Rock, Swap & Dig event
Graves Mountain, a former mine known for its rare - and sometimes very valuable - minerals, will be open to the public April 27-29 for the semiannual Rock, Swap & Dig event in which visitors can chisel away at rock outcrops in search of treasure.
Hours will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, and admission is free, said Clarence "Junior" Norman, caretaker for the site in Lincoln County.
Visitors may dig for minerals that include rutile and iridescent hematite. Mineral and rock collectors from across the Southeast will have booths for buying, selling and trading and vendors also will provide food and drinks. Entire families are welcome.
To get to Graves Mountain from Lincolnton, Ga., go west on U.S. Highway 378 toward Washington, Ga. The mine is about three miles ahead on the left. For details, call (706) 359-3862.
Hickory Hill reopens
Hickory Hill, the historic home of the late Senator Thomas E. Watson, is reopened to the public, according to a press release. The home and grounds were closed after the March 1 tornado came through Thomson and knocked down 250 trees on the property, destroying the smokehouse and electricity shed. Both buildings were original to the property. According to museum curator Michelle Zupan, the house was unharmed during the storm except for one broken window and a lamp.
"We have been focusing on getting the trees taken care of because those are the actual hazards," Ms. Zupan said.
House tours are available every hour on the hour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. If a school group or other large group is there, Ms. Zupan said the gates will be closed.
Hickory Hill is located at 502 Hickory Hill Drive in Thomson, where Tom Watson Way splits off from Camak Road. For more information, call 706-595-7777.
Local voter list purged
On Friday, March 30, the State Elections Division did an automatic purge/deletion of voters who had not voted in the past two general elections.
Notifications were mailed to those voters who would be affected. If a voter did not respond within the required time stating that they would like to remain on the active voters list, they were dropped at midnight on March 30.
"While we picked up a large number of new voters in the last year, we have lost a tremendous amount of voters who were already registered," said Elections Director Phyllis Wheeler. "McDuffie County lost 520 voters to the purge process. Those voters will now have to re-register to become active again."