Last night The Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation honored companies and individuals at the 50th Annual Athens Preservation Awards for their dedication to the preservation of Athens historical sites, including Athens native Linda Davis.
As reported in The Red & Black, ACHF Executive Director Tommy Valentine also introduced a new initiative, the 2019 Athens Places in Peril, which will “encourage and guide efforts to save endangered historic spaces in Athens.” The places chosen for the initiative were nominated by Athens citizens and approved by the ACHF board.
Some of the most recognized winning sites for restoration included Maepole, Russell Hall and the Chi Psi fraternity house on S. Milledge Ave.
As for Linda Davis, she received the Phinizy Spalding Award for outstanding contributions to the historic preservation field in the Athens community, mostly for her restoration of the Andrew Jones House and the Friends of Brooklyn Cemetery.
A 1969 graduate of Athens High School, Davis worked as a part-time operator for Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company before relocating to New Jersey.
After returning to Athens from New Jersey 25 years later, Davis started working to restore the Andrew Jones House, which her father built, and the Friends of Brooklyn Cemetery, which was under threat to be turned into a park.
“Everything that had meaning to [me] was gone,” said Davis about being inspired to restore historic landmarks after being away from home for more than 20 years. “You start to see yourself kind of erased from history.”
Davis works with local middle schoolers and volunteers from the Sigma Nu fraternity to restore the cemetery. She uses the opportunity to connect with young black students in Athens with the goal of instilling hope in them for their futures.
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