In this issue:
-Environmental Review case study: East Hiram Parkway
-Featured Resource: "Slot and tab" grave markers
-Slave cabins on Sapelo Island’s South End Plantation discovered
-Why Is Ethnography essential to preservation?
-Georgia State Historic Preservation Office timeline, Part 1
-Staff profiles: Lawana Woodson
-Upcoming HPD staff appearances

Environmental Review case study: East Hiram Parkway
by Amanda Schraner, Transportation Projects Coordinator

In 2004, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) proposed to construct the East Hiram Parkway in Paulding County.  In the area of the proposed parkway were several National Register-eligible resources, including the Meadows-Hitchcock Farmstead.  This farmstead is an extensive complex of approximately seventy-eight acres comprised of three historic residences, historic agricultural outbuildings, and agricultural fields.

The proposed parkway project was found to result in adverse effects to the Meadows-Hitchcock Farmstead.  The adverse effects were visual, audible, and indirect effects because, although the new location roadway would not physically encroach into the boundary of the farmstead, the new road would be a new and severe intrusion into the rural landscape, setting, and viewshed of the farm.  The parkway was also expected to encourage new development in the area, which would compromise the rural agricultural setting, thus causing an adverse indirect effect.

Because of the adverse effects, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) was required to mitigate the adverse effects to the Meadows-Hitchcock Farmstead.  During this time, the Paulding County Commission became involved in the proposed mitigation of the adverse effect.  A typical mitigation measure would have been to document the Meadows-Hitchcock Farmstead with archival-quality photography and a short written narrative of the history of the farm.  However, with the support of Paulding County, the scope of the mitigation was broadened to include a study of the remaining historic farmsteads in the county, rather than only the one farmstead affected by the project.  Because Paulding County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, the county realized that the historic farms that represented its rich agricultural heritage were quickly succumbing to modern development.

The mitigation measure that was agreed upon between the Historic Preservation Division (HPD), GDOT, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Paulding County Commission stipulated a context study to include an overview of the agricultural history and practices in Paulding County and an inventory of the historic agricultural buildings and structures in unincorporated Paulding County as well as recommendations regarding the National Register eligibility of the inventoried farms.  The study was carried out by Edwards-Pitman Environmental, Inc., GDOT's cultural resource consultant for the project.

The resulting document, Historic Farms in Paulding County: Agricultural Context Study, was completed in late 2008.  It is an excellent study which provides a great deal of useful information about the history of agriculture in Paulding County and, most importantly, identifies and inventories the remaining historic farmsteads in the county.  For each farm the study gives the location; a date of construction; information on the type and style of farmhouse, historic barns, and other historic outbuildings; description of the landscape; and recommendations for National Register eligibility.

This agricultural context study is meant to be a planning tool for Paulding County as it continues to encounter unprecedented growth and development.  It is also an excellent example of creative mitigation.  Creative mitigation can often elude agencies with the best of intentions.  However, this creative mitigation document is a useful and well-prepared example that went beyond the effects to one property to assist in the identification and planning for other historic farms.

To view more Environmental Review case studies, visit our Web site at  Images from Historic Farms in Paulding County:  Agricultural Context Study, courtesy of Edwards-Pitman Environmental, Inc.

Featured Resource: "slot and tab" grave markers
by Ray Luce

Georgia’s cemeteries contain numerous examples of important historical resources.  An unusual example found in northeast Georgia is the “slot and tab” grave marker.  Made from locally quarried soapstone, they are formed into an empty box on top of the graves.  The (horizontal) ledger stone is supported by (vertical) head and foot stones that protrude through slots in the ledger stone.  The sides of the box are usually made of a number of smaller stones, but may sometimes be made from a single stone. The tomb-like features seem to have English and Scotch-Irish origins, but this is not certain. 

The central location for these grave markers is the Wahoo Baptist Church Cemetery in Lumpkin County, which contains almost 40 such markers.  The markers seem to date from the late 1840s to the late 1880s—although soapstone weathers easily, making it difficult to read the inscriptions.  Cultural geographers have identified 21 other churches within 11 miles of Wahoo Baptist Church that also have such markers.  

Our "Preserving Georgia's Cemeteries" publication, provides an introduction to understanding Georgia’s cemeteries (  Please contact Ray Luce at if you have more information or questions about  these unusual grave markers.

Slave cabins on Sapelo Island’s South End Plantation discovered
by Dave Crass, State Archaeologist/Interim Division Director

University of Tennesee-Chattanooga graduate students excavate at one of the slave cabins as State Archaeologist Dave Crass examines their finds.

Archaeology graduate students from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, have discovered the slave cabins associated with Thomas Spalding’s South End Plantation on Sapelo Island.  Spalding, one of the wealthiest and most influential southern planters of the antebellum era, owned most of the island before the Civil War. 

Locating the cabins posed a significant challenge.  Built of wood, and with foundations of wooden posts, the archaeological signature of the cabins consisted primarily of thousands of nails.  Archaeological testing revealed that there are significant features such as trash pits and stains left from structural members throughout the site area.  Particularly heavy artifact concentrations appear to be located around the windows and doors of the structures, a phenomenon known in archaeological circles as the “Brunswick Pattern”, named for the colonial site in North Carolina where it was first identified.  The Brunswick Pattern results from the day in-day out disposal of household refuse by tossing it out the doors and windows of a house.  Knowing where these resources are located is critical to their future management and interpretation.

Dr. Nick Honerkamp of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, who led the search for the cabins, is currently developing a research design that will involve members of the Hog Hammock community, some of whom are descended from enslaved Africans who worked South End and the other plantations on the island.  Opportunities for the general public to participate in Honerkamp’s Sapelo Island projects are a regular feature of the Department of Natural Resources Weekend for Wildlife, an event that benefits the department’s Nongame Conservation Section.

Visit for more interesting archaeology case studies.

Why Is Ethnography essential to preservation?
by Joy Melton, African American Programs intern

The Georgia Geechee Gullah Shouters perform the ring shout, an African American religious tradition, in the state capitol rotunda. Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque.

Ethnography relates to African American Programs at the Historic Preservation Division because it involves advocacy work within communities.  The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, for example, works to preserve the culture in the coastal region of Georgia.  Although there are many extant physical resources to preserve, some resources such as the Georgia Geechee Gullah Shouters, a religiously oriented song and performance group, can only be preserved through living traditions.  Furthermore, the traditions passed on by groups such as the shouters can illuminate the significance of extant resources such as praise houses, where Gullah people worshipped during slavery.

Ethnography is a part of cultural anthropology, which seeks to understand the internal logic of another society.  Ethnographers are participant observers that document their experiences in writing sometimes spending a year or more doing fieldwork.  Ethnographic resources were derived because some historic resources in parks lacked the integrity or other requirements to qualify for National Register listing, yet the resources were significant to a particular culture.

In addition, ethnography can assist in the documentation and preservation of knowledge to help understand the cultural meaning of the “church” in African American communities.  Oral histories are an important method used in ethnography to increase awareness of little known facts such as how schools, mutual aid societies and other social institutions evolved from the church, which was often central to the community.  Oral histories can serve as a means to bridge the gap between the older and present generation in the African American church. Presently, there are well over 100 African American churches listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Georgia with documentation on church history and culture.  However, there are still a great number of churches yet to be listed.  Using ethnographic methods of documentation such as oral history can help preserve the traditions and culture of African American churches in Georgia.

Although ethnography is essential to cultures that may lack physical resources, ethnography is significant to cultures with extant resources as well.  Many sites have some traditionally associated people with whom to consult, observe and engage in preservation. 

Georgia State Historic Preservation Office timeline
compiled by Helen Talley-McRae, Public Information Coordinator

Part 1: 1951-1973, Georgia Historical Commission

Left: Mary Gregory Jewett was named the first State Historic Preservation Officer of Georgia in 1969.  Right: First state archaeologist Lewis H. Larson, Jr. (background, wearing baseball cap) takes part in the 1965 excavation of Etowah Mounds Historic Site (photo by John R. Morgan). 

1951 - The Georgia Historical Commission was created by the Georgia legislature under the Secretary of State's Office. The impetus for the creation of the commission came from several sources. Local historical societies were launching restoration projects of statewide importance. These projects often needed not only financial and technical help, but also a way to coordinate plans with other state projects. Its primary focus in the early years was to mark historic sites, particularly those associated with the Civil War. By 1962 it had erected 750 markers. 

1952 - C. E. Gregory, a retired political editor of the Atlanta Journal, had been influential in the campaign to establish the commission and became its first executive secretary.

1960 - Mary Gregory Jewett, the commission's staff historian and C. E. Gregory's daughter, was named director.

1966 - The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 ( was passed.

1969 - Mary Gregory Jewett became Georgia's first state historic preservation officer. The GHC became involved in surveys of historic and archaeological resources, entries to the National Register of Historic Places, historic building rehabilitation grants, preservation planning, and community preservation assistance.  

1969 - The Georgia Antiquities Act ( was passed authorizing protection of archaeological sites on state lands and creating duties for a state archaeologist ( 

1971 - Historic Preservation Handbook: A Guide for Volunteers ( was produced with reprints/revisions in 1974 and 1976.  

1972 - Dr. Lewis H. Larson Jr. was named state archaeologist. Environmental review for archaeological sites was initiated.

- Three staff positions were added: architectural historian, preservation planner and secretary.

1973 - Governor Jimmy Carter's governmental reorganization abolished the Georgia Historical Commission.  The state historic preservation office (SHPO) was transferred to the newly formed Department of Natural Resources, Office of Planning and Research, Historic Preservation Section.

Georgia Historical Quarterly Special Section: Historic Preservation in Georgia on the 30th Anniversary of the State Historic Preservation Office, 1969-1999 ( - reprinted courtesy of the Georgia Historical Society  

HPD History/Chronology by Carole Griffith, November 2002

Staff Profiles
Lawana Woodson, Budget and Grants Specialist
Lawana is responsible for maintaining and preparing HPD's Annual Operating Budget as well as managing HPD's federal and state contracts.  Lawana has a bachelors degree in Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University and a Masters degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management from American Intercontinental University.  Lawana recently received her Governmental Accounting certification through the University of Georgia.  She has worked in state government for ten years - one year with the Georgia House of Representatives and the remaining nine years with the Department of Natural Resources.  Lawana is not new to historic preservation - she began working with HPD from 2000-2002 and recently returned as the grants and budget specialist on June 1, 2009 after working with DNR's Environmental Protection Division (EPD).

Q. What do you do on a typical work day?
A. A typical workday consists of working with Candy (Henderson, Management and Information unit manager) to monitor HPD’s budget.  I am also responsible for managing the various federal grant programs that we have; as well as ensuring that we are in compliance with federal and state guidelines for HPD’s various projects, contracts and grants.  I also assist Candy in keeping up with the various changes that must be made to our budget from our division  director’s office, DNR’s budget office, as well as the state Office of Planning and Budget. 

Q. How is working at HPD different from EPD?
A. The major difference between HPD and EPD is the size of the office staff; HPD has about 35 employees where EPD's Land Protection Branch has about 150 employees.  The budget at EPD is larger because they have more federal funding and federal mandates than HPD.  The focus at HPD and EPD are different in some respects, but the same in other ways.  HPD deals with preserving the past whereas EPD, specifically the Land Protection Branch, deals with preserving and protecting our land.

Q. How has working at HPD affected your understanding of historic preservation?
A. Working for HPD has given me a greater appreciation of historic resources and shown me the value of preserving our past as a way to remember and pay homage to Georgia’s rich heritage. It has also shown me that from an accounting standpoint, it can be more cost effective to preserve existing structures, instead of tearing them down and building something entirely new.  

Upcoming HPD staff appearances
September 12 - Jeanne Cyriaque, African American programs coordinator  will present a program on Gullah Geechee culture at the Hofwyl Plantation State Historic Site.  The site is located at 5556 US Highway 17N in Brunswick (912-264-7333 or ).  The public is invited to attend.

October 13-17 - Jeanne Cyriaque, African American programs coordinator and Georgia advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, will moderate "Building Historical Contexts for African American Schools," an educational session at the upcoming national preservation conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  To register for the conference, scheduled for October 13-17, 2009 visit

Our mailing address is:
Georgia Historic Preservation Division
Department of Natural Resources
34 Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 1600
Atlanta, GA 30303

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Title image: Pasaquan (Marion County)