Coweta history comes alive: Memories of courthouse

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 3:31pm
By: Ben Nelms

Few communities have a downtown area that features historic structures like those found in Newnan. With the rehabilitation of the old 1906 courthouse well underway, the Courthouse Citizens Advisory Committee is looking for ways to help Coweta’s history come alive.

Coweta County Public Affairs Director Patricia Palmer explained that one of the committee’s ideas building up toward the completion of the rehabilitation next summer is to have residents submit individual memories and photos to be used in some form of historical record.

“This courthouse represents many things to many citizens, and the committee would like to record that and save it for future generations. The courthouse is the citizens’ building. It’s been the heart of Coweta County for over 100 years and we know there are many people with fond memories of the building and the square,” Palmer said. “I’ve had friends, family and complete strangers tell me stories about things they remember at the square and how the courthouse was the backdrop for family memories. That’s what we want to hear about.”

Memories, including those spanning more than a century, are as variable and unique as the person who holds them.

“If your granddaddy told you about playing checkers on the square, or you loved the Christmas lights that used to be draped from the high points on the dome or if you always rested on the courthouse steps when trick or treating with the downtown merchants, we’d like to hear about it and, hopefully, get a photo of it as well,” Palmer said.

Palmer said the committee has not determined how photos and memories will be used. Much like a work in progress, the committee hopes to arrange them in a way that will trace the history of the courthouse.

Images and memories can be submitted via email to or sent to Patricia Palmer, Coweta County, 22 East Broad Street, Newnan, GA 30263.

The following release must be included for your memories and photos to be used: “I hereby give permission for images and/or information/stories about the historic Coweta County Courthouse that I have submitted to be used for historic purposes. I understand that this submitted information and/or images may be used in print, video, web and other electronic data and waive any rights of ownership or compensation.”

If a photo is submitted it should identify the subject and approximate date taken, if known. Submissions should also name, date, signature, address and phone number.

The rehabilitation of Newnan’s landmark 1906 courthouse is expected to be complete in mid-2010. The $7.5 million project was funded by a voter-approved 1-cent sales tax.

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