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Hickory Hill to get historical marker

Hickory Hill - the home of the late Sen. Tom Watson - has been approved by the Georgia Historical Society to receive a Historical Marker. The free-standing marker is black with silver lettering and will bear the Historical Society Seal.

Hickory Hill Museum Curator Michelle Zupan said she was trying to get the marker last year to honor Tom Watson's 150th birthday, but the GHS deadlines didn't coincide with the timing. Instead, the marker will be installed at Hickory Hill in May.

When she first applied, Ms. Zupan said the Historical Society told her Tom Watson couldn't receive any additional markers in McDuffie County, so she instead focused more on the importance of Hickory Hill.

"It took some creativity. Because of Mr. Walter Brown and the Wilson connection and everything, in and of itself, it's a pretty special place. But, of course, I'm biased," she said with a laugh.

The Georgia Historical Marker Program is dedicated to preserving the history of the state. To qualify for a marker, a site must be at least 50 years old and sponsored by at least one entity.

Ms. Zupan said the Hickory Hill marker features how Tom Watson bought the house, how he renovated it and added electricity and running water, mentions the publishing plant and Watson's granddaughter, Georgia Watson Craven and Walter Brown, who made the preservation of Hickory Hill possible.

Other historical markers in McDuffie County include the Blind Willie McTell Musician on Ga. 17 at Happy Valley Road, the McDuffie County Courthouse on Main Street, the Indian Trail on US 78 in Dearing, Sen. Thomas E. Watson "Sage of Hickory Hill" at the Courthouse in Thomson, the Birthplace of George McDuffie on George McDuffie Road, the Rock House on Twin Oaks Road, and the William Bartram Trail and the Wrightsboro Methodist Church, both on Wrightsboro/Stagecoach Road.

Web posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007

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