Column: Preserving Northeast Georgia history is an art form

Johnny Vardeman0710.max

“If you wake up in the morning and can’t see Yonah Mountain, you need to move.”

That was one of late White County historian Shirley McDonald’s favorite quotations, expressing the love of her home county. Yonah Mountain is that signature “sleeping bear-shaped” landmark overlooking Nacoochee Valley.

Shirley was official historian for the county and wrote a newspaper column about pioneer and modern families, weaving in White County’s history, as well as some from surrounding counties. She was a prime mover in the White County Historical Society, one of the most active such organizations in the state.

Fortunately for those who remember her writings, as well as newcomers to them, they have been preserved. The historical society has been working for two years to put the 900-plus columns together in bound books. They are being sold for $50 each or $150 for all three hardback volumes.

“So many years of writing the ‘Looking Back’ column in the local newspaper reflected her desire to keep the history of our county and its people before the public,” said friend and fellow historian Judy Lovell in her foreword to McDonald’s books.

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