The Fort Hawkins Commission, since its reestablishment in 1990, has steadfastly refused to develop the Fort Hawkins property until the necessary archaeological research could be conducted to guide any such development.However, it is time that the historic Fort Hawkins site in Macon, Georgia be given a proper and professional Master Plan to guide its needed preservation and development. The recent archaeology done by the LAMAR Institute has now made this possible.The Commission’s prudence and restraint should be commended despite the many proposals over the years offered to develop the site.The recent compelling research has flawed all previous histories and plans.
This archaeological research that has been on-going since 2005 will now allow the Fort Hawkins Commission to determine the best course for rebuilding the fort and in developing the property to insure its positive preservation and interpretation.This research has uncovered a much more significant and substantial historical resource at Fort Hawkins than ever known before. This has redefined the fort’s true importance and magnitude in local, state, and national history.
I have been privileged to have been part of this process since 1985 and bearing witness to the Commission’s patience and perseverance over the years as an original Commission Member.Serving as the Commission Chairman since 2005, I am now honored to be in a position to see the Commission’s mission fulfilled.Due to my many years of involvement with the Fort Hawkins project and thus being profoundly aware of its proud past and recent history, plus my many years of involvement in historic preservation and interpretation, I feel more than competent and qualified to offer this site development plan.
Since 1972, when hired by the pioneering state preservation minded Georgia Historical Commission, I have had the honor of playing a major leadership role in successfully developing new historical resources for the state including the Lapham-Patterson National Historic Landmark in Thomasville, the 18th century Midway Museum in Liberty County, the Jarrell Plantation in Jones County, Sidney Lanier Productions, Sidney’s Old South Historic Tour, Sidney’s Spirit Stroll, the Ocmulgee National Monument Association, the Georgia Allman Brothers Band Association, and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon. All of these experiences over the past 35 years have combined to create this exciting proposal in developing and honoring Fort Hawkins.
This Master Plan will not delve into all the previous histories, plans and proposals for the site, but instead provide a concise working blueprint to insure this much needed site development.This site development plan will provide a way to preserve, promote, and finance this important historic site and fulfill the Fort Hawkins Commission’s Mission. Fort Hawkins will be one of the finest historic sites in America and a tremendous community resource and source of local pride.
Fort Hawkins Commission By-Laws, Article II:Purpose – Mission Statement
“The Fort Hawkins Commission will develop plans and organize activities to bring about the complete restoration of the frontier fort that is the birthplace of Macon, Georgia.The first step will be a fund raising project encompassing both foundations and individuals.As this is underway, the Commission will conduct archaeological studies and historical research allowing the Commission to interpret the Fort Hawkins story accurately and in detail.Once funds are raised, the actual reconstruction of the fort will begin. The work of the Commission is complete when the fort and/or interpretive center is open to the public and a military and historical education program is developed telling the story of the young nation’s struggle to create a country in the southern wilderness.”
2008 FORT HAWKINS COMMISSION MEMBERS:
Mr. Marty Willett, Chairman
Rev. Victor Hunt, Vice Chairman
Ms. Mary Lee Rogers, Secretary
Mrs. Lynn Halstead Stokes, Treasurer
Mrs. Echo Halstead Burrell
Mr. Mike Cranford
Mr. Ed DeFore
Rev. Richard Gammage
Mr. John Goolsby
Mr. Sam Hart, Sr.
Dr. Eric Klingelhofer
EX OFFICIO MEMBERS:
Mrs. Sandra Adams, Nathaniel Macon Chapter N.S.D.A.R. Mr. Grady Burrell, Jr., Fort Benefit Car Show Coordinator Mr. Mac Cone, Fort Hawkins School Dr. Lindsay Holliday, President Ocmulgee Nat. Mon. Assoc. Ms. Marion Joseph, Fort Hawkins School Mr. Michael Lynch, President Mid. GA Vietnam Veterans Mr. David Mincey, President Ocmulgee Archeological Soc. Mrs. Kitty Oliver, Middle Georgia Historical Society Mrs. Judy Smith, N.S.D.A.R., U.S.D.1812, U.D.C. Mrs. Dianne Dent Wilcox, Fort Hawkins Historian