NORTH AUGUSTA -- Though she's not originally from North Augusta, Jeanne McDaniel has embraced it as her hometown for more than 30 years.
On Tuesday, she was named the 2009 Citizen of the Year by the Greater North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, which held its annual meeting at the North Augusta Community Center.
She was nominated by five residents for her diligent work in preserving the town's history through books and most notably the 6-foot statue in Calhoun Park of city founder James U. Jackson.
"I was astounded," McDaniel said. "I'm very humbled by this."
She is a member of the Heritage Council of North Augusta, the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta, and the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor.
"I do love history, and I like this community," she said. "This is a really neat place with a great vision for the future, and with the vision for the future it didn't forget the past."
Originally from London, McDaniel said she has always been interested in family history.
"It's the fabric of who we are and it is who we are," she said.
Chamber President Brian Tucker said the Citizen of the Year recipient is chosen by the past five award winners from nomination letters.
"I'm tickled to death" McDaniel got the award, Tucker said.
He said North Augusta won't realize until 20 years from now how important McDaniel has been in chronicling the city's history.
Paul Brewer and Barbara Coleman said McDaniel celebrates history in an exciting way.
"Jeanne brings history alive with the telling of wonderful stories that breathe life into the personalities and events that have created the rich tableau that is North Augusta today," they wrote in a nomination letter.