Historians gather at Louisville cemetery to place wreaths
By Carol McLeod
Members of two organizations devoted to patriotism will hold a ceremony at the Revolutionary War Cemetery in Louisville Saturday, Oct. 24, at 10 a.m.
Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution will place wreaths on graves the day before.
“My sister and I will unveil the monument of our ancestor,” said Richard Noegel, registrar for the William Few Chapter of the Georgia Society, SAR.
Noegel’s ancestor, Capt. Roger Lawson, was his great-great-great-great-grandfather.
“Obviously, I’m a descendant in the female line, but Capt. Lawson has many descendants in the male line in Georgia,” Noegel said.
Noegel said announcements about the event have been in newspapers across the state.
Noegel, whose mother is a native of Jefferson County, said he decided to look for his ancestor on the graves registry. He could not find him.
“I did not find any of the people buried in the cemetery,” he said.
Noegel said several of the men buried in the cemetery are important figures in the American Revolution.
Georgia’s first senior senator, Gen. James Gunn and Georgia’s first junior senator, William Few; are both buried there, he said.
“Georgia’s two seats in the senate chamber are still called the Gunn Seat and the Few Seat to this day,” Noegel said.
Another man buried at the cemetery is Capt. Ambrose Wright.
“He was a member of the committee of safety and he was active in the American Revolution and the cause of independence,” Noegel said.
“He had a son named Ambrose Wright who became a major general in the Confederate Army,” he said.
Noegel said he knew of a Sons of Confederate Veterans camp in Augusta named for Maj. Gen. Wright.
“I thought I would invite them, so I did,” Noegel said, adding another SCV camp in Augusta, named for E. Porter Alexander, has contributed money to support the event.
“Some of them will be taking part,” Noegel said.
“I found out none of the graves at this cemetery have been registered,” he said. “We began making plans to carry out one of the SSAR’s main missions.”
The group is dedicated to find, mark and maintain the graves of anyone who supported the American Revolution, he said.
Noegel said that although the plans for the event began in the summer, the group decided to wait until the hot weather was over.
“Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington in October,” he said. So they decided to have the event then.
“We knew the weather would be cooler. So we chose a day in October,” he said. “Then I began to invite all SAR members and all DAR members in Georgia. We now have DAR people coming from Kentucky.”
Noegel said he had also invited DAR and SAR members from the states that border Georgia.
“The Patrick Carr Rangers Chapter of the GaSSAR in Waynesboro will be taking part, also, because one of the graves we’ll be marking there in Louisville is the grave of Maj. Patrick Carr. The SAR chapter in Waynesboro is named for him,” he said.
Noegel said a proclamation from Gov. Sonny Perdue will be read.
“The city has been very supportive and so has the Jefferson County Historical Society. We are very grateful to the city of Louisville and the Jefferson County Historical Society for all their support,” Noegel said.
Noegel said he also hopes this shines a spotlight on Louisville and Jefferson County.
“(And) to let people who do not know that Louisville was once the capital of Georgia and bring that to the attention of everybody in Georgia,” he said.
Leroy Lewis of the Jefferson County Historical Society said a wreath will be placed on the grave of Hugh Lawson.
“The Hugh Lawson House was the first house built here,” Lewis said.
Noegel said the wreaths will be placed on the graves Friday, Oct. 23.
Louisville City Administrator Don Rhodes said the ceremony, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., should last about an hour.
People interested in attending the event should park in the lot near the Methodist Church. The parking lot is between West Broad Street and 7th Street, Rhodes said.
“Next to what used to be the Magnolia House,” he said. “We’ll shuttle people down Cherry Street to Martin Luther King Boulevard, across Ga. Highway 24 to the cemetery.
“I think it’s going to be great,” said Louisville Mayor Rita Culvern.
“We’re going to have around 300 people who are very cognizant of the history of the city,” she said.
“We want to put on a good face. It’s exciting for our city to have the opportunity to have these people as our guests. One of the key things about Louisville is its history and these people are coming here to honor Revolutionary War heroes.
“This is about veterans, the veterans, who built our country. I think it would be nice for anyone who is a veteran to come out and see the ceremony,” she said.
Anyone who wishes to help with the event should call Louisville City Hall at 478-625-3166.
At the Maze
By Sabrina Littleton
Every place needs a family-oriented, kid-friendly attraction. For Jefferson County and the surrounding areas, that attraction is Kackleberry Farm just outside of Louisville. With an impressive corn maze and numerous activities, it is something for both young and old to enjoy.
Owned by Mitch and Lisa Vaughn, Kackleberry Farm, known as the Corn Maze by some, began in 2007 and is now in its third year of operation.
My children visited a maze in the mountains in north Georgia and told me about it. We did some research and thought it’d be a good idea so families could have clean fun here,” Vaughn said.
A variety of activities is offered at the farm. Past favorites; the Corn Cannon, a catapult that launches ears of corn up to 300 feet; the Jumping Pillow, an inflatable attraction for jumping; Corn Box and Hay Jump; are back this year.
New attractions are the pedal cart track; the Wiggle Worm, a 16-foot pipe connected to chains for swinging; improved duck races; Buckaroo, a bull bucking barrel with a saddle; Koloring Koop, a playhouse with chalkboard walls for the children to draw on; and 110- and 130-foot long zip lines. A new play fort was donated by Jay’s Hardware, a Kackleberry Farm sponsor.
Other additions this year are a new concession stand and a new, larger hayride trailer. Baby farm animals have been brought in and there are pig races every two hours. Guests may make reservations to use fire pits for marshmallow and hotdog roasting.
More offerings at Kackleberry Farm are a large slide and swings. There is a pumpkin patch and flower patch where you can pick your own pumpkin or cut your own bouquet for a fee.
With autumn officially here and the hot weather fading, co-owner Mitch Vaughn expects attendance to increase.
“At first things are slower, but it picks up once the weather starts cooling down and people get in the fall spirit.”
Kackleberry Farm employs 15 to 20 workers, the majority of whom are teenagers. A few adults oversee stations such as the ticket booth and cooking for the customers. Corn Cops, employees serving as monitors, are on duty in and around the Corn Maze itself to ensure that no one gets hurt. A sheriff’s deputy is on the premises on Saturday nights for further security.
The admission fee into Kackleberry Farm is $11. A dollar discount is given to every guest who brings a canned good. These cans are donated to the local food pantry. In addition, a percentage of ticket sales goes to the Medical College of Georgia Children’s Hospital and to the Fuller Center for Housing of Jefferson County. Customers are given a wristband and have unlimited access to the attractions.
“Pay one price and you can do everything as much as you want,” Vaughn said.
The Corn Maze, the focal point of Kackleberry Farm, is constructed this year so the face of Millard Fuller forms the maze itself. Fuller was the founder of the Fuller Center for Housing of Jefferson County as well as Habitat for Humanity.
The Vaughns chose Fuller’s face to be the design for the Corn Maze in order to honor his mission and remember his years of work in giving to others through charitable housing.
“We began this to offer something to the surrounding area so families and kids could have a good time. It’s all about the children,” Vaughn said.
Kackleberry Farm is open to the public through Sunday, Nov. 8. Operating hours are every Saturday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. Field trips may be taken upon prior reservation to the farm Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Many upcoming events are scheduled for the farm. For more details and contact information, visit the official website at www.kackleberryfarm.com.
Chief warns voters of potential fraud
By Carol McLeod
Wadley Police Chief Wesley Lewis said Tuesday he has received information that some citizens in Wadley have been asked to sign an absentee ballot without having to mark their choice of candidate. Lewis said he wants to remind voters that this type of activity is not legal.
“Anyone who has been approached and asked to sign a ballot without having made a selection of their own should notify the police department so that we can notify the Justice Department,” he said.
The chief said at this time he is not releasing any details as this is an ongoing investigation.
“I just want to make sure that the voters of this community are not taken advantage of in this way,” he said.
“All voters have the right to make their own selection for whatever candidate they choose. Anyone who feels they have been coerced or forced to vote for someone other than their own choice or who has been asked to sign an absentee ballot where no candidate has been selected should call us. No one should be intimidated to vote for anyone except the candidate they choose.
“If a voter cannot read or write, I suggest they ask a family member or friend they trust to help them complete their ballot,” he said.
Chandrel Evans, the Jefferson County voting registrar, said she had not had reports of similar instances. Voters who have trouble reading can also bring someone to the polling station to assist them with voting, she said.
Four sought in burglary of Louisville home
By Faye Ellison
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Clark Hiebert said authorities are still looking for three black male suspects who burglarized the home of Alton Snider on Highway U.S. 1 South outside of Louisville and one black male suspect who drove the other three.
“On Sept. 30, Alton Snider had his house burglarized,” Hiebert said. “There were three weapons found to be missing from the house and some U.S. currency in bills and silver, consisting of silver dollars, half dollars and quarters sometime in the morning between 10 a.m. and 1:35 p.m.”
Hiebert said Snider told officers he left at 10 a.m. and returned to his residence at 1:05 p.m.
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“When he returned, someone followed him into his driveway and had a conversation with him,” Hiebert said. “They stayed for 30 minutes. During this time, a neighbor of Mr. Snider saw three young black men running across his field from the back of his residence.”
Hiebert said the neighbor informed them that around 1:30 p.m. the three suspects crossed over a fence onto River Road and walked toward and got in a burgundy Mercury Grand Marquis.
“This Grand Marquis Mercury was driven by another black male,” Hiebert explained.
Hiebert also stated that they believe the person who stopped Snider in his driveway was not a suspect in the burglary.
“We have no reason to believe that to be a fact,” Hiebert said. “We have no reason to suspect him of having any connection to this.”
It was reported that at 1:36 p.m., Snider called 911 to report that he believed someone had burglarized his home.
“Officers arrived shortly after the 911 call,” Hiebert said.
He noted that when officers arrived there was a puddle in the bedroom that appeared to be urine.
“Officers had been there 15 to 30 minutes and the liquid had soaked in,” Hiebert stated. “We believe the suspects were still in the house when he arrived back.”
The suspects ransacked Snider’s home, leaving stuff scattered, according to Hiebert.
“When officers tried to locate evidence, they found several items where it appeared the subjects had gone into the refrigerator and drank from water bottles and took corn dogs, sausage and cheeseburgers heated them in the microwave and had eaten them in the residence and outside of the residence,” Hiebert said. “They opened all the drawers and turned the couch, bed, dressers, basically all the furniture in the house upside down. They even pulled the vent from the ceiling looking to see if they could find something stashed up there.”
Hiebert said he believes someone told the suspects that there was money kept in the residence, but he said fortunately there was not a large sum of money being kept there.
The suspects took three weapons including a 3030 caliber rifle, a 12 gauge shotgun and a M1 carbine .30 caliber rifle with scope. Snider reported to the officers that the weapons were fully loaded.
“These weapons were taken from the residence on this particular day,” Hiebert said. “We went with one of the witnesses and located the .3030-caliber rifle just laying on pine straw in the woods. At the edge of the fence was a shoelace on top of a limb, as to mark where to go back and retrieve the gun.”
Hiebert said it appeared to investigators that the suspects were somewhat familiar with the layout of the property and some of them possibly could be locals, if not all of them.
“We appreciate those who have already come forward to aid in this investigation,” Hiebert said. “But if anyone has any additional information, we ask that they contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and ask for an investigator working the case. It would be kept in strict confidence. We hope there is something else out there that could lead to an arrest and conviction of the suspects.”