HistoriCorps, a Colorado-based nonprofit focused on historic preservation, began restoring the historic Chenocetah Fire Tower in Cornelia on Sunday after several weeks of anticipation by the community.
The restoration project will take place in two sessions, the first of which is from Jan. 9 through Jan. 14. The first group of HistoriCorps volunteers will then head home, while a second group will finish up the project from Jan. 16 through Jan. 21.
The Chenocetah Fire Tower was built in 1937 and later added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The tower was used for fire observation purposes for about 38 years, according to HistoriCorps. It was built during the Works Progress Administration program to employ those in poverty.
Audrey Davenport, executive director of the Habersham County Historical Society, said they are extraordinarily excited to see the tower restored to its glory days.
“Chenocetah Tower is important to almost everybody I know around here,” Davenport said. “So, it’s a big deal to have it restored.”
While HistoriCorps is not seeking any local volunteers for the project, they are offering site visits to the public. Specifically, the public can visit the tower from 12 to 1 p.m. on any Wednesday or Thursday throughout the project’s two-week span. Anyone with questions about site visits is asked to contact the Habersham County Historical Society at (404) 271-2468.
The community can also get engaged with the HistoriCorps volunteers at a reception on Monday, Jan. 17, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mt. Airy City Hall. Community members are asked to attend the reception and welcome the volunteers to the area.
The HistoriCorps teams involved in the restoration project are particularly unique due to their diverse nature.
“The two lead crew people are female which is non-stereotypical of what you would think when you think of historic preservation,” Davenport said.
More information about the project can be found on the HistoriCorps website.