More Ringgold Gap (GA) Battlefield land preserved
- Commissioners acquire 10 more acres using state Greenspace funds
(From the Catoosa County, GA News)
Commissioner Jim Emberson scales the side of White Oak Mountain to
look at property set aside for the Ringgold Gap Battlefield
preservation effort. (The Catoosa County News/Randall Franks)
Catoosa County will add 10 more acres to the Ringgold Gap Battlefield
preservation effort using Greenspace funds from the state.
The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday, June 1, to
purchase the land from Gordon Jones and Roger Abney on White Oak
Mountain for $30,124 and $25,000, respectively.
The land will be added to 10 acres on White Oak Mountain purchased May
18 in an attempt to further enhance a valuable tourism site for future
improvements, officials said.
Commissioners voted April 6 to authorize Commissioner Jim Emberson and
J. Olney Meadows to negotiate to purchase the 20 acres of
privately-owned land of the Ringgold Gap Battlefield using $129,000 in
state Greenspace funds. Greenspaces are permanently protected land and
water that are undeveloped or restored to be consistent with goals for
natural resource protection or informal recreation. These areas
include agricultural or forestry land.
The county has spent $117,000 buying the 20 acres. Meadows said that
the $12,000 in remaining Greenspace funds will be used to cover
closing costs and surveys.
Emberson said the acquisition of these properties is a great step
forward for Catoosa County.
"If we did not make these purchases, the money would have been
returned to the state at the end of June," he said. "Now, we have the
opportunity to develop a small parking area and a historical walking
trail that will improve the quality of life of our residents and add
to opportunities for enjoyment by our visitors."
Catoosa County Historian William H.H. "Bill" Clark spearheaded the
preservation of the location for several years.
Clark said that the eventual development of the battlefield as a
tourist destination will help enhance the number of people visiting
Ringgold and Catoosa County.
"I have no doubt they will come if we have something they will see,"
he said. "They will come to study and walk over the battlefield."
Clark said he wants to develop walking trails from South Chickamauga
Creek to the Welcome Hill community, and then up the mountain 200
yards and return to the creek, giving both Union and Confederate
While the planned purchase will not totally connect the trail plan,
Clark said that the three sites could be developed to interpret what
is there, making improvements as grant funding becomes available.
Other efforts to promote tourism, protect heritage
Catoosa residents and businesses benefited to the tune of $54 million
in tourism dollars in 2001, and many leaders see increasing tourism as
a way of improving the local economy.
In keeping with that theme, Ringgold City Council has dedicated over
$300,000 in hotel and motel tax, largely paid by tourists, with a
$180,000 transportation grant to restore and improve what they
describe as the center of Ringgold's history — the Ringgold Depot.
According to Ringgold City Manager Dan Wright, a recent effort by the
county and Ringgold to relocate the 1915 Crawford house from Cleveland
Street to the Old Stone Church fell short after the city failed to
find a mover with adequate insurance coverage.
- Hey there, LilSteve68 and All...
Drove by Ringgold earlier this summer but did not stop. Am keeping
a "weather eye" open for the Patrick Cleburne Society's announcement
of the memorial planned there for their "favorite son." I plan to
attending that event.
Visit http://www.patrickcleburne.com/ ;
click on "Latest News and Updates" ;
then click on "Gen. Cleburne Statue by: Ron Tunison".