Originally created 11/18/02

Laments removal of historic trees to build a park



As the week of Nov. 4 arrived, I knew that work was being done where our beloved courthouse had once stood. I also knew the work was for a new park. That morning, as I came through the middle of Swainsboro as I do on most work days, I was shocked - to put it mildly - when I saw what was taking place at the proposed park.

The wonderful pecan tree that had stood at the corner was gone! The most remarkable magnolia tree I had ever seen, that stood by Court Street, was mangled in a pitiful array with its limbs destroyed and only its huge trunk remained standing, torn and disfigured. Then, as I rode around the block to Pine Street, I saw the huge and mighty oak that stood on the corner of West Main and Pine was reduced to only a bare trunk. ...

These sights brought tears to my eyes. The trees that I had admired all of my life and had stood in the middle of my hometown were destroyed! Then the memories of how our courthouse was torn down came to mind. It was the building that had stood in the middle of Swainsboro during all of my life - the building that I remembered as a child in the 1960s as a fallout shelter and where I bought my first car tag as a teenager. ...

Now, courthouse square where I had seen many Pine Tree festivals, is all gone. ...

So much history was made beneath those wonderful trees. Herman Talmadge and M.E. Thompson met at the Pine Tree Festival when they both claimed the governorship of Georgia after the death of Gov. Eugene Talmadge. If those old trees could have talked, I wonder what wonderful stories they could have told us about Swainsboro. ...

Stuart Fagler, Swainsboro, Ga.