Historical nonprofit teams up with state to save Historical Markers

Volunteers learned about Civil War history while replacing the post for this marker in Armuchee. (Photo contributed by David Mitchell)

In the spring of 1864, Rome and Floyd County were part of a larger campaign in Northwest Georgia pitting the will of two armies — those of Gen. William T. Sherman and Gen. Joseph E. Johnston — to see who would win control of Georgia and the deep south.

It was May 15, 1864, when federal and Confederate forces fought each other at Farmer’s Bridge in Armu­chee, in a back-and-forth conflict that lasted for the next two days without much in the way of a victory for either side.

Though the events of those days might not have seemed to have mattered much in the grand scheme of the Civil War, it has been memorialized for the generations on a state historic marker that stands proudly to this day near the Armuchee post office.

It was in the spirit of making sure generations to come will be able to get a glimpse at this history that David Mitchell teamed up with the state of Georgia to make sure these markers — and others around the state — will still be standing.

Mitchell said the Department of Natural Resources has given him the sign posts, and local organizations have been coming out to help him replace damaged and rusted poles.

“Think of these poles like you’d think of a car,” he said. “Because we’re replacing them now, the signs will be able to stand for 60 years now.”

He said the state spends hundreds of dollars on each historic marker it places in spots that have been important to Georgia’s rich past, but the original poles were typically placed in the ground with rebar and cement to hold them up.

Mitchell, the executive director of historical nonprofit M.H. Mitchell Inc., said he’s replaced only a handful around the state so far, and he will likely do hundreds before he is finished.

In replacing the post for the Farmer’s Bridge historic marker, Mitchell was helped out with the work by Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful, Lavender Mountain Hardware, the Armuchee Ruritans and Daisy Troop 11659. He said 30 people came out to volunteer and stuck around to hear from a local historian and editor and publisher of Georgia Backroads magazine for a lesson about the battle.