Historically Speaking
March 2014
Joy Odom

As a means of following up on the article about Dade County happenings in 1950, here are some selected happenings from Mrs. Douglas Morrison’s 1966-67 clippings book (the last of her scrapbooks in the library’s collection). Turns out these were very eventful years in our area. See how much you remember or have heard spoken about.

– Mr. Ed Willkie was named President of the Bank of Dade.
– Maddox Hale, member of the Georgia House of Representatives from Dade County
was re-elected as Speaker Pro Tem of that body; the clipping states that “he was among the 184 members voting against the seating of Representative-elect Julian Bond (Negro) by a vote of 184 to12. Bond was barred from being seated as a member of the House because of his endorsement of statements denouncing U.S. policy in Viet Nam and urging Americans to avoid the draft.”

– The Grand Jury recommended that both the Dade County courthouse and the jail be replaced “as soon as possible”.
– An article on the local Bookmobile explained that the “vehicle of knowledge” spends a week in the county every six weeks servicing local schools and supplementing school libraries. It also made home stops in rural areas when requested.

– A headline with pictures announced that “An ‘International Highway’ Is Being Blasted through Dade” and continues: “Work is in progress on the new highway …all the way from Hooker in the northwest section to Slygo Valley. The thru-way will be just west of the courthouse square, not far from the foot of Sand Mountain.”
– In a legal notice, Trenton Telephone Company announced its present and proposed monthly rates for the current period. A business one-party line in Trenton and Rising Fawn was $6.00, scheduled to go up to $6.50. In West Brow, the present rate was $12 and was scheduled to remain at that level. A rural residence eight party line had cost $3.75 in Trenton and Rising Fawn, but was being discontinued.

– The spring opening of “This Old House” was scheduled for mid-June in New Salem under the directorship of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Baisden, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Massey, and
Mrs. Norman Johnson, with Rubynelle and Charles Counts as salesroom managers.
– A state legislative committee visited Cloudland Canyon State Park to examine the improvements taking place there and discuss additional developments to come including a pool and bathhouse, additional overlooks and five additional cottages.
– In “Mountain Division” areas, according to the Water Authority, the cost of the first three thousand gallons of water per month was $4.35;in Trenton, the first 5,000 gallons was $3.60.

– The Farmers Home Administration announced its approval of a $100,000 recreation loan to the Big Sandy Golf Club in Dade County. The facilities were to include a 9-hole
golf course, clubhouse, swimming pool and 5-acre pond.

– 8,000 people attended the Plum Nelly Festival.
– The Hudson Wire Co. of Ossining, New York, announced that it would build a new manufacturing facility in Trenton. The announcement was made at a dinner meeting at Wright’s Restaurant with many state, area and local dignitaries present.

– Natural gas lines began providing fuel to homes in Trenton.

– An article on Sheriff Allison Blevins outlined his career in law enforcement. He had then been sheriff since 1955.
– On Highway 143 (later renamed 136) at the foot of Sand Mountain, the Char-del Shoe Store was joined in the same building by a new store, the Roblee Shop.

– Commissioner Dan Hall stated, “The amount of flood damage to county roads in the recent weeks has been extensive.” Rain had been heavy throughout April; in May, the county received 2.18 inches on the 12th of that month.
– The Trenton City Council voted unanimously “to tighten up on motorcycle drivers who are driving recklessly and who have loud mufflers.”

– Work was “moving ahead” on the Burkhalter Gap Road.

– A site was selected for the new post office at Trenton.

– The old Piney Grove Church schoolhouse, which had stood at the right of the “new” church building, was being torn down. It was said to have been built about 1880.
– It was noted that new guardrails had been placed recently at the north and south entrances to the courthouse square “to serve at least two important purposes – place emphasis on ’driving right’ and prevent careless motorists from plunging ’head-on’ into the courthouse wall as they quite frequently do.”

– Governor Lester Maddox came to Dade County as part of the formal dedication of the new Hudson Wire Factory, “a $1,750,000 plant”.

– Mr. A.L. Dyer was elected Mayor of Trenton in an uncontested race in which 156 voters participated. The mayor had run unopposed. City Council members also elected were: Jim Geddie, Don Gross, Claude Harrison, N.H. Hutchison, and Jack Mullins.

While the sixties were full of controversy and chaos in many places, they seem to have been years in which Dade County was made major moves forward toward a better, more comfortable, more communicative, more accessible future for its citizens.

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