good Pointes of Husbandrie" (1557)

Archaeologists use a plethora of tools, sources, and methods for predicting the locations of historic sites. One lesser known method is identifying the presence of particular varieties of ornamental plantings – plants that are grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects – which tend to stand out from the native species in the area.

Ornamental plantings can be considered a type of landscape feature, and are in many cases the only above-ground evidence of abandoned, fully deteriorated house sites or cemeteries. Like native flora, these ornamental plantings vary by region.

In Georgia, one of the most common varieties is the genus Narcissus (daffodils, jonquils, papperwhites), a popular yard flower during the 19th and 20th centuries. In the late 19th century, daffodils – originally from Spain and Portugal, and cultivated by the Dutch – were praised as border flowers, and suggested to planters for their suitability under trees and fences, beside hedges, and in the shrubby border where other plants refuse to bloom. Many garden magazines and seed catalogs of the day recommended the planting of bulbs along walkways, in beds around the house foundation, to beds in the lawn or in open woodland, as a means to brighten the corners of a property. Other blooming bulbs native to Eurasia that were introduced in North America, and point to historic house sites, are Spanish bluebell, snowflake, grape hyacinth, tulip, daylily, and iris.  
Daffodils at the border of the Noles family cemetery,
in the Clybel Wildlife Management Area. 

Many plantings were chosen not only for their beauty, but for their associated meanings. This is especially true in historic cemeteries. In general, flowers and plants represent both the beauty and frailty of life, and trees symbolize life. During the Victorian era (1837-1901), floral symbols were utilized to convey specific emotions tied to a particular plant or flower. For instance, red cedars and cypress – which are native to Georgia – typically line the borders of cemeteries, as these evergreens are symbols of immortality. Daffodils, depending on their setting in a yard or cemetery, could express both a sense of beauty or death of youth.

Periwinkle was first introduced to North America in the 1700s, and is a great site indicator. Also known as creeping myrtle and the flower of death, periwinkle was once commonly sown in cemeteries, as it required less maintenance than grasses, grows well in shaded areas, and symbolizes sweet remembrance. And, of course, there is the rose, the embodiment of love, with many heirloom varieties surviving in these remote and long forgotten landscapes.

Two great examples of gardenesque historic cemeteries where one can learn more about these symbols are Oakland Cemetery, in Atlanta, and Bonaventure Cemetery, in Savannah.
Wormsloe, in Savannah, (postcard, left), and Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation, near Brunswick, are two locations flush with ornamental plantings. 

It is fascinating to realize that many of the common flowers, shrubs and trees beautifying and defining our Southern landscape are non-native species. They are, instead, the result of trans-continental trade routes and colonization.

The South’s first botanical garden was established just north of Charleston in 1786, naturalizing sweet olive, ginkgo, mimosa, chinaberry, and camellia (originally from Japan). Undoubtedly, many of these varieties made their way from Charleston to Savannah soon thereafter, during the late 18th century and early 19th century, experiencing a surge of popularity during the Victorian era. In the 1890s, Wormsloe, in Savannah, began large-scale landscaping efforts inspired by a family trip to the Biltmore Estate, near Asheville, NC. Wormsloe’s iconic Oak Alley was planted, the formal gardens updated, and plantings of camellias and azaleas that mimicked natural patterns were placed across the estate. Another picturesque landscape speckled with camellias and azaleas is the grounds of Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation, located just north of Brunswick. 

So get out there and smell the flowers!
Interested in learning more? Check out: 

Section 106 in Georgia: The Basics

  What you need to know 

by: Jennifer Dixon,
       Environmental Review Program Manager
       Barbara Fisher,
       Environmental Review Historian


What is Section 106?

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (NHPA), requires federal agencies, or their delegates, to take into account the effects an undertaking may have on historic properties that are eligible for, or listed in, the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). It is important to note that Section 106 does not dictate the approval of, or denial of, projects. Additionally, Section 106 review encourages, but does not mandate, preservation. 

What Triggers a Section 106 Review?

Each year, thousands of projects affect historic properties in Georgia. Many projects involve federal dollars, licenses or permits from government agencies. The NHPA requires those federal agencies, or their delegates, responsible for a project to consult with the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) in order to take into account the effects the project may have on Georgia's cultural resources.
It is this federal involvement that triggers the process.

Four Steps to Complete a Section 106 Review
In Section 106, every project is different and may require additional steps or information throughout the process. Below is an overview of the main steps followed during a typical Section 106 review.
  • Step 1: Initiate â€“ The first step in Section 106 is to notify the appropriate consulting parties of the proposed project. Consulting parties are those organizations or groups that may have a direct interest in the project, or are knowledgeable about historic properties that could be affected within the project area. In Georgia, typical consulting parties include: Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPO), local historical societies, historic preservation commissions, State Regional Commissions, other State Agencies, and the public. As a required consulting party, federal agencies, or their delegates, are mandated to consult with the state’s State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPO) - which, in Georgia, is HPD. 
  • Step 2: Identify â€“ Next, the federal agency, or its delegates, must then determine if there are any historic properties located within the project area. Properties that are listed in the NRHP are identified, while unlisted historic properties are evaluated within the National Park Service’s criteria, in consultation with the SHPO/THPO and any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that may attach religious or cultural importance to them. Often, this step includes background research and field surveying. 
  • Step 3: Assess â€“ Once NRHP-listed and -eligible properties are identified, the effects the project may have on these historic properties is assessed. A Section 106 project is determined to have either an "adverse effect", "no adverse effect" or "no historic properties affected." If, by the nature of the activity, the project has no chance of affecting historic properties, then it is determined to have "no historic properties affected." An example would be updating the interior of a circa 1980s commercial building within a NRHP-listed historic district. If, due to the scope of work, the project will not alter the character of the historic property, then it is determined to have "no adverse effect." An example would be the in-kind replacement of deteriorated wood roof shingles. As to an adverse effect, the NHPA defines adverse effects as an undertaking that, “directly or indirectly alter characteristics of a historic property that qualify it for inclusion in the Register.” An example would be the demolition of a NRHP-eligible building. Most Section 106 projects are completed by Step 3 and determined to have "no adverse effect" or "no historic properties affected." However, there are a handful of projects that are determined to have an adverse effect and move on to the next step.
  • Step 4: Resolve - When an adverse effect is determined, this means that additional documentation and steps in the process are needed in order for the project to proceed. According to the NHPA, agencies should try to avoid, minimize or mitigate the adverse effect. To do so, agencies will typically document their attempt to avoid or minimize the effect. For example, if the project involves demolition of a NRHP-eligible building, the agency will document the rehabilitation options discussed during project planning, and why these options were ruled out. If options were not discussed that could avoid or minimize the adverse effect, then the agency is typically asked to explore these options. Once documentation has been provided to the SHPO that demonstrates such options and discussions, and the options are found not feasible, then mitigation is utilized to resolve the adverse effect. Resolving the effect through mitigation involves the agency/delegate drafting a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), and all consulting parties involved agreeing upon mitigation stipulations. The draft is then circulated for comments and a final MOA is prepared for signature. Once the MOA is executed, the project may proceed. However, the MOA stipulations must be fulfilled within the timeline specified in the agreement in order for the process to be considered complete.  

What is HPDs Role in Section 106?
As a required consulting party, HPD’s role is to assist federal agencies, and their delegates, in complying with Section 106 of the NHPA. The Section 106 review process provides the planning framework that requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of their projects and actions on historic structural and archaeological resources that are eligible for, or listed in, the NRHP. The involved federal agency, SHPO/HPD, and other consulting parties work together to avoid, minimize or mitigate such effects, sometimes entering into a MOA. 
How Can I Become Involved in the Section 106 Review Process?
HPD recommends interested public entities visit the Citizen’s Guide to Section 106 Review for more information on the process and learn how, as part of the public, you can be involved.
Have you been asked to coordinate a Section 106 review with HPD?  Stay tuned for our next Section 106 article on what documentation HPD needs in order to complete a review!

Recent News & Announcements

The 2016 HPD Photo Contest is here!
 - In May, the Historic Preservation Division celebrates National Preservation Month, and Preservation and Archaeology Months in Georgia, with its 7th annual online photo contest. This year's theme is "Historic Cemeteries.". For details, visit the HPD Photo Contest website.

Bowman Commercial Historic District Listed in the NRHP - 
(Press Release - April 19)

Georgia communities to receive Federal Historic Preservation Grants
(Press Release - April 12)

Villa Rica is Georgia’s 94th Certified Local Government
(Press Release - April 7)

Euharlee is Georgia’s 93rd Certified Local Government
(Press Release - April 5)

Upcoming Events

May 7, 2016 - Archaeology Day - Stone Mountain
In Celebration of Archaeology Month in Georgia, New South Associates will host its annual "Archaeology Day in the Village" event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Several events, designed to be both fun and educational, have been scheduled. For details, and to learn more, view the Archaeology Day flyer

May 20-21, 2016 - SGA Spring Meeting - St. Marys
The Society for Georgia Archaeology has announced its Spring “Meeting” will be held May 20-21 in St. Marys & Cumberland Island, Ga., as part of 2016 Archaeology Month celebrations. The theme for this year’s Archaeology Month is “Dynamic Borders: The Archaeology of Cumberland Island â€“ exploring pre-contact and historic archaeological sites across Cumberland Island, the dynamic environment of a coastal barrier island and the impacts of climate change to Georgia’s coastal resources." Both SGA  members and non-members are invited. For more details, please visit the Spring Meeting Information Page.
Would you like to see an event listed? Email

Want to Contribute?

  Submit a Guest Article 

Preservation Posts is published to inform the public about historic preservation issues and developments from the perspective of the SHPO. In keeping with that purpose, HPD has inaugurated a new policy of occasionally soliciting guest articles that are directly related to our statutorily mandated programs. Please note that we do not publish opinion pieces. We also retain editorial control as well as the right to reject any submission.
To pitch or submit a piece, or ask questions concerning an idea, email HPD Public Affairs Coordinator Jeff Harrison at 
Title Image: A look down Temple Street, in the North Villa Rica Historic District. Villa Rica became Georgia's 94th CLG in April.

Copyright © 2016 DNR Historic Preservation Division, All rights reserved.

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