I spent many good times in Hancock County when I was a student at Georgia College and still visit at least once a year to explore its wonderful architecture. I was devastated when I learned that their historic courthouse had been consumed by fire on 11 August 2014. But thanks to the untiring determination of Commission Chairman Sistie Hudson, Her Majesty, as the courthouse is often called, rose from the ashes.
Two years to the day after the fire I made my way to Sparta to attend the rededication ceremony. At a time when many counties are building generic government facilities, Hancock County made sure their “new” courthouse would pay homage to the original. It’s nearly identical. Thanks largely to assistance from the insurance fund of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, the $7 million project was executed wonderfully, and should stand as an example to other counties as to how to deal with such crises in the future.
The clouds moved in just as we reached Sparta. But it never rained. A large crowd was already gathered and it just kept growing. There was a sense of pride and community that one rarely sees these days.
Politicians were on hand, along with the public, to christen the new and improved courthouse.
Former Congressman and Hancock County native Buddy Darden
Putnam County Commissioner Billy Webster.
Hancock County Commission Chairman Sistie Hudson.
After speeches were made and a benediction given, the clouds slowly began to clear.
The future looks great for Her Majesty and Hancock County.
The photos that follow are random images of people at the ceremony. One of the things I took away from this day was a great sense of community pride, and that’s reassuring in these divisive times.