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Posted: April 13, 2018 3:06 p.m.
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Spring tour revisits history at Stewart

Tia Garrett/

DPTMS Range Control representatives Thomas Hollis and Mike Etheridge, explain range operations, safety, and the land management to attendees of the 2018 Spring Historic tour, April 5, at Fort Stewart's observation point four.

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More than 30 community members revisited the past, April 5, as the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Historic Communities Council  hosted its annual Spring historic site and cemetery tour.

The visit included stops at Taylors Creek Campground, Brannen, DeLoach, Bethany and Wells cemeteries. 

The Directorate of Public Works Cultural Resources archeologist Brian Greer explained the installation maintains nearly 60 active cemeteries and historic sites on the installation; which are the few remaining historic vestiges of an earlier time.  

Greer referenced a pamphlet the DPW Environmental Division prepared for the tour, explaining about the areas earlier history.    

“A few of the early camp meetings occurred near the little Canoochee Causeway on Sunbury Road,” Greer explained to attendees about Taylors Creek camp meetings; which were once held on the first site visited. The pamphlet said after 1819, the annual event continually took place at the Taylors Creek campground.  

"The square shaped campground lay in a grove of hickory and oak trees and contained a centralized red tile covered tabernacle building," he said. 

With the exception of the Glisson Pond mill and store in Evans County (established in 1914), the other buildings that belonged to the area were removed. 

Dina McKain, Fort Stewart community relations officer explained the lands were purchased by Congress to create Camp Stewart in 1940-1941 to help prepare the U.S. for entry into World War II, as an anti-aircraft defense training facility, included areas that were inhabitable by settlers dating back to the 1760’s,  with the Taylors Creek community being established around 1790.  

An added stop to the site, community members were provided a briefing at one of the installation’s observation posts overlooking the artillery impact zone.  Range control officers Mike Etheridge and Thomas Hollis, from the installation’s Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, Range Control Division, explained how the land was used to help train Soldiers, and the installation's efforts to ensure the installation remained good stewards of the environemnt, so training could remain effective well into the future.  

Several of the attendees were familiar with the land, as they themselves were former residents of the area.  Author, historian and vice president of the Cemetry Council, Wyman with his wife Faye helped draw attention to specific details in each area the tour visited.   

The installation supports two historic cemetery tours every year – in April and early November. Information about these visits and other activities are shared on the Fort Stewart Faceook site at https://www.facebook.com/FortStewartHunterArmyAirfield/. 



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