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Tia Lynn Ivey

managing editor 

Nolan Crossroad, an historic intersection in Bostwick was included in The Georgia Trust’s “2020 Places in Peril.” The designation is meant to highlight deteriorating historic structures in danger of disappearing in order to spur on efforts to rehabilitate and save these historic sites. 

According to the Georgia Trust, Nolan Crossroads includes a complex of buildings that “span nearly a century. 

“Nolan Crossroads represents the transition from slavery-based agriculture to the sharecropping economy of the post-Civil War South,” said a statement from the Georgia Trust. The oldest existing house dates to 1817 when the property was part of a large plantation. The Nolan family, who bought the land in the 1850s, transitioned the property to an extensive tenant farm and constructed the main Neoclassical house in 1905. Still standing are a former commissary for tenant farmers, a mule barn, and several tenant farmhouses in varying states of disrepair. While the original house continues to be used by the current owners, the remainder of the structures are vacant. The main house carries signs of considerable deterioration, while its notoriety and rural location have resulted in multiple break-ins and the destruction or removal of many original features.”

The Madison-Morgan Conservancy (MCC) works with the Georgia Trust in a myriad of ways to help salvage struggling historic places. 

“We will play a supportive role in this,” said Christine McCauley Watts, director of the MCC. “We are the boots on the ground for the Georgia Trust when historic places in our community make the list. The conservancy worked to save historic properties–most recently theThomason-Foster Miller House in Madison. 

“The Georgia Trust s doing a good job of highlighting the important resources that are at risk of being lost and a lot of times these historic places get saved because of that attention,” said Watts. 

Watts also noted the community outpouring of concern over Nolan Crossroads current state. 

“It is high on our list of priorities given its historical significance and importance to the public,” said Watts. “The Greenprint plan has more than 200 or more historical resources identified, and the one mentioned the most by the public is the Nolan crossroads, by far.”

The Georgia Trust officials hope the new list of Places in Peril will motivate communities to rally around endangered historical site and restore them to their former glory. 

“This is the Trust’s fifteenth annual Places in Peril list,” said Mark C. McDonald, president and CEO of the Trust. “We hope the list will continue to bring preservation solutions to Georgia’s imperiled historic resources by highlighting ten representative sites.”

According to the Georgia Trust, “Places in Peril is designed to raise awareness about Georgia’s significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes that are threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy. Through Places in Peril, the Trust will encourage owners and individuals, organizations and communities to employ proven preservation tools, financial resources and partnerships in order to reuse, reinvest and revitalize historic properties that are in peril.”

Founded in 1973, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation works for the preservation and revitalization of Georgia’s diverse historic resources and advocates their appreciation, protection and use. As one of the country’s leading statewide, nonprofit preservation organizations, the Trust generates community revitalization by finding buyers for endangered properties acquired by its Revolving Fund and raises awareness of other endangered historic resources through an annual listing of Georgia’s “Places in Peril.” The Trust offers a variety of educational programs for adults and children, provides technical assistance to property owners and historic communities, advocates for funding, tax incentives and other laws aiding preservation efforts, and manages two house museums in Atlanta (Rhodes Hall) and Macon (Hay House). 

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